Aristotle – No scientific knowledge through perception

In the Second Analytics (4th century BC), grouped in the the Organonaristotle shows the difference between the universal and the singular, and consequently shows that there is no scientific knowledge through perception.

His reasoning focuses on the fact that perception is about the singular, and never about the universal.

But what is the universal for Aristotle?

“We call universal that which is always and everywhere.” Aristotle, Second Analytics, 4th BC

Demonstrations belong to the universal. We cannot perceive them.

In any case, according to Aristotle, even if it were possible to perceive such a scientific fact, we would still seek to have a demonstration of it (which is universal).

Aristotle’s thesis is therefore that “there is no scientific knowledge by perception”. Aristotle, Second Analytics, 4th BC

His main argument is summarized in the following sentence from the same work:

Perception necessarily deals with a singular reality, whereas science consists in knowing the universal.” Aristotle, Second Analytics, 4th BC

→ 5 teachings of Aristotle on science