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Plotino - Tratado 2,8 (IV, 7, 8) — Se a alma fosse um corpo não teria pensar

Enéada IV, 7, 8

sábado 14 de maio de 2022, por Cardoso de Castro

    

Cap. 8. Se a alma   fosse um corpo não teria pensar  .

  • Cap. 8(1). A alma não é uma quantidade.
  • Cap. 8(2). A alma não penetra inteiramente os corpos.
  • Cap. 8(3). A alma e o intelecto são anteriores à natureza e ao corpo.
    

Míguez

8. Porque no es posible pensar  , si el alma   es realmente un cuerpo, de qué clase de cuerpo podría tratarse. Veamos para ello: si la sensación   consiste en el uso del cuerpo por parte del alma para la percepción de las cosas sensibles, el pensamiento entonces, no consiste en percibir por medio del cuerpo, ya que en ese caso sería la misma cosa que la sensación. Si pensar consiste en percibir sin el cuerpo, conviene con mayor razón que el ser   que piensa no sea un cuerpo. Porque, en fin de cuentas, la sensación se refiere a las cosas sensibles y el pensamiento a las cosas inteligibles. Si no se quiere admitir esto, digamos al menos que hay pensamientos de algunas cosas inteligibles y percepciones de seres inextensos. Pero, ¿cómo lo que posee magnitud puede pensar lo que no la tiene? ¿Cómo lo que es divisible puede pensar lo indivisible  ? Es claro que sólo por una parte indivisible de sí mismo  . Y si ello es así, lo que piensa no puede ser un cuerpo, porque no tiene necesidad de sí mismo como un todo para tocar el objeto; le basta, por el contrario, con hacerlo en un solo punto.

Para el caso de que admitan, lo cual es verdad, que los primeros pensamientos se refieren a los seres más libres de cuerpo, tendrán que admitir también que el ser que los piensa debe conocerlos, porque para ello está libre de cuerpo o en disposición de estarlo. Si afirman que los pensamientos se refieren a formas que se encuentran en la materia, digan en todo caso que se originan aparte de los cuerpos y que es la inteligencia la que facilita la separación. Porque no es con el cuerpo, ni, en general, con la materia, como verifica la inteligencia la abstracción del círculo  , del triángulo, de la línea y del punto, sino que es preciso que el alma misma se separe del cuerpo y que, en definitiva, no sea un cuerpo. A mi juicio, lo bello y lo justo son algo inextenso y hay pensamiento de uno y de otro. De modo que, si penetran en el alma, ella los recibirá en su parte indivisible, y ellos, a su vez, asentarán en la parte indivisible de aquélla.

Si el alma es un cuerpo, ¿cómo podrá tener virtudes, por ejemplo la prudencia, la justicia, el valor   y todas las demás? Porque la prudencia, la justicia o el valor serían entonces, o un soplo, o simplemente sangre, salvo que el valor consista en la impasibilidad del soplo, la prudencia en su moderación y la belleza en una cierta hermosura de las formas, según la cual llegamos a decir que los cuerpos son graciosos o bellos. Es claro que corresponde al soplo tanto él vigor como la belleza de las formas; pero, ¿qué relación puede tener con la prudencia? Muy al contrario, el soplo se encuentra a gusto abrazando y tocando los objetos, allí donde puede recibir calor, o cuando desea un frío moderado   o se aproxima a cosas realmente muelles, tiernas y lisas al tacto. Pero ¿qué puede importar al soplo la distribución según el mérito? ¿Diremos acaso que hay cosas eternas, principios de la virtud y otros inteligibles con los que el alma se enlaza, o bien que la virtud nace, nos ayuda y luego perece a su vez? Pero, ¿quién ha podido crearla y de dónde viene? Porque su creador tendría también que subsistir. Conviene sin duda que haya   cosas eternas y permanentes, como los objetos de la geometría. Pero si la virtud queda incluida entre estos seres, entonces no puede tratarse de un cuerpo. Es necesario que el ser en el que asiente sea semejante a ella; pero este ser no podrá ser un cuerpo. Pues la naturaleza del cuerpo no permanece, sino que fluye por entero.

