Porphyry
(c. 232–305)
Syrian polymath, and disciple and editor of Plotinus . Porphyry also wrote commentaries upon Plato and Aristotle . His most influential work was the Isagoge or Introduction to Aristotle's Categories, which was responsible for the classic formulation of the problem of universals, as it preoccupied Boethius and subsequent medieval philosophy. At the beginning of the Isagoge Porphyry asks: ‘Do genera and species subsist in themselves, or do they exist only in the mind? If they subsist in themselves, are they corporeal or incorporeal? If they are incorporeal, do they exist in separation from sensible substances or in conjunction with them?’ The tree of Porphyry is the method of classification by dichotomy: per genus et differentiam . Porphyry's distinction is as a transmitter of other peoples' work. Even his major modern editor and commentator, J. Bidez, in his Vie de Porphyry (1913), confesses that in the entire extant work of Porphyry there ‘is not a thought or an image which one can confidently affirm to be his own’.

Philosophy dictionary. . 2011.

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  • Porphyry — (pronounced IPA|/ pɔː(ɹ)fɪri/, from the Greek polytonic|Πορφύριος porphyrios purple clad ) may refer to:*Porphyry (geology), a plutonic rock with large crystals in a fine grained matrix *Porphyry (philosopher) (c. 232 c. 305), a Neoplatonic… …   Wikipedia

  • PORPHYRY° — (233–305 C.E.), Greek philosopher, disciple of Plotinus, and one of the most versatile thinkers of his day. Porphyry displayed considerable interest in Judaism, both as one of the ancient religions of the Orient and as the source of Christianity …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Porphyry — Por phy*ry, n.; pl. {Porphyries}. [F. porphyre, L. porphyrites, fr. Gr. ? like purple, fr. ? purple. See {Purple}.] (Geol.) A term used somewhat loosely to designate a rock consisting of a fine grained base (usually feldspathic) through which… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • porphyry — type of ornamental stone, late 14c., from O.Fr. porfire, from L. porphyrites, a purple semi precious stone quarried near Red Sea in Egypt, from Gk. porphyrites (lithos) the purple (stone), from porphyra (n.) purple, purple dye (see PURPLE (Cf.… …   Etymology dictionary

  • porphyry — ► NOUN (pl. porphyries) ▪ a hard, typically reddish igneous rock containing crystals of feldspar. ORIGIN Greek porphurit s, from porphura purple …   English terms dictionary

  • porphyry — [pôr′fə rē] n. pl. porphyries [ME porfirie < OFr porfire < ML porphyreum, altered < L porphyrites < Gr porphyritēs ( lithos), lit., purple (stone) < porphyros, purple] 1. Historical an Egyptian rock with large feldspar crystals… …   English World dictionary

  • porphyry — /pawr feuh ree/, n., pl. porphyries. 1. a very hard rock, anciently quarried in Egypt, having a dark, purplish red groundmass containing small crystals of feldspar. 2. Petrol. any igneous rock containing coarse crystals, as phenocrysts, in a… …   Universalium

  • Porphyry — Porphyrean /pawr fear ee euhn/, adj. Porphyrian, adj., n. Porphyrianist, n. /pawr feuh ree/, n. (Malchus) A.D. c233 c304, Greek philosopher. * * * ▪ Syrian philosopher original name  Malchus   born c. 234, Tyre [modern Ṣūr, Lebanon] or Batanaea… …   Universalium

  • porphyry —    A hard igneous rock, originally recognized as the Egyptian variety now known as Imperial porphyry containing crystals of feldspar in a purplish groundmass. It was prized in the sculpture and architecture of the ancient Romans as well as by… …   Glossary of Art Terms

  • Porphyry — (232–c. 303)    Philosopher.    Porphyry was born in Tyre of a pagan family. There is some dispute as to whether he ever converted to Christianity, although the general consensus is that he did not. After travelling through Syria, Palestine,… …   Who’s Who in Christianity

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