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Open Access Procheirisis: Porphyry Sent. 16 and Plotinus on the similes of the waxen block and the aviary

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Procheirisis: Porphyry Sent. 16 and Plotinus on the similes of the waxen block and the aviary

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This paper studies Sentence 16 of Porphyry’s Pathways to the Intelligible. It is argued that it should be understood against the background of Plotinus’ discussions of the similes of the waxen block and the aviary from Plato’s Theaetetus. The first part of the paper concentrates on Plotinus’ reception of these similes. In the second part of the paper Plotinus’ discussions of the two similes are used to shed light on Sentence 16, in particular on the term προχείρισις. Furthermore it is argued that Porphyry does not reject Plotinus’ claim that, pace Aristotle, intellection does not require imaging.

Affiliations: 1: Leiden University Leiden, The Netherlands, Email: r.m.van.den.berg@hum.leidenuniv.nl

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