Porphyry's Rational Animals: Why Barnes' Appeal to Non-Specific Predication is a Non-Starter
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
In Book 3 of 'On Abstinence from Animal Food', Porphyry is traditionally taken to be arguing in favour of the belief that animals are rational. However, elsewhere in his corpus, he endorses the opposite view, declaring that man differs from other mortal animals because he is rational and they are irrational. Jonathan Barnes offers a way of understanding Porphyry’s logical theory which is intended to make it consistent with the traditional interpretation of 'On Abstinence'. He suggests that the same predicate can be related to different subjects in different ways. Porphyry’s claim that man differs from other mortal animals with respect to the predicate ‘rational’, is best understood to mean that whereas ‘rational’ is specifically predicated of man, it is non-specifically predicated of animals. This explains how they differ from man with respect to this predicate, without failing to be rational. This paper argues that there are reasons for rejecting Barnes’ interpretation. Barnes must maintain, for example, that animals possess the apparently incompatible properties of being specifically irrational and non-specifically rational simultaneously. Since Barnes fails to resolve the conflict, Porphyry’s claims that animals are irrational in his logical works pose a significant problem for the traditional interpretation of 'On Abstinence'.
|Keywords||Porphyry Ancient Logic Ancient Philosophy Animal Rationality On Abstinence|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library||
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Anthony Preus (1983). Biological Theory in Porphyry's De Abstinentia. Ancient Philosophy 3 (2):149-159.
Anthony Meredith (1979). Porphyry on Abstinence Jean Bouffartigue, Michel Patillon: Porphyry, De 1'Abstinence, Livre I. Pp. Ixxxiv + 104 (Text Double). Paris: Les Belles Letres, 1977. Cloth, 66 Frs. [REVIEW] The Classical Review 29 (01):25-27.
Porphyry (1823/1994). Select Works of Porphyry. Prometheus Trust.
Stephen Thomas Newmyer (2006). Animals, Rights, and Reason in Plutarch and Modern Ethics. Routledge.
Porphyry (2003). Porphyry Introduction. Oxford University Press.
Hung-Yul So (2007). Beyond Rational Insanity. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy 1:221-227.
Tim van Gelder (1998). Review: Being There: Body and World Together Again, by Andy Clark. [REVIEW] Philosophical Review 107 (4):647-650.
Porphyry (1986). Porphyry's Letter to His Wife Marcella Concerning the Life of Philosophy and the Ascent to the Gods. Phanes Press.
Andrea Falcon (2006). Porphyry. Introduction, Translated with an Introduction and Commentary by Jonathan Barnes. Ancient Philosophy 26 (2):462-466.
Jonathan Barnes (ed.) (2003). Porphyry's Introduction. Clarendon Press.
Nathan Nobis (2007). A Rational Defense of Animal Experimentation. Journal of Philosophical Research 32 (Supplement):49-62.
Kay Peggs (2012). Animals and Sociology. Palgrave Macmillan.
Jonathan Barnes (2007/2009). Truth, Etc.: Six Lectures on Ancient Logic. Oxford University Press.
Susan L. Hurley & Matthew Nudds (eds.) (2006). Rational Animals? Oxford University Press.
Sorry, there are not enough data points to plot this chart.
Added to index2011-11-06
Recent downloads (6 months)0
How can I increase my downloads?