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Plotino - Tratado 2,7 (IV, 7, 7) — Se a alma fosse um corpo, não teria sensação (2)

Enéada IV, 7, 7

sábado 14 de maio de 2022, por Cardoso de Castro

    

Míguez

7. Lo mismo podría decirse respecto a la sensación   de dolor. Cuando se afirma que un hombre siente dolor en un dedo, ese dolor se da precisamente ahí, pero la sensación, hemos de convenir en ello, se produce como es evidente   en el principio hegemónico. Si la parte que sufre es otra, ese principio lo siente y el alma   entera a su vez se ve afectada del mismo modo. Pero, ¿cómo ocurre eso? Por una especie de transmisión, dirán algunos. Y así, la parte del soplo que se encuentra en el dedo se ve afectada la primera, transmitiendo esta impresión a la que está a su lado, y ésta a la siguiente hasta llegar por fin al principio dirigente. De ahí que, si la primera parte tiene una sensación de dolor y si, a la vez, la sensación se propaga por transmisión, una nueva sensación será necesaria para la segunda y otra todavía para la tercera, con lo cual se producirán múltiples e indefinidas sensaciones para un solo motivo de dolor. El principio hegemónico de que hablamos será el último en percibir estas sensaciones, pero tendrá, además de ellas, la que es privativa suya. Verdaderamente, cada una de estas sensaciones no es la sensación de dolor del dedo, sino que la inmediata al dedo siente el dolor en la planta   del pie y la tercera en la parte que está más arriba. Existen, pues, muchos dolores, y el principio hegemónico siente realmente uno de ellos, pero no el que se da en el dedo, sino más bien el inmediato a él, que es el único que conoce, dando, pues, de lado a todos los demás y desconociendo, por consiguiente, que el dedo sufre. Si ello es así, resulta imposible que la sensación se produzca por transmisión, pero también lo es que el propio cuerpo, como tal masa material, tenga conocimiento de una cosa mientras otra parte de sí mismo   soporta el sufrimiento — piénsese en este sentido que toda magnitud se divide en partes — . Hemos de admitir, por tanto, que el ser   que siente tiene que ser el mismo en todas las partes del cuerpo; pero esto conviene tan sólo a algo que no sea el cuerpo.

Bouillet

[VII] On peut faire les mêmes réflexions au sujet de la douleur et du sentiment qu’on en a. Quand on dit qu’un homme a mal au doigt, on reconnaît sans doute que le siège de la douleur est dans le doigt, et que le sentiment de la douleur est éprouvé par le principe dirigeant. Ainsi, quand une partie de l’esprit   souffre, cette souffrance est sentie par le principe dirigeant et partagée par l’âme tout entière (37). Comment expliquer cette sympathie? par la transmission de proche en proche (διαδόσει), dira-t-on : l’impression sensible est éprouvée d’abord par la partie de l’esprit animal   qui est dans le doigt, puis transmise à la partie voisine et ainsi de suite jusqu’à ce qu’elle parvienne au principe dirigeant. Nécessairement, si la douleur est sentie par la première partie qui l’éprouve, elle le sera aussi par la seconde à laquelle elle sera transmise, puis par la troisième, et ainsi de suite , en sorte qu’une seule douleur causera un nombre infini de sensations ; enfin, le principe dirigeant percevra toutes ces sensations et de plus sa propre sensation après toutes les autres. A dire vrai, chacune de ces sensations ne fera pas connaître la souffrance du doigt, mais la souffrance d’une des parties intermédiaires : la seconde sensation, par exemple, fera connaître la souffrance de la main ; la troisième, celle du bras, et ainsi de suite; il y aura donc une infinité de sensations. Quant au principe dirigeant, il ne sentira pas la douleur du doigt, mais sa propre douleur ; il ne connaîtra que celle-là, et il ne s’inquiétera pas du reste, parce qu’il ignorera la douleur éprouvée par le doigt. Donc, il n’est pas possible que la sensation ait lieu par transmission de proche en proche, ni qu’une partie du corps connaisse la souffrance éprouvée par une autre partie : car le corps a de l’étendue, et, dans toute étendue, les parties sont étrangères les unes aux autres(38). Par conséquent, le principe qui sent doit être partout identique à lui-même (39); or, de tous les êtres, le corps est la substance à laquelle cette identité peut le moins convenir.

Guthrie

SENSATION CANNOT BE RELAYED FROM SENSE-ORGAN TO DIRECTING PRINCIPLE.