8(1) A alma não é uma quantidade

Si al considerar las acciones de los cuerpos — calentamiento, enfriamiento impulso y pesadez — , colocan el alma entre ellos y, precisamente, entre los seres de carácter activo, es que desconocen en primer lugar que los cuerpos realizan todas estas cosas por las fuerzas incorpóreas que se dan en ellos. Desconocen además que, en nuestra opinión, el alma tiene verdaderas potencias, pero no las que ahora se dicen, sino el pensamiento, la sensación, el razonamiento, el deseo y la previsión razonable y hermosa de todas las cosas, para lo cual el alma ha de ser una potencia diferente. Pues si se trasladan las fuerzas de los cuerpos a otras realidades no corpóreas, ningún poder se deja a los cuerpos. Estos, en cambio, deben su poder a fuerzas incorpóreas, lo cual se aclara del modo siguiente: ante todo, porque habrán de admitir que la cantidad y la cualidad son cosas distintas, y que todo cuerpo tiene una cantidad, pero no una cualidad, al menos si se trata de cuerpos como la materia. Admitido esto, reconocerán también que si la cualidad es algo diferente de la cantidad, nada tendrá de común con el cuerpo. Porque, ¿cómo concebir un cuerpo sin cantidad, si todo cuerpo tiene una cantidad? Ciertamente, como se ha dicho ya con anterioridad, si un cuerpo es susceptible de división y puede, además, perder la masa que tenía, ello no es obstáculo   para que, aunque el cuerpo sea dividido en pequeños trozos, la cualidad permanezca toda ella en cada una de las partes. Por ejemplo, la dulzura de la miel no es menor en cada una de las partes, y sabido es que la dulzura no es un cuerpo. Lo mismo podría decirse de las demás cualidades. Por otra parte, si las fuerzas fuesen cuerpos, necesariamente deberían contar con grandes masas, bien entendido que éstas serían pequeñas para las fuerzas de débil acción. Pero si fuerzas de poca actividad son propias de grandes masas y si, por su parte, las masas más diminutas poseen las mayores fuerzas, tendremos que atribuir su acción a algo distinto de la extensión, esto es, a lo que carece de extensión. Tengamos en cuenta que si la materia es siempre la misma, precisamente por ser un cuerpo, y si las diferencias que produce son debidas a las cualidades que recibe, ¿cómo no ha de estar claro que las cualidades adquiridas son razones, y razones no corpóreas? Que no vengan a decirnos que los animales mueren cuando les abandona el soplo o la sangre. Porque es cierto que sin estas cosas esos seres no pueden existir, pero tampoco pueden hacerlo sin muchas otras que no son el alma. Verdaderamente, ni el soplo ni la sangre pueden penetrar a través de todas las cosas, como lo hace el alma.

8(2) A alma não penetra inteiramente os corpos

Si el alma fuese un cuerpo que penetra a través de todas las cosas, la mezcla se efectuaría de la misma manera que para los otros cuerpos. Mas, si la mezcla de los cuerpos no permite que esté en acto ninguno de los cuerpos mezclados, el alma no se encontrará en acto en los cuerpos, sino tan sólo en potencia, con lo cual perderá su ser. Es como si admitiésemos que se mezclan lo dulce y lo amargo: lo dulce, en este caso, dejaría de existir. Por tanto, volviendo a lo anterior  , no tendríamos alma.

Si el alma fuese un cuerpo que se mezcla al cuerpo según una mezcla total — en una mezcla de esta clase allí donde hay un cuerpo tiene que encontrarse el otro, y ambos tendrán que ocupar siempre un volumen igual y el volumen por entero, sin que el volumen del primer cuerpo pueda aumentar cuando se proyecte sobre él el otro — , no dejaría lugar del cuerpo que ella no atravesase. Porque la mezcla de que hablamos no nos ofrece grandes partes de un cuerpo al lado de grandes partes de otro — en tal caso se daría lo que llaman ellos la yuxtaposición — , sino que en ella el cuerpo proyectado penetra a través del otro hasta en su más pequeña parte. Esta mezcla resulta naturalmente imposible, puesto que así lo más pequeño llegaría a ser igual a lo más grande. Y, en todo caso, todo el cuerpo atravesaría la totalidad del otro. Porque si cada uno de los cuerpos se encuentra en un punto y si no hay intervalo   que no atraviese, sería necesario que el cuerpo mismo se dividiese en puntos, lo que resulta imposible. Al verificarse la división hasta el infinito  , como quiera que un cuerpo, por pequeño que sea, puede todavía dividirse, lo infinito existiría, no sólo en potencia, sino también en acto. No es posible, pues, que un cuerpo, en su totalidad, pueda penetrar a otro, también totalmente. Mas, siendo así que el alma lo penetra todo, tendrá ciertamente que ser incorpórea.

8(3) A alma e o intelecto são anteriores à natureza e ao corpo

Afirman además que el mismo soplo que es primero una naturaleza, queda convertido en un alma cuando se expone al frío y es atrapado por él, volviéndose con ello mucho más sutil  . Lo cual resulta absurdo porque muchos animales tienen su origen   en el calor y disponen de un alma que no fue dominada por el frío. Para ellos se da, pues, en primer lugar una naturaleza, que luego se convierte en alma por un cúmulo de circunstancias externas. Ocurre, por tanto, que conceden la primacía a lo inferior  , colocando antes de la naturaleza otro término que está por debajo de ella y al que llaman disposición. Es claro que la inteligencia ocupa entonces el último lugar, después incluso que el alma. Pero si la inteligencia es anterior a todas las cosas, habrá que poner el alma a continuación de ella, y luego a la naturaleza, colocando, en su orden natural, el término inferior después del superior.

Si para ellos, Dios, como tal inteligencia, es un ser posterior y engendrado, que posee el pensamiento como algo que le viene de fuera, será lícito pensar que ni el alma, ni la inteligencia, ni Dios mismo existen, ya que el ser en potencia ni se produce ni pasa al acto, si no se da antes un ser en acto . Porque, ¿qué es lo que podría llevarle al acto, si no existe otro ser fuera de él y antes que él? Aun en el supuesto de que por sí mismo pasase al acto, lo cual es absurdo, tendría que dirigir su mirada hacia otro ser, que no estaría precisamente en potencia sino en acto.

