The distinction between art and skill becomes even more intricate than we have explored before. In the ancient world many disciplines which we would now tend to call “skills” are referred to as “arts.” This may well be the best way to look at our world.
Quintilian, and J.S. Watson. Institutes of Oratory. Edited by Lee Honeycutt, 2010. Kindle Electronic Edition. Book II Chapter 18
Quintilian classifies the arts into different categories. Some are theoretical, simply requiring knowledge, such as astronomy. Some require actions, though they produce nothing. There are practical arts, such as dancing (II.18.1). Others actually create something, such as a painting. This is a “poetical” art. Oratory is of the second type, consisting of action (II.18.2). The orator, however, sometimes works in the theoretical mode, contemplating arguments (II.18.3). This is in itself pleasurable. Further, sometimes rhetoricians do create some written works, operating in the poetical realm.
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