7. The same reflections may be made about pain, and one’s feeling of it. When a man’s finger is said to give him pain, this, no doubt, is a recognition that the seat of the pain is in the finger, and that the feeling of pain is experienced by the directing principle. Consequently, when a part of the spirit suffers, this suffering is felt by the directing principle, and shared by the whole soul. How can this sympathy be explained? By relay transmission, (the Stoic) will answer; the sense-impression is felt first by the animal spirit that is in the finger, and then transmitted to the neighboring part, and so on till it reaches the directing part. Necessarily, if the pain is felt by the first part that experiences it, it will also be felt by the second part to which it is transmitted; then by the third, and so on, until the one pain would have caused an infinite number of sensations. Last the directing principle will perceive all these sensations, adding thereto its own sensation. Speaking strictly, however, each of these sensations will not transmit the suffering of the finger, but the suffering of one of the intermediate parts. For instance, the second sensation will relay the suffering of the hand. The third, that of the arm, and so on, until there will be an infinity of sensations. The directing principle, for its part, will not feel the pain of the finger, but its own; it will know none but that, it will pay no attention to the rest, because it will ignore the pain suffered by the finger. Therefore, relayed sensation is an impossibility, nor could one part of the body perceive the suffering felt by another part; for the body has extension, and, in every extension, parts are foreign to each other (the opposite of the opinion of Cleanthes, Nemesius). Consequently, the principle that feels must everywhere be identical with itself; and among all ’beings, the body is that which is least suitable to this identity.

Taylor

VII. The same thing also may be seen from pain and the sensation of pain; when a man is said to have a pain in his finger or about his finger. For then it is manifest that the sensation of pain is produced about the principal or ruling part; a portion of the spirit being pained, but the ruling part having a perception of the pain, and the whole soul in consequence of this suffering the same thing. How, therefore, does this happen   ? They will say by succession, the psychical spirit about the finger suffering in the first place, but imparting the passion to that which is next to it, and afterwards to something else, until the passion arrives at the ruling part. Hence, it is necessary if that which is primarily pained perceives, that there should be another sensation of that which is second, if sensation is produced according to succession. And likewise, that there should be another sensation of that which is the third in order; that there should be many and infinite sensible perceptions of one and the same pain ; and that afterwards all these should be perceived by the ruling part, and besides these, that it should have a perception of its own passion. In reality, however, each of these does not perceive the pain that is in the finger; but one sensation perceives that the part of the palm of the hand which is next to the finger is pained, and another more remote sensation perceives the pain which is in a more remote part. There will also be many pains, the ruling part not perceiving the passion which is in the finger, hut that which is present with itself. And this it will alone know, hut will hid farewell to the others, not perceiving that the finger is pained. If, therefore, it is not possible that sensible perception of a thing of this kind should subsist according to succession, and it does not belong to body, since it is a bulk, that one part of it suffering, another part should recognize the suffering; for in every magnitude this is one thing, and that another; — if this be the case, it is necessary that the power which perceives should be a thing of such a kind, as to be every where itself the same with itself. But this pertains to any thing else rather than to body.

MacKenna

7. We come to the same result by examining the sense of pain. We say there is pain in the finger: the trouble is doubtless in the finger, but our opponents must admit that the sensation of the pain is in the centre of consciousness  . The suffering member is one thing, the sense of suffering is another: how does this happen?

By transmission, they will say: the psychic pneuma [= the semi-material principle of life] stationed at the finger suffers first; and stage by stage the trouble is passed on until at last it reaches the centre of consciousness.

But on this theory, there must be a sensation in the spot first suffering pain, and another sensation at a second point of the line of transmission, another in the third and so on; many sensations, in fact an unlimited series, to deal with one pain; and at the last moment the centre of consciousness has the sensation of all these sensations and of its own sensation to boot. Or to be exact, these serial sensations will not be of the pain in the finger: the sensation next in succession to the suffering finger will be of pain at the joint, a third will tell of a pain still higher up: there will be a series of separate pains: The centre of consciousness will not feel the pain seated at the finger, but only that impinging upon itself: it will know this alone, ignore the rest and so have no notion that the finger is in pain.

Thus: Transmission would not give sensation of the actual condition at the affected spot: it is not in the nature of body that where one part suffers there should be knowledge in another part; for body is a magnitude, and the parts of every magnitude are distinct parts; therefore we need, as the sentient, something of a nature to be identical to itself at any and every spot; this property can belong only to some other form of being than body.