Sea como quiera, el ser en potencia permanecerá siempre tal cual es y por sí mismo no podrá pasar al acto. El ser en acto será superior al ser en potencia, por constituir el objeto de su deseo. Lo anterior tendrá que ser, por tanto, el ser superior, que cuenta con una naturaleza diferente a la del cuerpo y que, además, está siempre en acto. Así, pues, la inteligencia y el alma han de ser anteriores a la naturaleza, y, sí esto es así, el alma no debe ser considerada ni como un soplo ni como un cuerpo. Por otros se han aducido razones diferentes para mostrar que el alma no es un cuerpo; sin embargo, para nosotros basta con lo dicho.

8(4) Refutação da definição pitagórica da alma como «harmonia  »

Pero, puesto que el alma es de naturaleza diferente, conviene averiguar cuál sea su naturaleza. Supuesto que se trata de algo distinto al cuerpo, ¿será un atributo de él, por ejemplo una armonía? Los pitagóricos hablan de esta armonía, pero en otro sentido, ya que piensan para ello en una armonía de las cuerdas musicales. Porque si las cuerdas de un instrumento están tensas, algo habrá que añadir a ellas y esto es, precisamente, lo que se llama armonía. Sin embargo, ya se han aducido muchos argumentos para probar que esta opinión es imposible. Pues el alma existe antes y la armonía después, y el alma a su vez gobierna y domina el cuerpo, e incluso, con frecuencia, lucha con él, cosa que no podría hacer en modo alguno si fuese una armonía. Por otra parte, el alma es una sustancia y la armonía, en cambio, no es una sustancia, dado que, si la mezcla de los cuerpos de que nosotros estamos compuestos se ve regulada por alguna cosa, habrá de serlo por la salud; y, además, sería necesario que antes de esta alma existiese también otra alma que produjese la armonía, como ocurre con los instrumentos, en los que el músico   introduce la armonía de las cuerdas por poseer en sí mismo esa razón armónica que la produce. Porque es claro que las cuerdas no podrían armonizar por sí mismas, como tampoco podrían hacerlo los cuerpos que componen el nuestro.

En general, se sitúa el origen   del alma en los seres inanimados y el del orden en un conjunto   de irregularidades. Pero el orden no proviene del alma, sino que es el alma la que toma su origen de un orden natural. Lo cual no resulta posible ni en los seres particulares ni en el conjunto del universo  , por lo que el alma no es una armonía.

8(5) Refutação da definição aristotélica da alma como «enteléquia»

Consideremos ahora cómo se habla del alma en el sentido de una entelequia  . Pues se dice, que el alma ocupa en el ser compuesto el lugar de la forma con relación a la materia, que constituye el cuerpo animado; pero no es, verdaderamente, forma de cualquier clase de cuerpo, ni del cuerpo como tal, sino de un cuerpo natural y organizado, que posee la vida en potencia . Si, pues, se la hace semejante a aquello con lo que se la compara, vendrá a ser como la forma de una estatua con relación al bronce. Se dividirá, por tanto, según se divida el cuerpo, de tal modo que si se separa una parte del cuerpo, quedará separada con ella una parte del alma. No podrá darse, así, la huída del alma en los sueños, ya que si se trata de una entelequia ha de adherirse al ser del que ella misma es entelequia, con lo cual ni siquiera existirá el sueño.

Si el alma es una entelequia no hay contradicción alguna entre la razón y los deseos, puesto que, al no mantener diferencias consigo misma, tendrá que experimentar toda ella una sola y única afección. Tal vez sólo sean posibles en ella las sensaciones, y no en cambio los pensamientos. Por lo cual, estos mismos pensadores llegan a introducir otra alma, la inteligencia, a la que consideran inmortal. Si hemos de usar de este término, conviene que el alma razonable sea una entelequia, pero en otro sentido. En el caso del alma sensitiva, si conserva en sí misma las improntas de objetos sensibles no presentes, las conservará sin la intervención del cuerpo; de otro modo, esas improntas serían como formas e imágenes, pero, de ser así, no podría recibir ya ninguna otra. El alma no es, por tanto, una entelequia que no pueda separarse del cuerpo. Ciertamente, la parte del alma que desea, no los alimentos sólidos y las bebidas, sino otros objetos distintos a los corpóreos, no podría ser una entelequia inseparable del cuerpo. Nos quedaríamos, pues, con el alma vegetativa, de la que podríamos dudar aún si se trata o no de una entelequia inseparable del cuerpo. Pero parece claro que no lo es, pues, en efecto, el principio de toda la planta   se encuentra en la raíz, y alrededor de ella y de las partes inferiores aumenta la planta en la mayor parte de los casos. Su alma deja, evidentemente, que las otras partes se reúnan en una sola, con lo cual no es en el todo como una entelequia inseparable. Por otra parte, la planta, antes de crecer, cuenta ya con una pequeña masa. Si, pues, el alma pasa de una planta más grande a otra más pequeña, y de ésta a una planta entera, ¿qué impide que se separe totalmente? Siendo, además, indivisible, ¿cómo podría hacerse divisible, por su carácter de entelequia de un cuerpo divisible? La misma alma pasa, como sabemos, de un animal a otro: ¿cómo, entonces, el alma del primer animal podría convertirse en el alma del siguiente, si se trata de la entelequia de un solo cuerpo? Esta dificultad se aparece clara por el cambio de unos animales en otros.

