In the Aristotelian system, knowledge is classified into three kinds: (1) productive knowledge, which is the means of producing results for the benefit of mankind; (2) practical knowledge, which guides behavior; and (3) theoretical knowledge, which cannot be used as a means to any specific end. These species of knowledge are generally seen as independent fields that are unrelated to one another. This article claims that this view is wrong and tries to explain how the relationship between these fields of knowledge is based on the rule of the relationship between theoretical knowledge and productive knowledge. I will start by delimiting the subject of physics and then identify the relationship between natural arts (non-practical arts) and physics. After this, I will attempt to give a clear and distinct definition for the concepts of “productive knowledge,” “productive art,” and “theoretical knowledge” and clarify their relations with one another. The clarification of these concepts and their mutual relationships will also show the debt the modern classification of sciences owes to Aristotle; it will also provide a theoretical framework for understanding the relationship between the fields of engineering and the sciences (physics, chemistry, and biology) today.

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