Isagoge: Chapter 12 — The Same Subject Continued

That is, the Community and Difference of Species and Difference, which Porphyry didn’t quite get to in the chapter by that name.

(Apologies for the lack of posts over the last few days, by the way.)

It is common then to difference and species to be equally participated, for particular men partake equally of man, and of the difference of rational.

Well, yeah: since the difference is part of the definition of the species.

It is also common always to be present to their participants, for Socrates is always rational, and always man, but it is the property of difference indeed to be predicated in respect to what kind a thing is of, but of species in respect to what a thing is, for though man should be assumed as a certain kind of thing, yet he will not be simply so, but in as far as differences according to genus constitute him.

A man’s species says what he is; but the chain of differences leading up the chain of genera to the category of substance indicate what kind of thing he is: a rational, animate, living body.

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.

There are many species of which a particular difference can be predicated.

What “tinder the species” means, here, I cannot say; I have to assume that it’s a typographical error. But anyway, the only beings of which a particular species can be predicated are the individuals within the species.

Moreover, difference is prior to the species which subsists according to it, for rational being subverted, co-subverts man, but man being subverted, does not co-subvert rational, since there is still divinity. 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.

Remember, again, that for Porphyry a god is an immortal man. Thus, to say that Zeus isn’t a man doesn’t imply that Zeus isn’t rational, but saying that Zeus isn’t rational implies that Zeus isn’t a man.

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