El ser del alma no consiste, por tanto, en ser la forma de un cuerpo, sino que el alma es en realidad una sustancia que no recibe su ser por hallarse instalada en un cuerpo; muy al contrario, existe ya antes de llegar a convertirse en el alma de un determinado animal, cuyo cuerpo ella misma engendrará. ¿Cuál es, entonces, su esencia? Porque si no es un cuerpo, ni afección de un cuerpo, sino acción y creación, y si, por otra parte, muchas de las cosas están en ella y provienen de ella, y, además, ella misma es una sustancia fuera del cuerpo, ¿qué habrá de ser, en definitiva? Será, sin duda alguna, lo que nosotros llamamos una verdadera sustancia. Todo ser corpóreo está sujeto a la generación y no es una sustancia; esto es, se dice que nace y que perece y que no es nunca verdaderamente ; si se conserva, se conservará precisamente por su participación en el ser y en tanto dure esta participación.

Guthrie

THE BODY CANNOT THINK.

8. If, in any sense whatever, the soul were a body, we could not think. Here is the proof. If feeling is explained as the soul’s laying hold of perceptible things by making use of the body, thinking cannot also of making use of the body. Otherwise, thinking and feeling would be identical. Thus, thinking must consist in perceiving without the help of the body (as thought Aristotle  ). So much the more, the thinking principle cannot be corporeal. Since it is sensation that grasps sense-objects, it must likewise be thought, or intellection, that grasps intelligible objects. Though this should be denied, it will be admitted that we think certain intelligibles entities, and that we perceive entities that have no extension. How could an entity that had extension think one that had no extension? Or a divisible entity, think an indivisible one? Could this take place   by an indivisible part? In this case, the thinking subject will not be corporeal; for there is no need that the whole subject be in contact with the object; it would suffice if one of its parts reached the object (as Aristotle said against Plato). If then this truth be granted, that the highest thoughts must have incorporeal objects, the latter can be cognized only by a thinking principle that either is, or becomes independent of body. Even the objection that the object of thought is constituted by the forms inherent in matter, implies that these forces cannot be thought unless, by intelligence, they are separated from matter. It is not by means of the carnal mass of the body, nor generally by matter, that we can effect the abstraction of triangle, circle, line or point. To succeed in this abstraction, the soul must separate from the body, and consequently, the soul cannot be corporeal.

THE BODY CANNOT POSSESS VIRTUE.

Neither do beauty or justice possess extension, I suppose; and their conception must be similar. These things can be cognized or retained only by the indivisible part of the soul. If the latter were corporeal, where indeed could virtues, prudence, justice and courage exist? In this case, virtues (as Critias thought), would be no more than a certain disposition of the spirit  , or blood (as Empedocles   also thought). For instance, courage and temperance would respectively be no more than a certain irritability, and a fortunate temperament of the spirit; beauty would consist in the agreeable shape of outlines, which cause persons, in whom they occur, to be called elegant and handsome. Under this hypothesis  , indeed, the types of spirit might possess vigor and beauty. But what need would it have of temperance? On the contrary, the spirit would seek to be agreeably affected by the things it touches and embraces, to enjoy a moderate heat, a gentle coolness, and to be in contact only with sweet, tender, and smooth entities. What incentive would the spirit have to apportion rewards to those who had deserved them?

IF VIRTUE WERE CORPOREAL IT WOULD BE PERISHABLE.

Are the notions of virtue, and other intelligible entities by the soul thought eternal, or does virtue arise and perish? If so, by what being, and how will it be formed? It is the same problem that remains to be solved. Intelligible entities must therefore be eternal and immutable, like geometrical notions, and consequently cannot be corporeal. Further, the subject in whom they exist must be of a nature similar to theirs, and therefore not be corporeal; for the nature of body is not to remain immutable, but to be in a perpetual flow.

BODIES ARE ACTIVE ONLY BY MEANS OF INCORPOREAL POWERS.

(9.) There are men who locate the soul in the body, so as to give her a foundation in some sphere of activity, to account for the various phenomena in the body, such as getting hot or cold, pushing on or stopping, (and the like). They evidently do not realize that bodies produce these effects only through incorporeal powers, and that those are not the powers that we attribute to the soul, which are thought, sensation, reasoning, desire, judiciousness, propriety and wisdom, all of them entities that cannot possible be attributes of a corporeal entity. Consequently, those (materialists) attribute to the body all the faculties of incorporeal essences, and leave nothing for the latter.

WHY BODIES ARE ACTIVATED BY INCORPOREAL POWERS.

The proof that bodies are activated only by incorporeal faculties may be proved as follows: Quantity and quality are two different things. Every body has a quantity, but not always a quality, as in the case of matter, (according to the Stoic definition, that it was a body without quality, but possessing magnitude). Granting this, (you Stoic) will also be forced to admit that as quality is something different from quantity, it must consequently be different from the body. Since then every body has a quantity, how could quality, which is no quantity, be a body? Besides, as we said above, every body and mass is altered by division; nevertheless, when a body is cut into pieces, every part preserves the entire quality without undergoing alteration. For instance, every molecule of honey, possesses the quality of sweetness as much as all the molecules taken together; consequently that sweetness cannot be corporeal; and other qualities must be in a similar case. Moreover, if the active powers were corporeal, they would have to have a material mass proportional to their strength or weakness. Now there are great masses that have little force, and small ones that have great force; demonstrating that power does not depend on extension, and should be attributed to some (substance) without extension. Finally, you may say that matter is identical with body, and produces different beings only by receiving different qualities (the Stoics considering that even the divinity was no more than modified matter, their two principles being matter and quality; the latter, however, was also considered as body). How do you (Stoics) not see that qualities thus added to matter are reasons, that are primary and immaterial? Do not object that when the spirit (breath) and blood abandon animals, they cease to live; for if these things are necessary to life, there are for our life many other necessities, even during the presence of the soul (as thought Nemesius).66 Besides, neither spirit nor blood are distributed to every part of the body.

