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Plotino - Tratado 39,14 (VI, 8, 14) — Refutação da existência contingente do Bem

Enéada VI, 8, 14

domingo 19 de junho de 2022, por Cardoso de Castro

Capítulo 14: Refutação da existência contingente do Bem; introdução da determinação do Bem como "causa de si"

  • 1-14: Se a essência do homem existe de maneira necessária, como o Bem que produziu esta essência poderia existir por acaso?
  • 14-42: Reflexão sobre a causalidade: se cada ser possui nele mesmo sua própria causa, o Bem será a fortiori causa dele mesmo.

Míguez

14. Y aún convendrá plantear las cosas de esta manera: lo que nosotros entendemos por ser es, o bien idéntico a sí mismo, o bien diferente de si. Tomamos el ejemplo del hombre y vemos que difiere de su esencia, que es la humanidad, aunque verdaderamente participe de ella. En cuanto al alma, se considerará idéntica a su esencia si es de hecho un ser simple que no dice relación a otra cosa [1]. El hombre, visto en sí mismo, también sería idéntico a la humanidad. Se concibe la diferencia parando mientes en el azar, que nos ha traído este hombre concreto que somos.

La humanidad no es lo que es por azar y, por sí misma, es ya el hombre en sí. Con lo cual, si no entran ahí el azar ni el accidente, y la humanidad es por sí misma lo que es, ¿cómo el principio generador del hombre en sí y que está por encima de él, ese principio que ha engendrado todos los seres, podría ser lo que es por azar, si es por añadidura una naturaleza más simple que la humanidad y que todas las esencias? Sí el azar no puede ascender hasta los seres que tienden a la simplicidad, con mucha más razón será imposible elevarlo hasta el ser más simple de todos.

Conviene recordar a ese respecto lo que ya se ha dicho en otra ocasión, esto es, que todo ser verdadero que viene a la existencia por causa del Bien, y todo ser sensible que es tal en razón de algo inteligible (quiero decir, el ser sensible que encierra en sí la causa de su existencia, de tal modo que esté claro para quien le observe el porqué de cada una de sus partes y el poder afirmar a qué se debe que cuente con tales ojos y con tales pies; porque cada uno de estos seres tiene en sí la causa engendradora de sus partes, las cuales a su vez se justifican también unas a otras. Pues, ¿cómo se explica que los pies tengan tal tamaño? Sólo una cosa lo aclara: la correspondencia con otro órgano, por ejemplo con la cara, cuyas dimensiones han de corresponderse con las de los píes. Así, con esta armonía recíproca de las partes queda explicada la causalidad de unas respecto de otras. Tal órgano, pues, dice relación concreta al hombre, de manera que tanto el ser como la causa resultan aquí una sola y misma cosa. Esa causa y ese ser vienen al hombre de una fuente única, de una fuente que, realmente, no tiene necesidad de reflexionar; fuente del ser y de la causa, diremos, que produce ambas cosas a la vez. Con lo cual queda afirmada la correspondencia de lo engendrado con su principio, aunque éste sea elevado a la categoría de arquetipo, como mucho más verdadero y superior), en suma, todo ser que tiene en sí mismo su causa, no debe en modo alguno su existencia al azar, a la suerte o a algo de carácter accidental, sino que ya lo recibe todo de sí mismo. Por eso está claro que quien es padre de la razón, de la causa y de la esencia que es causa -todo ello bien alejado por cierto del azar-, ha de ser algo así como el principio y el paradigma de todo lo que no participa del azar, es decir, de lo que esencial y primitivamente aparece ya como incontaminado de azar, de indicio fortuito o accidental. Ese principio es causa de sí mismo; es él mismo y por sí mismo, dado que ocupa el primer lugar y se halla por encima de todo ser.

