"This book contains a new English translation of the Introduction, preceded by a study of the life and works of Porphyry, the purpose and nature of the Introduction, and the history of the text. It is accompanied by a discursive commentary, the primary aim of which is to analyse and assess the philosophical theses and arguments that the Introduction puts forward."--BOOK JACKET. "The Introduction to philosophy, written by Porphyry at the end of the second century AD is the most successful work of its kind ever to have been published. Porphyry's aim was modest: he intended to explain the meaning of five terms, 'genus', 'species', 'difference', 'property', and 'accident' - terms that he took to be important to Aristotelian logic and metaphysics, and hence to philosophy in general. Thus in principle the Introduction is simple and elementary. In face, there are sometimes difficulties and doubts on the surface of the text - and beneath the surface there are occasional profundities. For the work raises, directly or indirectly, a number of perennial philosophical questions; and indeed, the Introduction became, in Boethius's Latin translation, the point of reference for one of the longest-lasting of philosophical disputes - the dispute over the status of 'universals'.".