THE SOUL CAN PENETRATE THE BODY; BUT TWO BODIES CANNOT PENETRATE EACH OTHER.

(10). The soul penetrates the whole body, while an entire body cannot penetrate another entire body. Further, if the soul is corporeal, and pervades the whole body, she will, with the body, form (as Alexander of Aphrodisia pointed out) a mixture, similar to the other bodies (that are constituted by a mixture of matter and quality, as the Stoics taught). Now as none of the bodies that enter into a mixture is in actualization68 the soul, instead of being in actualization in the bodies, would be in them only potentially; consequently, she would cease to be a soul, as the sweet ceases to be sweet when mingled with the bitter; we would, therefore, have no soul left. If, when one body forms a mixture with another body, total penetration occurs, so that each molecule contains equal parts of two bodies and that each body be distributed equally in the whole space occupied by the mass of the other, without any increase of volume  , nothing that is not divided will remain. Indeed, mixture operates not only between the larger parts (which would be no more than a simple juxtaposition); but the two bodies must penetrate each other mutually, even if smaller-it would indeed be impossible for the smaller to equal the greater; still, when the smaller penetrates the larger it must divide it entirely. If the mixture operates in this manner in every part, and if no undivided part of the mass remain, the body must be divided into points, which is impossible. Indeed, were this division pushed to infinity, since every body is fully divisible, bodies will have to be infinite not only potentially, but also in actuality. It is therefore impossible for one entire body to penetrate another in its entirety. Now as the soul penetrates the entire body, the soul must be incorporeal (as thought Nemesius).

THE STOIC DEVELOPMENT FROM HABIT TO SOUL AND INTELLIGENCE WOULD MAKE THE PERFECT ARISE FROM THE IMPERFECT, AN IMPOSSIBILITY.

(11). (If, as Stoics claim, man first was a certain nature called habit, then a soul, and last an intelligence, the perfect would have arisen from the imperfect, which is impossible). To say that the first nature of the soul is to be a spirit, and that this spirit became soul only after having been exposed to cold, and as it were became soaked by its contact, because the cold subtilized it; this is an absurd hypothesis. Many animals are born in warm places, and do not have their soul exposed to action of cold. Under this hypothesis, the primary nature of the soul would have been made dependent on the concourse of exterior circumstances. The Stoics, therefore, posit as principle that which is less perfect (the soul), and trace it to a still less perfect earlier thing called habit (or form of inorganic things). Intelligence, therefore, is posited in the last rank since it is alleged to be born of the soul, while, on the contrary, the first rank should be assigned to intelligence, the second to the soul, the third to nature, and, following natural order, consider that which is less perfect as the posterior element. In this system the divinity, by the mere fact of his possessing intelligence, is posterior and begotten, possessing only an incidental intelligence. The result would, therefore, be that there was neither soul, nor intelligence, nor divinity; for never can that which is potential pass to the condition of actualization, without the prior existence of some actualized principle. If what is potential were to transform itself into actualization-which is absurd-its passage into actualization will have to involve at the very least a contemplation of something which is not merely potential, but actualized. Nevertheless, on the hypothesis that what is potential can permanently remain identical, it will of itself pass into actualization, and will be superior to the being which is potential only because it will be the object of the aspiration of such a being. We must, therefore, assign the first rank to the being that has a perfect and incorporeal nature, which is always in actualization. Thus intelligence and soul are prior to nature; the soul, therefore, is not a spirit, and consequently no body. Other reasons for the incorporeality of the soul have been advanced; but the above suffices (as thought Aristotle).

II. THE SOUL IS NEITHER THE HARMONY NOR ENTELECHY OF THE BODY-THE SOUL IS THE HARMONY OF THE BODY; AGAINST THE PYTHAGOREANS.

(12). a. Since the soul is not corporeal, its real nature must be ascertained. Shall we assert that she is something distinct from the body, but dependent thereon, as, for instance, a harmony? Pythagoras  , indeed, used this word in a technical sense; and after him the harmony of the body has been thought to be something similar to the harmony of a lyre. As tension produces in the lyre-strings an affection (or, manner of being, or state) that is called harmony, likewise, as contrary elements are mingled in our body, an individual mixture produces life and soul, which, therefore, is only an individual affection of this mixture.

WHY THE SOUL IS NOT A HARMONY.

