ART (Latin ars, from Greek
ἀρετή, strength or skill; or from
ἄρω to fit, join,
or make agree).—(1) Skill in practice; (2) more generally, skill in giving
embodiment or representation to the ideal. "Art has in general preceded
science" (M'Cosh, Meth. of Dis. Gov., p. 151).
Art is defined by Lord Bacon to be "a proper disposal of the things of nature
by human thought and experience, so as to make them answer the designs and uses
of mankind." It may be defined more concisely as the adjustment of means to
accomplish a desired end (Stewart, Works, II. 36, Hamilton's
"The object of science is knowledge; the objects of art are works. In
truth is a means to an end; in science it is the only end. Hence the practical
arts are not to be classed among the sciences " (Whewell, Phil. of Induct. Sci., aph. 25).
"The distinction between science and art is, that a
science is a body of
principles and deductions, to explain the nature of some object matter. An art
is a body of precepts, with practical skill, for the completion of some work. A
science teaches us to know, an art to do" (Thomson,
Outline of Laws of Thought,
p. 16, 2nd ed. ; p. 13, 3rd ed.).
"Science gives principles, art gives rules. Science is fixed, and its object is
intellectual; art is contingent, and its object sensible " (Harris,
The difference between art and science is regarded as merely verbal by Sir
William Hamilton in Edin. Rev., No. 115; for contrary view see Preface of St Hilaire's translation of the
Organon, p. 12; Whewell, Phil. of Induct. Sci., pt.
II. bk. II. ch. VIII.
"The principles which art involves, science evolves. The truths on which
depends lurk in the artist's mind undeveloped, guiding his hand, stimulating his invention, balancing his judgment,
but not appearing in the form of enunciated propositions. Art in its earlier
stages is anterior to science—it may afterwards borrow aid from it" (Whewell,
Phil. of Induct. Sci., II. 111, 112, new ed.).