August 29, 2003

Aristotle's Master Arts

Aristotle's Nichomachean Ethics has an interesting concept that arts (in modern terms both arts and sciences) have master arts above them which control them. The art of creating oil based pigments is controlled by the art of painting for example. Above them all is the art of politics, the ultimate master art which can control all other arts.

The City Comforts blog brings up this point with an interesting dilemma. Is the new urbanism architecture or urban planning? There are good arguments to be made for both but it's clear to me that whatever new urbanism should be characterized as, it is an expression of a master art to both and thus controls both.

This, unfortunately, still leaves the dilemma of what actually is this master art but hopefully will get them past the idea of arguing that it's fish or fowl when in reality it is neither.

Posted by TMLutas at August 29, 2003 11:03 AM