As has already been said above this hypothesis is inadmissible for several reasons. To begin with, the soul is prior (to the body), and the harmony is posterior thereto. Then the soul dominates the body, governs it, and often even resists it, which would be impossible if the soul were only a harmony. The soul, indeed, is a «being,» which harmony is not. When the corporeal principles of which we are composed are mingled in just proportions, their temperament constitutes health (but not a «being,» such as the soul). Besides, every part of the body being mingled in a different manner should form (a different harmony, and consequently) a different soul, so that there would be several of them. The decisive argument, however, is that this soul (that constitutes a harmony) presupposes another soul which would produce this harmony, as a lyre needs a musician who would produce harmonic vibrations in the strings, because he possesses within himself the reason according to which he produces the harmony. The strings of the lyre do not vibrate of themselves, and the elements of our body cannot harmonize themselves. Nevertheless, under this hypothesis, animated and orderly «being» would have been made up out of inanimate and disordered entities; and these orderly «beings» would owe their order and existence to chance. That is as impossible for parts as for the whole. The soul, therefore, is no harmony.

THE SOUL IS NOT THE ENTELECHY OF THE BODY (POLEMIC AGAINST ARISTOTLE). ARISTOTLE’S STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM.

(13). b. Now let us examine the opinion of those who call the soul an entelechy. They say that, in the composite, the soul plays the part of form in respect to matter, in the body the soul animates. The soul, however, is not said to be the form of any body, nor of the body as such; but of the natural body, that is organized, and which possesses life potentially.

IF THE SOUL IS AN ENTELECHY, SHE IS A DIFFERENT ONE THAN ARISTOTLE’S.

If the soul’s relation to the body is the same as that of the statue to the metal, the soul will be divided with the body, and on cutting a member a portion of the soul would be cut along with it. According to this teaching, the soul separates from the body only during sleep, since she must inhere in the body of which she is the entelechy, in which case sleep would become entirely inexplicable. If the soul be an entelechy, the struggle of reason against the passions would become entirely impossible. The entire human being will experience but one single sentiment, and never be in disagreement with itself. If the soul be an entelechy, there will perhaps still be sensations, but mere sensations; pure thoughts will have become impossible. Consequently the Peripateticians themselves are obliged to introduce (into human nature) another soul, namely, the pure intelligence, which they consider immortal. The rational soul, therefore, would have to be an entelechy in a manner different from their definition thereof, if indeed this name is at all to be used.

IF AN ENTELECHY BE GRANTED, IT IS INSEPARABLE FROM THE BODY.

The sense-soul, which preserves the forms of sense-objects previously perceived, must preserve them without the body. Otherwise, these forms would inhere in the body like figures and corporeal shapes. Now, if the forms inhered in the sense-soul in this manner, they could not be received therein otherwise (than as corporeal impressions). That is why, if we do grant the existence of an entelechy, it must be inseparable from the body. Even the faculty of appetite, not indeed that which makes us feel the need of eating and drinking, but that which desires things that are independent of the body, could not either be an entelechy.

NEITHER COULD THE SOUL OF GROWTH BE AN ENTELECHY.

The soul’s faculty of growth remains to be considered. This at least might be thought an inseparable entelechy. But neither does that suit her nature. For if the principle of every plant is in its root, and if growth takes place around and beneath it, as occurs in many plants, it is evident that the soul’s faculty of growth, abandoning all the other parts, has concentrated in the root alone; it, therefore, was not distributed all around the soul, like an inseparable entelechy. Add that this soul, before the plant grows, is already contained in the small body (of the seed). If then, after having vivified a great plant, the soul’s faculty of growth can condense into a small space, and if later it can, from this small space, again spread over a whole plant, it is evidently entirely separable from the (plant’s) matter.

THE ENTELECHY IS NOT A FORM OF THE BODY, AS THE SOUL TRANSMIGRATES.

Besides, as the soul is indivisible, the entelechy of the divisible body could not become divisible as is the body. Besides, the same soul passes from the body of one animal into the body of some other. How could the soul of the first become that of the second, if she were only the entelechy of a single one? The example of animals that metamorphose demonstrates the impossibility of this theory. The soul, therefore, is not the simple form of a body; she is a genuine «being,» which does not owe its existence merely to her being founded on the body, but which, on the contrary, exists before having become the soul of some individual animal. It is, therefore, not the body that begets the soul.

THE SOUL IS AN INCORPOREAL AND IMMORTAL ESSENCE. THE SOUL BEING NONE OF CORPOREAL POSSIBILITIES, MUST BE INCORPOREAL.

c. What then can be the nature of the soul, if she is neither a body, nor a corporeal affection, while, nevertheless, all the active force, the productive power and the other faculties reside in her, or come from her? What sort of a «being,» indeed, is this (soul) that has an existence independent of the body? She must evidently be a veritable «being.» Indeed, everything corporeal must be classified as generated, and excluded from genuine «being,» because it is born, and perishes, never really exists, and owes its salvation exclusively to participation in the genuine existence, and that only in the measure of its participation therein.

MacKenna

8. It can be shown also that the intellectual act would similarly be impossible if the soul were any form of body.

If sensation is apprehension by means of the soul’s employment of the body, intellection cannot be a similar use of the body or it would be identical with sensation. If then intellection is apprehension apart from body, much more must there be a distinction between the body and the intellective principle: sensation for objects of sense, intellection for the intellectual object. And even if this be rejected, it must still be admitted that there do exist intellections of intellectual objects and perceptions of objects not possessing magnitude: how, we may then ask, can a thing of magnitude know a thing that has no magnitude, or how can the partless be known by means of what has parts? We will be told «By some partless part.» But, at this, the intellective will not be body: for contact does not need a whole; one point suffices. If then it be conceded - and it cannot be denied - that the primal intellections deal with objects completely incorporeal, the principle of intellection itself must know by virtue of being, or becoming, free from body. Even if they hold that all intellection deals with the ideal forms in Matter, still it always takes place by abstraction from the bodies [in which these forms appear] and the separating agent is the Intellectual-Principle. For assuredly the process by which we abstract circle, triangle, line or point, is not carried through by the aid of flesh   or Matter of any kind; in all such acts the soul or mind   must separate itself from the material: at once we see that it cannot be itself material. Similarly it will be agreed that, as beauty and justice are things without magnitude, so must be the intellective act that grasps them.

