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Table Of Contents

INTRODUCTION
1. Porphyry the Philosopher
2. The Problem of Aristotle's Categories
3. Scope and Method of the Study
TRADITIONAL QUESTIONS RELATED TO THE CATEGORIES
1. An Established Tradition
2. On the Title of the Treatise
3. On the Purpose of the Treatise
4. Alternative Proposed Interpretations
L The Division of the Treatise into Parts
2. Ambiguity and Its Kinds
4. The Problem of Subordination
5. The Twofold Division of λεγόμενα
1. The Category of ούσία
a. Primary and Secondary ούσία
b. Characteristics of ούσία
2. The Category ο/ποσόν
a. Kinds of ποσόν
b. Characteristics of ποσόν
3. The Category ο/πρός τι
b. Characteristics of πρός τι
4. The Category of ποιον
a. Kinds of ποιόν
b. Characteristics of ποιόν
5. The Other Six Categories
6. Conclusion
/. Introductory Remarks
2. An Old Ontological Controversy
3. The Tenfold Division of οντα
4. The Fourfold Division of δντα
5. Conclusion
PLOTINUS' REDUCTION OF ARISTOTLE'S CATEGORIES
1. The Platonic Division of δντα
2. Being, Becoming and Their Relation
3. Plotinus' Categories of Becoming
a. The Category of ούσία
c. The Category of ποιόν
d. The Category of κινησις
e. The Category of πρός τι
4. Conclusion
PLOTINUS, PORPHYRY AND ARISTOTLE'S CATEGORIES
1. Diversity in Unity
a. Points on Which the Two Philosophers Differ
b. The Common Background
2. Nature and Importance of Their Disagreement
3. Conclusion
GLOSSARY OF GREEK TERMS
A. Primary Sources
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Aristotle's Categories and Porphyry

Aristotle's Categories and Porphyry

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Published by hugh_mungus
Aristotle's doctrine of categories is important for the history of Hellenic and Western philosophy. He used it skilfully for reformulating and resolving many traditional problems of logical, ontological, epistemological and ethical import. In his hands the doctrine also became a powerful tool for criticizing the Presocratics and the Academics. The latter remained divided in their opinions about it to the end of the third century A.D.
Plotinus was the last Platonist to criticize Aristotle's categories, especially in their ontological pretensions. Ironically, it was Porphyry, Plotinus' most brilliant disciple, who put an end to the prolonged controversy about the merit of Aristotle's categorial doctrine by favorably commenting on it. Thereafter, the doctrine became part of the Neoplatonic School curriculum. In this respect, Porphyry initiated a new policy of reconciliation between Platonism and Aristotelianism.
This work is a systematic study of Porphyry's interpretation of Aristotle's doctrine of categories. In view of Plotinus's sharp criticism of it, Porphyry's sympathetic treatment of this doctrine appears problematic. By textual analysis and critical argument, this study attempts to elucidate the question of how and why the two philosophers differ in their approaches to the problem which Aristotle's categories presented to them.
Aristotle's doctrine of categories is important for the history of Hellenic and Western philosophy. He used it skilfully for reformulating and resolving many traditional problems of logical, ontological, epistemological and ethical import. In his hands the doctrine also became a powerful tool for criticizing the Presocratics and the Academics. The latter remained divided in their opinions about it to the end of the third century A.D.
Plotinus was the last Platonist to criticize Aristotle's categories, especially in their ontological pretensions. Ironically, it was Porphyry, Plotinus' most brilliant disciple, who put an end to the prolonged controversy about the merit of Aristotle's categorial doctrine by favorably commenting on it. Thereafter, the doctrine became part of the Neoplatonic School curriculum. In this respect, Porphyry initiated a new policy of reconciliation between Platonism and Aristotelianism.
This work is a systematic study of Porphyry's interpretation of Aristotle's doctrine of categories. In view of Plotinus's sharp criticism of it, Porphyry's sympathetic treatment of this doctrine appears problematic. By textual analysis and critical argument, this study attempts to elucidate the question of how and why the two philosophers differ in their approaches to the problem which Aristotle's categories presented to them.

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Published by: hugh_mungus on Jan 21, 2013
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02/05/2013

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