- Living Plants, Dead Animals, and Other Matters: Embryos and Demons in Porphyry of Tyre
- Preternature: Critical and Historical Studies on the Preternatural
- Penn State University Press
- Volume 7, Number 1, 2018
- pp. 1-26
- View Citation
- Additional Information
This article uses the notion of the body as “machinic assemblage” in the works of Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari as a lens through which to approach the complex nature of embodiment in the work of the third-century Platonist and student of Plotinus, Porphyry of Tyre. In particular it focuses on the many assemblages Porphyry’s embryonic and demonic bodies make with other beings and forces in the late ancient cosmos. It concludes that by using this lens, we are invited to shift our attention away from approaches to ancient discussions on embodiment that focus on ontology and questions of static, singular essences and organisms, and instead focus on multiplicity and becoming. This approach, the article argues, gives rise to a more nuanced and complex picture of ancient cosmological and taxonomic thinking.