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Bröchner, J (2009) Construction metaphors in Aristotle: knowledge, purpose, process. Construction Management and Economics, 27(05), 515–23.
- Type: Journal Article
- Keywords: construction management; construction process; learning; ethics; ancient construction
- ISBN/ISSN: 0144-6193
- URL: https://doi.org/10.1080/01446190902915643
Writers on construction management have begun showing an interest in Aristotle's views on ethics, leadership, metaphysics and change, although overlooking that he frequently resorted to construction metaphors. This investigation shows that 16 of his writings contain about 140 construction metaphors and about 370 occurrences of construction terms. Metaphysics, Nicomachean Ethics and Physics provide more than half of these metaphors. For Aristotle, the process of house building is both knowledge driven and purpose driven: the building is to be a shelter against the elements, and the builder has to consider this ultimate goal for every step of production when choosing tools and materials. Builders learn the art of building by building; when they enjoy their work, they will go on improving. Building users can judge whether a building is good or bad, not builders. That Aristotle's metaphysics are object oriented and that practical wisdom is prominent in his ethics appear as irrelevant to construction, which was the typical example of managed production in his time.