When such non-magnitudes come before the soul, it receives them by means of its partless phase and they will take position there in partless wise.

Again: if the Soul is a body, how can we account for its virtues - moral excellence [Sophrosyne  ], justice, courage and so forth? All these could be only some kind of rarefied body [pneuma], or blood in some form; or we might see courage as a certain resisting power in that pneuma; moral quality would be its happy blending; beauty would lie wholly in the agreeable form of impressions received, such comeliness as leads us to describe people as attractive and beautiful from their bodily appearance. No doubt strength and grace of form go well   enough with the idea   of rarefied body; but what can this rarefied body want with moral excellence? On the contrary its interest would lie in being comfortable in its environments and contacts, in being warmed or pleasantly cool, in bringing everything smooth and caressing and soft around it: what could it care about a just distribution?

Then consider the objects of the soul’s contemplation, virtue and the other Intellectual forms with which it is occupied; are these eternal or are we to think that virtue rises here or there, helps, then perishes? These things must have an author and a source and there, again, we are confronted by something perdurable: the soul’s contemplation, then, must be of the eternal and unchanging, like the concepts of geometry: if eternal and unchanging, these objects are not bodies: and that which is to receive them must be of equivalent nature: it cannot therefore be body, since all body-nature lacks permanence, is a thing of flux.

8. A. [sometimes appearing as 9] There are those who insist on the activities observed in bodies - warming, chilling, thrusting, pressing - and class soul with body, as it were to assure its efficacy. This ignores the double fact that the very bodies themselves exercise such efficiency by means of the incorporeal powers operating in them, and that these are not the powers we attribute to soul: intellection, perception, reasoning, desire, wise and effective action in all regards, these point to a very different form of being.

In transferring to bodies the powers of the unembodied, this school leaves nothing to that higher order. And yet that it is precisely in virtue of bodiless powers that bodies possess their efficiency is clear from certain reflections:

It will be admitted that quality and quantity are two different things, that body is always a thing of quantity but not always a thing of quality: matter is not qualified. This admitted, it will not be denied that quality, being a different thing from quantity, is a different thing from body. Obviously quality could not be body when it has not quantity as all body must; and, again, as we have said, body, any thing of mass, on being reduced to fragments, ceases to be what it was, but the quality it possessed remains intact in every particle - for instance the sweetness of honey is still sweetness in each speck - this shows that sweetness and all other qualities are not body.

Further: if the powers in question were bodies, then necessarily the stronger powers would be large masses and those less efficient small masses: but if there are large masses with small while not a few of the smaller masses manifest great powers, then the efficiency must be vested in something other than magnitude; efficacy, thus, belongs to non-magnitude. Again; Matter, they tell us, remains unchanged as long as it is body, but produces variety upon accepting qualities; is not this proof enough that the entrants [with whose arrival the changes happen] are Reason-Principles and not of the bodily order?

They must not remind us that when pneuma and blood are no longer present, animals die: these are necessary no doubt to life, but so are many other things of which none could possibly be soul: and neither pneuma nor blood is present throughout the entire being; but soul is.

8. B. (10) If the soul is body and permeates the entire body-mass, still even in this entire permeation the blending must be in accord with what occurs in all cases of bodily admixing.

Now: if in the admixing of bodies neither constituent can retain its efficacy, the soul too could no longer be effective within the bodies; it could but be latent; it will have lost that by which it is soul, just as in an admixture of sweet and bitter the sweet disappears: we have, thus, no soul.

Two bodies [i.e., by hypothesis, the soul and the human body] are blended, each entire through the entirety of the other; where the one is, the other is also; each occupies an equal extension and each the whole extension; no increase of size has been caused by the juncture: the one body thus inblended can have left in the other nothing undivided. This is no case of mixing in the sense of considerable portions alternating; that would be described as collocation; no; the incoming entity goes   through the other to the very minutest point - an impossibility, of course; the less becoming equal to the greater; still, all is traversed throughout and divided throughout. Now if, thus, the inblending is to occur point by point, leaving no undivided material anywhere, the division of the body concerned must have been a division into (geometrical) points: an impossibility. The division is an infinite series - any material particle may be cut in two - and the infinities are not merely potential, they are actual.

Therefore body cannot traverse anything as a whole traversing a whole. But soul does this. It is therefore incorporeal.

8. C. (11) We come to the theory that this pneuma is an earlier form, one which on entering the cold and being tempered by it develops into soul by growing finer under that new condition. This is absurd at the start, since many living beings rise in warmth and have a soul that has been tempered by cold: still that is the theory - the soul has an earlier form, and develops its true nature by force of external accidents. Thus these teachers make the inferior precede the higher, and before that inferior they put something still lower, their «Habitude  .» It is obvious that the Intellectual-Principle is last and has sprung from the soul, for, if it were first of all, the order of the series must be, second the soul, then the nature-principle, and always the later inferior, as the system actually stands.

