Porphyry (233-c. 304 C.E.), Neoplatonic philosopher, disciple, biographer and editor of Plotinus (Fulutin, q.v., also called al-Shaikh al-Yunani, q.v.). Brought up in Tyre, he studied at Athens and from 263 under Plotinus at Rome. He wrote commentaries on Aristotle and Plotinus which seem to have reached the Muslim philosophers. Around a score of his numerous works survive in whole or part, including Against the Christians (fragments), Lives of Pythagoras and Plotinus, commentaries on Homer, Plato's Timaeus (fragments), Aristotle's Categories, and Ptolemy's Harmonica. His chief source of fame, however, comes from Eisagage (Isaghuji, q.v.) which has been preserved in Arabic in its complete form -that quickly became and long remained a standard textbook- and used for centuries both in the East and in the West as the clearest and most practical manual of Aristotelian logic. The so-called Tree of Porphyry traces a species (commonly man) from its summum genus (substance) through differentiae (e.g. corporeal) that yield successive subgenera (e.g. body). The Muslim tradition ascribes to him a commentary on Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics, but the work seems to have been lost now. He wrote a history of philosophy in four books which was known to the Muslim philosophers, but of which only Life of Pythagoras is extant. It is interesting to note that according to Ibn Rushds estimation of him, Porphyry cannot be counted among the most subtle of the philosophers.
Lit. "difference" or "separation"; technically the difference or separation between the corporeal and the incorporeal, for example between body and soul or between the physical world and the world of pure intelligences (alam al-mufariqat, q.v.); to be distinguished from fasl (q.v.) which is difference in respect of the different attributes possessed by the corporeal or bodily objects.
Differentia; i.e. one of the five predicables (al-alfaz al-khamsah). In logic fasl signifies the attribute or attributes by which a thing is essentially distinguished from other things. Fasl is to be distinguished from farq (q.v.) which also signifies difference between things: whereas the former denotes the essential differentia between the bodily or corporeal things, the latter refers to complete separation between the corporeal and the incorporeal, e.g. between body and soul or between the physical world and the world of intelligences; hence the expression al-uqul al-mufariqah for separated intelligences (see al-uqul al-asharah).
????? ????? al-fasl al-khass
Lit. "particular difference"; technically it is the difference necessarily associated with the inseparable accident of a class, e.g. blackness of crows.
??? ??? ????? fasl khass al-khass
Lit. "difference which is particular of the particular" ; technically differentia proper, i.e. the attribute or attributes which a species (nau, q.v.) possesses in addition to the attributes of its genus (jins, q.v.), e.g. the rationality of man in addition to his animality.
????? ????? al-fasl al-amm
Lit. "common difference"; technically the separable accident which allows some members of a class to differ from other members of that class, e.g. the or fat dogs from the black or lean dogs; it equally allows a thing to differ from itself at different times and as such is true of everything which grows and decays.
Nature. (AnAc) See the Qur'anic ayah Fitrat Allah al-Lati Fatrah an-Nasi alyaha.(...Nature of Allah on which He created humanity...)(30:30)
Lit. "action"; in logic, sometimes also termed as yafal (to act), it is one of the ten Aristotelian categories (al-maqulat al-ashr, q.v.) as opposed to infial (q.v.) or yanfail (q.v.) which is the category of passion. "Action" in this particular sense means affecting a thing that receives an effect, e.g. heating something while "passion" would be being heated, or cutting something while "passion" would be being cut.
In metaphysics fil is act or actuality and as such is not opposed to infial but to quwwah, i.e. to potentiality.
?? ????? Fil-ayan
In the external world. See ayan. (AnAc)
Plotin or Plotinus (c. 203-170 C.E.)-a variant of Fulutin (q.v.)-the founder and greatest expositor of Neoplatonism. See also al-Shaikh al-Yunani and al-Aflatuniyat al-Muhdathah.
??????? ?????? al-falsafat al-ula
"First philosophy", a name used by Aristotle and, following him, by Muslim Peripatetics for metaphysics, i.e. for the study of "Being as such" or the first principles and essential attributes of Being. See also Matatafusiqi.
????? ???? falsafah-i Yamani
The Yamani philosophy, an expression used more particularly by Mir Baqir Damad (d. 1041/1631), one of the exponents of al-hikmat al-ishraqiyah (q.v.). The Yamani philosophy signifies, in contrast to the rationalistic philosophy of the Greeks (falsafah-i Yunani), the wisdom revealed by God to man through the prophets and through illumination. It may be noted that the Yaman (Yemen) symbolises the right or the oriental side of the valley in which Moses is reported to have received the message and light (tajalli) of God. The source of falsafah-i Yamani is, therefore, the divine illumination and it stands for light in contrast to the falsafah-i Yunani which being based merely on ratiocination and cogitation symbolises darkness. See also al-hikmat al-ishraqiyah and al-hikmat al-dhauqiyah.
