Machine Ghost

8 lists of criteria: Techne

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(All from Roochnik’s Of Art and Wisdom)

List of Criteria 1: The Primitive Meaning of Techne

  1. Techne is a knowledge of a specific field: its subject matter is determinate. The knowledge of the tekton, to cite the key example, is restricted to working in wood; the tekton does not know how to forge metal.
  2. It is oriented to a specific goal and produces something useful: the tekton builds houses for the members of the community.
  3. It is reliable. The tekton can be counted on to perform his tasks correctly.
  4. It is knowledge recognized, and rewarded, by other members of the community. It is agreed that the expert knows what he is doing; the proof is in the product, the houses he builds. The expert is “comparatively rare” and is counted on as an authority to whose judgments “laypersons” ought to defer.
  5. Techne can be certified. The houses of the tekton serve as his credentials. They give evidence that he actually has the knowledge he claims.
  6. It can be taught. Unlike someone who merely has accumulated experience, the tekton can explain something about woodworking to those who wish to learn it; he can help to transform a layman into a fellow expert. Thus implies some set of rational principles, some sort of logos, governing the field, the subject matter, in question. The capacity to communicate these principles becomes another mode of certification: because he can explain or teach what he is doing, the tekton merits the special status he has an expert.

List of criteria 2: The Homeric Conception

  1. A techne has a determinate task or field. The various technai–woodworking, smithing, weaving–are directed to the achievement of something specific.
  2. It is usually, but not necessarily, productive. Ships, houses, and metal work are examples of products. A skill like piloting a ship, while not explicitly called a “techne” in the poems, is nonetheless described by using a derivative of “techne.” Soon after the Homeric poems, the prophet, doctor, singer, and herald are be said to possess a techne.
  3. It has to be applied in order to be complete. The shipbuilder who does not build a ship is not a complete shipbuilder.
  4. Its results are beneficial and are “for the people.” The technai, even if they are not explicitly called such in the poems, belong to the demiourgoi, those whose works benefit, can be shared and admired by, the demos. As a result, the technites can be recognized, certified, and rewarded by ordinary people. He has earned the right to ‘hang a shingle,’ and thereby be ‘invited’ to do his work.
  5. Techne requires a mastery of rational principles that can be explained, and therefore taught. The woodworker and the pilot, for example, employ rudimentary applied mathematics.

List of criteria 3: The Solonic Conception

  1. 1-6: Sample as list 2
  2. (7): A techne is use- or value-neutral and cannot in itself bring happiness

List of criteria 4: The Promethean Conception

  1. A techne (with the possible exception of writing) has a determinate subject matter or field.
  2. It has a useful result, either directly, as in the case of the shipbuilder, or indirectly, as in the case of wiring and arithmetic, whose knowledge can be used to supplement and assist the process of production.
  3. It promotes human independence from gods, nature, and chance.
  4. It must be applied, either directly or indirectly, in order to become useful.
  5. It must be easily recognized. Because each item on his list is readily identified by the chorus as real and valuable knowledge, Prometheus succeeds in persuading them that he is humanitiy’s friend.
  6. The technai are teachable. Prometheus, after all, transmitted them to humanity, and men could presumable do the same by teaching them to others.
  7. Perhaps because of its exemplary intelligibility, arithmetic is paradigmatic. Perhaps for similar reasons, writing is included.

List of criteria 5: The Critic of “On Techne”

  1. A techne has a determinate subject matter and task. In the case of medicine, that task, that subject matter, is health.
  2. A techne effects a useful result that would not appear without the active intervention of the technician. Without the carpenter there would be no house; assuming it is a techne, without medicine there would be no cure of  a disease.
  3. It is teachable.
  4. It is extremely reliable. It can be counted on to perform its task. Its function is identical to its end.
  5. It is universal; that is, all particulars putatively under its purview can be handled with equal competence.
  6. A techne ‘is a deliberate application of human intelligence to some part of the world, yielding some control over tuche.’

List of criteria 6: The Critic of “On Ancient Medicine”

  1. 1-6: Same as list 5
  2. (7): A techne is precise. It requires complete mastery of clearly stated basic principles from which the body of knowledge is derived.
  3. (8): The paradigm of a techne is mathematics.

List of criteria 7: Techne2

  1. A techne2 has a determinate but not rigidly fixed or invariable subject matter.
  2. It effects a useful result, for example, health.
  3. It is reliable, but not totally so. It offers “rules of thumb,” rather than rigid rules. It is stochastic, requires appropriate responses to particular occasions, and is compatible with failure.
  4. It is precise, but does not measure up to the standard provided by mathematics.
  5. Its end is distinct from its function.
  6. It is certifiable and recognizable by the community, but not infallibly so.
  7. Its language is ordinary, not technical. It can give a logos, but not one of unimpeachable clarity.
  8. It is teachable but not infallible so.

List of criteria 8: The “Systematic Handbook”

  1. The techne must have a determinate subject matter.
  2. It aims to effect a useful result; in the case of rhetoric, successful public speech making.
  3. Its subject matter, or content, is a complex conceptual whole that can be analyzed into discrete parts, the recombination of which is clearly delineated by a set of rules.
  4. The recombination of its parts does not distort the original whole.
  5. It achieves maximal precision. Its paradigm is orthography.
  6. Possession of this techne yields complete mastery of the subject matter.
  7. It is mechanically teachable.
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Written by kimlacey

January 17, 2010 at 11:39 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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