I came across the following paragraph in Andrew Vincent's Nature of Political Theory:

In ancient Greek culture, theory was characteristically associated with observation. A thea was a spectacle; the one who observed the spectacle was a theoros. Theoria meant beholding a spectacle. Theory was thus envisaged as the intermediary between the event and the observer. It accounted for the event or practice. Theory was not separate from event. Knowledge was, in a sense, the unmediated event itself.

What does the author define "knowledge" mean in the context of the above paragraph?

  • "Knowledge was, ..., the unmediated event itself."
    – James K
    Commented Oct 23, 2020 at 4:58
  • @JamesK what is the difference between the event and the unmediated event and the mediated event?
    – adieng
    Commented Oct 23, 2020 at 5:23

1 Answer 1


It means exactly what the dictionary says. Knowledge is acquired information or understanding. In your sample text, it seems that knowledge is being compared against theory.

The overall message of the text seems to be how close theory is to knowledge by showing the root meaning of theory to be the observation of something, and that "something" is the knowledge trying to be acquired.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .