Mechanical Arts

Artes mechanicae. The mechanical sciences (or arts) concern man痴 action and are divided into seven arts; the criterion for division is the useful end indicated here which they serve: lanificium葉he art of making clothes; armatura葉he art that provides protection and tools for work; agricultura葉he art of farming; venatio葉he hunter痴 art; medicina葉he art of healing; navigatio葉he art of travelling; theatrica scientia葉he art of entertaining many people together (e.g., theater, the circus, contests). Hugh notes that one and the same act, e.g., healing, may belong to philosophy if we seek its underlying reasons and investigate the reasons for acting (e.g., the rational justification of the healing of diseases), and it may be excluded from philosophy when it is concerned only with execution or performance (e.g., healing as it belongs to the doctor). We may find a similar list of seven mechanical arts according to the utility of their ends in the writings of Radulphus de Campo Longo, called the Fiery (Ardens). Radulphus mentions the following: ars victuaria葉he art of feeding people; ars lanificaria葉he art of dressing people; ars architectura葉he art of providing shelter; ars suffragatoria葉he art of means of transport; ars medicinaria葉he art of healing; ars negotiatoria葉he skill of trading goods; ars militaria葉he art of defence against an enemy.