If they treat God   as they do the Intellectual-Principle - as later, engendered and deriving intellection from without - soul and intellect and God may prove to have no existence: this would follow if a potentiality could not come to existence, or does not become actual, unless the corresponding actuality exists. And what could lead it onward if there were no separate being in previous actuality? Even on the absurd supposition that the potentially existent brings itself to actuality, it must be looking to some Term, and that must be no potentiality but actual.

No doubt the eternally self-identical may have potentiality and be self-led to self-realization, but even in this case the being considered as actualized is of higher order than the being considered as merely capable of actualization and moving towards a desired Term.

Thus the higher is the earlier, and it has a nature other than body, and it exists always in actuality: Intellectual-Principle and Soul precede Nature: thus, Soul does not stand at the level of pneuma or of body.

These arguments are sufficient in themselves, though many others have been framed, to show that the soul is not to be thought of as a body.

8. D. (12) Soul belongs, then, to another Nature: What is this? Is it something which, while distinct from body, still belongs to it, for example a harmony or accord?

The Pythagorean school holds this view thinking that the soul is, with some difference, comparable to the accord in the strings of a lyre. When the lyre is strung a certain condition is produced upon the strings, and this is known as accord: in the same way our body is formed of distinct constituents brought together, and the blend produces at once life and that soul which is the condition existing upon the bodily total.

That this opinion is untenable has already been shown at length. The soul is a prior [to body], the accord is a secondary to the lyre. Soul rules, guides and often combats the body; as an accord of body it could not do these things. Soul is a real being, accord is not. That due blending [or accord] of the corporeal materials which constitute our frame would be simply health. Each separate part of the body, entering as a distinct entity into the total, would require a distinct soul [its own accord or note], so that there would be many souls to each person. Weightiest of all; before this soul there would have to be another soul to bring about the accord as, in the case of the musical instrument, there is the musician who produces the accord upon the strings by his own possession of the principle on which he tunes them: neither musical strings nor human bodies could put themselves in tune.

Briefly, the soulless is treated as ensouled, the unordered becomes orderly by accident, and instead of order being due to soul, soul itself owes its substantial existence to order - which is self-caused. Neither in the sphere of the partial, nor in that of Wholes could this be true. The soul, therefore, is not a harmony or accord.

8. E. (13) We come to the doctrine of the Entelechy, and must enquire how it is applied to soul.

It is thought that in the Conjoint of body and soul the soul holds the rank of Form to the Matter which here is the ensouled body - not, then, Form to every example of body or to body as merely such, but to a natural organic body having the potentiality of life.

Now; if the soul has been so injected as to be assimilated into the body as the design of a statue is worked into the bronze, it will follow that, upon any dividing of the body, the soul is divided with it, and if any part of the body is cut away a fragment of soul must go with it. Since an Entelechy must be inseparable from the being of which it is the accomplished actuality, the withdrawal of the soul in sleep cannot occur; in fact sleep itself cannot occur. Moreover if the soul is an Entelechy, there is an end to the resistance offered by reason to the desires; the total [of body and Entelechy-Soul] must have one-uniform experience throughout, and be aware of no internal contradiction. Sense-perception might occur; but intellection would be impossible. The very upholders of the Entelechy are thus compelled to introduce another soul, the Intellect, to which they ascribe immortality. The reasoning soul, then, must be an Entelechy - if the word is to be used at all - in some other mode.

Even the sense-perceiving soul, in its possession of the impressions of absent objects, must hold these without aid from the body; for otherwise the impression must be present in it like shape and images, and that would mean that it could not take in fresh impressions; the perceptive soul, then, cannot be described as this Entelechy inseparable from the body. Similarly the desiring principle, dealing not only with food and drink but with things quite apart from body; this also is no inseparable Entelechy.

There remains the vegetal principle which might seem to suggest the possibility that, in this phase, the soul may be the inseparable Entelechy of the doctrine. But it is not so. The principle of every growth lies at the root; in many plants the new springing takes place at the root or just above it: it is clear that the life-principle, the vegetal soul, has abandoned the upper portions to concentrate itself at that one spot: it was therefore not present in the whole as an inseparable Entelechy. Again, before the plant’s development the life-principle is situated in that small beginning: if, thus, it passes from large growth to small and from the small to the entire growth, why should it not pass outside altogether?

An Entelechy is not a thing of parts; how then could it be present partwise in the partible body?

An identical soul is now the soul of one living being now of another: how could the soul of the first become the soul of the latter if soul were the Entelechy of one particular being? Yet that this transference does occur is evident from the facts of animal metasomatosis.

The substantial existence of the soul, then, does not depend upon serving as Form to anything: it is an Essence which does not come into being by finding a seat in body; it exists before it becomes also the soul of some particular, for example, of a living being, whose body would by this doctrine be the author of its soul.

What, then, is the soul’s Being? If it is neither body nor a state or experience of body, but is act and creation: if it holds much and gives much, and is an existence outside of body; of what order and character must it be? Clearly it is what we describe as Veritable Essence. The other order, the entire corporeal Kind, is process; it appears and it perishes; in reality it never possesses Being, but is merely protected, in so far as it has the capacity, by participating in what authentically is.