??? falak (pl. aflak)
The celestial sphere surrounding the world and revolving around the earth as its centre. According to the cosmogony current with the Muslim philosophers, there are in: all nine such spheres. surrounding each other like the peels of an onion so that the concave side of the shell of the surrounding sphere touches the convex surface of the one surrounded by it. All these spheres being transparent, one can see through them from the lowest to the highest. The nine spheres in the descending order of their remoteness from the earth are: (1) the sphere of the primum mobile (al-falak al-aqsa or falak al-aflak); (2) the sphere of the fixed stars (al-kawakib al-thabitah); (3) the sphere of Saturn (Zuhal); (4) the sphere of Jupiter (Mushtari); (6) the sphere of Mars (Marikh); (6) the sphere of the Sun (Shams); (7) the sphere of Venus (Zuhrah); (8) the sphere of Mercury (Utarid); and (9) the sphere of the Moon (Qamar). See also al-kawakib al-sayyarah.
??? ??????? falak al-aflak
The first celestial sphere or the primum mobile, also called al-falak al-aqsa, "the remotest sphere"; see falak.
????? ????? al-falak al-awwal
"The first heaven", i.e. the outermost celestial sphere in the Aristotelian-Ptolemaic cosmology, i.e. the sphere of the fixed stars (al-kawakib al-thabitah, q.v.).
??? ??????? falak al-tadwir
A smaller sphere revolving on the circumference of a larger sphere, i.e. one making an epicycle.
Plutarch (c. 50-c. 125 C.E.): Greek biographer, moralist and one of the enthusiastic champions of Platonism. A valuable account of him is to be found in al-Shahrastani's Kitab al-Milal wa'l-Nihal written in 625/1127-8.
Plotin or Plotinus (c. 203-270 C.E.), the greatest expositor and founder of Neoplatonism; see also al-Shaikh al-Yunani and al-Aflatuniyat al-Muhdathah.
"Phantasia", a term used by Aristotle for a faculty of mind, which has a variety of functions but it was identified by the. Muslim philosophers with the sensus communis or common sense. See also al-hiss al-mushtarik.
Pythagoras of Samos (c. 572-497 B.C.); see Fithaghuras.
Pyrrhon of Elis (c. 365-c. 270 B.C.): Greek philosopher, the founder of the school of scepticism often called after him Pyrrhonism. According to him, our senses tell us only how things appear to us, not what they are in themselves. If sensation is the source of all our knowledge, how can we know whether objects agree with sensations or not, for we never, get outside our sensations? Further, our thoughts and sensations sometimes conflict, as in illusions in which case we have no criterion to judge which are true and which are false. Knowledge in matters moral is also uncertain and we can save ourselves from much unhappiness by suspending our judgment and by giving up our efforts for the realisation of ideals. The wise man, thus, seeks to attain undisturbed happiness by abstaining from all intellectual curiosity and moral passion. The influence of Furun and his baneful doctrine on Muslim philosophers was very slight for he did not write anything himself.
The title of the Arabic translation first made by Hunain ibn Ishaq (d. 264/877) of Plato's Dialogue the Politicus. Plato's other Dialogues on political philosophy, viz. the Republic and the Laws were also well known to the Muslim philosophers through their Arabic translation.
Pythagoras of Samos (c. 672-497 B.C.), the founder of Pythagoreanism, a philosophical, mathematical, moral and religious school. One of the basic principles of Pythagoras was that the substance of things is "number" and that all phenomena can be understood in mathematical ratios. The study of Pythagoras by Muslim philosophers, thus, led both to number mysticism and to the quantitative method in science. A valuable exposition of Pythagorean cosmology has been preserved by al-Shahrastani (469-548/ 1070-1-1153) in his Kitab al-Milal wa'l-Nihal; and by Abu Bakr al-Razi (250-c. 312/854-c. 920) who, wrote a treatise in defence of Pythagoreanism. Two works: al-Risalat al-Dhahabiyah (The Treatise on Golden Words) and kitab al-Qurah (a work on divination) ascribed by Muslim philosophers to Pythagoras are now considered to be apocryphal. It is indeed difficult to distinguish between the works and theories of Pythagoras and those of his. followers.
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