Bouillet

XIV. Voici encore un point de vue sous lequel on peut considérer le sujet qui nous occupe. Chacune des choses qu’on dit être (εἶναι) ou est identique à son être (à son essence, τὸ εἶναι αὐτοῦ), ou bien en diffère : ainsi, tel homme est autre que l’essence de l’homme ; il en participe seulement. L’âme au contraire est identique à l’essence de l’âme, quand elle est simple, quand elle n’est affirmée de rien autre. De même, l’homme en soi est identique à l’essence de l’homme. L’homme qui est autre que l’essence de l’homme est contingent; mais l’essence de l’homme ne l’est point : l’homme en soi existe par soi. Si donc l’essence de l’homme existe par soi, si elle n’est nI fortuite ni contingente, comment pourrait être contingent Celui qui est supérieur à l’homme en soi et qui l’a engendré, de qui dérivent tous les êtres, puisqu’il est une nature plus simple que l’essence de l’homme et même que l’essence de l’être en général? Si, en s’élevant vers le simple, on ne peut y porter la contingence, à plue forte raison est-il impossible que la contingence s’étende jusqu’à la nature qui est la plus simple de toutes [au Bien].

Rappelons-nous encore que chacun des êtres qui existent véritablement, comme nous l’avons dit, et qui ont reçu de la nature du Bien leur existence, lui doivent également d’être tels (ainsi que les êtres sensibles qui sont dans le même cas) : par être tels, j’entends avoir dans son essence même sa raison d’être (σὺν αὐτῶν τῇ οὐσίᾳ ἔχειν καὶ τῆς ὑποστάσεως τὴν αἰτίαν). Il en résulte que celui qui contemple ensuite les choses peut rendre raison de chacun de leurs détails, dire pourquoi (διά τί) l’œil et les pieds sont tels, montrer que la cause de la génération de chaque partie se trouve dans ses rapports avec les autres parties, qu’elles ont toutes été faites les unes pour les autres (49). Pourquoi les pieds ont-ils une certaine longueur? C’est qu’un autre organe est tel : le visage, par exemple, étant tel, les pieds eux-mêmes doivent être tels. En un mot, l’harmonie universelle est la cause en vertu de laquelle toutes choses sont faites les unes pour les autres. Pourquoi cet individu est-il telle chose (τόδε) ? Parce que telle est l’essence de l’homme. L’essence et la raison d’être ne font donc qu’une seule et même chose. Elles sont sorties d’une seule source, du Principe qui, sans avoir besoin de raisonner, a produit ensemble l’essence et la raison d’être. Ainsi, la source de l’essence et de la raison d’être les donne toutes deux à la fois. Telles sont les choses engendrées, tel est leur Principe, mais d’une manière bien supérieure et bien plus vraie : car, sous le rapport de l’excellence, il a sur elles une immense supériorité. Or, puisque ce n’est point fortuitement, ni par hasard, ni par contingence, que les choses qui ont en elles-mêmes leur cause sont ce qu’elles sont ; puisque, d’un autre côté, Dieu possède toutes les choses dont il est le principe, évidemment, étant le père de la Raison, de la Cause, et de l’Essence causale (οὐσία αἰτιώδης), toutes choses complètement affranchies de toute contingence, il est le principe et le type de toutes les choses qui ne sont pas contingentes, le Principe qui est véritablement et au plus haut degré indépendant du hasard, de la fortune et de la contingence; il est cause de lui-même, il est par lui-même, il est Lui en vertu de lui-même (αἴτιον ἑαυτοῦ, καὶ παρ’ αὐτοῦ, καὶ δι’ αὐτὸν αὐτός) : car il est Lui d’une manière suprême et transcendante (πρώτως αὐτὸς καὶ ὑπερόντως αὐτός).

Guthrie

IN ANALYSIS CONTINGENCY IS ELIMINATED.

14. Here is still another point of view from which the subject under discussion may be regarded. Each one of the beings that are said to be existent, is either identical with its essence, or differs from it. Thus, some particular man differs from the Man-essence, only participating therein. On the contrary, the soul is identical with the Soul-essence, when she is simple, and when she is not predicated of anything else. Likewise, the Man-in-himself is identical with the Man-essence. The man who is other than the Man-essence is contingent; but the Man-essence is not contingent; the Man-in-himself exists in himself. If then the essence of man exist by itself, if it be neither fortuitous nor contingent, how could contingency be predicated of Him who is superior to Man in himself, and who begat him, from whom all beings are derived, since His is a nature simpler than the Man-essence, and even of essence in general? If, in ascending towards greater simplicity, contingency decreases, so much the more impossible is it that contingency could extend to the Nature that is the simplest (namely, the Good).

