Isagoge: history of logic: Transmission of Greek logic to the Latin West: and of Porphyry of Tyre’s Isagoge (“Introduction,” on Aristotle’s Categories), although. The Isagoge or “Introduction” to Aristotle’s Categories (text) was a the standard textbook on logic for more than a thousand years after his death. The Isagoge or Introduction by Porphyry is a commentary on Aristotle’s Categories, which became a key logical text of the Middle Ages, being.

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When however we are asked what man is, we answer, an animal, but animal is the genus of man, so that from genus being predicated of many, it is diverse from individuals which are predicated of one thing only, but from being predicated of things different in species, it is distinguished from such as are predicated as species or as properties.

For in what genus differs from difference, species, property, and accident, we have shown, wherefore, there are four differences; also we explained in what respect difference differs from genus, when we declared in what genus differs from it. Property they divide in four ways: Further, difference is joined with another difference, for rational and mortal are joined for the subsistence of man, but species is not joined with species, so as to produce some other species; for indeed a certain horse is joined with a certain ass, for the production of a mule, but horse simply joined with ass will not produce a mule.

This is what has pporphyry called the Sententiae above. Because its activity is there, we speak of the place when we should speak of the relation to it and the activity. Below them on the scale are forms in matter, bodies, and matter itself.


Through the body and its non-rational soul the seat of appetitive and spirited desires and sense-perception they belong to the sensible realm, through their higher soul intellect to the intelligible. Now, the media of the extremes they iasgoge subaltern species and genera, and admit each of them to be species and genus, when referred indeed prphyry different things, for those isagogf are prior to the most specific, ascending up to the most generic, are called subaltern genera and species.

Moreover, genera exceed, from comprehending the species which are under them, but species exceed genera by their proper differences; besides, neither can species become most generic, nor genus most specific. Now it is common to them all to be predicated, as we have said, of many things, but genus is predicated of the species and individuals under it, and difference in like manner; but species, of the individuals under it; and property, both of the species, of which it is the property, and of the individuals under that species; again, accident is predicated both of species, and individuals.


These texts served as a basic introductory texts in philosophy for at least years. Soul, the lowest of the intelligible hypostases, is the intelligible item directly responsible for the sensible realm. Moreover, one is most properly said to differ from another, when it varies by specific difference, as man differs from horse by specific difference, i. Porphyry, however, takes this much further than his Platonic predecessors and does it more systematically. He distinguishes between four kinds of virtue: Retrieved from ” http: Some good readings, but much interpolated.

Porphyry (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

If in reality, are they physical things, or not? On Aristotle’s Categoriestranslated by Steven K. Boethius; also Wallis, lib.

On the other hand, as to those which only make a thing different in quality, diversities alone consist, and the changes of subsistence porpyyry a thing; beginning then, again, from the first, we must say that of differences some are separable, others inseparable, thus to be moved, and to be at rest, to be ill, and to be well, and such as resemble these, are separable, but to have a crooked, or a flat nose, to be rational, or irrational, are inseparable differences.

What remains then, viz. It includes an influential hierarchical classification ‘the Tree of Porphyry’ of genera and species from the most general genus down to the isaoge specific species and individuals, and an introduction which mentions the problem of universals.

They also define it thus; accident is that which may be pofphyry and not present to the same thing; also that which is neither genus, nor difference, nor species, nor property, yet is always inherent in a subject. Also it is common to both to be always present, and to every one, for though a biped should be mutilated, yet the term porphyty is always predicated with reference to what is naturally adapted, since also risible has the “always” from natural adaptation, but not from always laughing.

The first genus, moreover, is so called, which is the principle of each man’s generation, but afterwards the number of those who are from one principle, e. Still, let the first ten genera be arranged, as in the Categories, as ten first principles, and even if a person should call all things beings, yet he will call them, so he says, equivocally, but not synonymously, for if being were the one common genus of all things, all things would be synonymously styled beings, but the first principles being ten, the community is in name only, yet not in the definition also belonging to the name: By his day, there were already multiple Arabic versions in circulation.

He thought that the categories reflect the structure of the sensible world, which in turn is an image of the intelligible realm. Potphyry also wrote the Isagogewhich is an introduction to Aristotle’s logical works in general. Those too, which are per se, do not admit of the more and less, but the accidental, even if they be inseparable, admit of intention and remission, for neither is genus more and less porpgyry of that of which it is the genus, nor the differences of genus according to which it is divided.


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Besides, difference is often seen in many species, as quadruped in many animals, different in species, but species is in the individuals alone, which are tinder the species. It is common then to property and inseparable accident not to subsist without those things in which they are beheld, for as man does not subsist without risible, 25 so neither can Ethiopian subsist without blackness, and as property is present to every, and always, so also is inseparable accident.

Mostly written in the 14th century, but the Isagoge written in the 15th. Same family as O and V. For Porphyry, as for Plotinus, what matters most in life is to free one’s soul from the calamities of the body and the sensible world in general so that isagoe may become purely what it originally and essentially is, viz. Write a customer review. Also contains commentary of Ammonius. Isagoge begins on f.

To this day, taxonomy benefits from concepts in Porphyry’s Tree, in classifying living organisms: The Uses of Argument by Stephen E. Porphyry’s works and fragments can now be found in an electronic version in the original Porphgry in iaagoge Thesaurus Linguae Graecae collection.

There is no warranty, as we have observed, by Porphyry, for distinction between “quale quid” and “quale. Contains also the Greek text. Philosophical Views It seems safe to assume that before his encounter with Plotinus, Porphyry’s philosophical views were shaped by Longinus, Numenius and other Middle Platonists, in addition to Plato, Aristotle and other classics of Greek philosophy.

Midpoint Trade Books Inc. This is revealed e. Moreover, it is ksagoge to iszgoge both to be prior to what they are predicated of, and to be each a certain whole; but they differ, because genus indeed comprehends species, but species are comprehended by, and do not comprehend genera, for genus is predicated of more than species.

Greek text and translation. It was composed by Porphyry in Sicily during the years —, and sent to Chrysaorium, according to all the ancient commentators AmmoniusElias, and David.