THE SUPREME IS BOTH BEING AND CAUSE.

Let us also remember that each of the beings which exist genuinely, as we have said, and which have received their form of hypostatic existence from the Good, likewise owe it to Him that they are individual, as are the similarly situated sense-beings. By such individual beings is here meant having in one’s own being the cause of his hypostatic existence. Consequently, He who then contemplates things can give an account of each of their details, to give the cause of the individuality of eyes or feet, to show that the cause of the generation of each part is found in its relations with the other parts, and that they have all been made for each other. Why are the feet of a particular length? Because some other organ is “such”; for instance, the face being such, the feet themselves must be such. In one word, the universal harmony is the cause on account of which all things were made for each other. Why is the individual such a thing? Because of the Man-essence. Therefore the essence and the cause coincide. They issued from the same source, from the Principle which, without having need of reasoning, produced together the essence and the cause. Thus the source of the essence and the cause produces them both simultaneously. Such then are begotten things, such is their principle, but in a much superior and truer manner; for in respect of excellence, it possesses an immense superiority over them. Now since it is not fortuitously, neither by chance, nor contingently, that the things which bear their cause in themselves, are what they are; since, on the other hand, (the Divinity) possesses all the entities of which He is the principle, evidently, being the Father of reason, of cause, and of causal being — all of them entities entirely free from contingence — he is the Principle and type of all things that are not contingent, the Principle which is really and in the highest degree independent of chance, of fortune, and of contingency; He is the cause of Himself, He is He by virtue of Himself; for He is Self in a primary and transcendent manner.

MacKenna

14. Another approach: Everything to which existence may be attributed is either one with its essence or distinct from it. Thus any given man is distinct from essential man though belonging to the order Man: a soul and a soul’s essence are the same - that is, in case of soul pure and unmingled - Man as type is the same as man’s essence; where the thing, man, and the essence are different, the particular man may be considered as accidental; but man, the essence, cannot be so; the type, Man, has Real Being. Now if the essence of man is real, not chanced or accidental, how can we think That to be accidental which transcends the order man, author of the type, source of all being, a principle more nearly simplex than man’s being or being of any kind? As we approach the simplex, accident recedes; what is utterly simplex accident never touches at all.

Further we must remember what has been already said, that where there is true being, where things have been brought to reality by that Principle - and this is true of whatsoever has determined condition within the order of sense - all that reality is brought about in virtue of something emanating from the divine. By things of determined condition I mean such as contain, inbound with their essence, the reason of their being as they are, so that, later, an observer can state the use for each of the constituent parts - why the eye, why feet of such and such a kind to such and such a being - and can recognise that the reason for the production of each organ is inherent in that particular being and that the parts exist for each other. Why feet of a certain length? Because another member is as it is: because the face is as it is, therefore the feet are what they are: in a word the mutual determinant is mutual adaptation and the reason of each of the several forms is that such is the plan of man.

Thus the essence and its reason are one and the same. The constituent parts arise from the one source not because that source has so conceived each separately but because it has produced simultaneously the plan of the thing and its existence. This therefore is author at once of the existence of things and of their reasons, both produced at the one stroke. It is in correspondence with the things of process but far more nearly archetypal and authentic and in a closer relation with the Better, their source, than they can be.

Of things carrying their causes within, none arises at hazard or without purpose; this "So it happened to be" is applicable to none. All that they have comes from The Good; the Supreme itself, then, as author of reason, of causation, and of causing essence - all certainly lying far outside of chance - must be the Principle and as it were the examplar of things, thus independent of hazard: it is, the First, the Authentic, immune from chance, from blind effect and happening: God is cause of Himself; for Himself and of Himself He is what He is, the first self, transcendently The Self.


[1Punto que dilucida Aristóteles en su Metafísica, VII, 6.