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Plotino - Tratado 12,3 (II, 4, 3) — Respostas às objeções contra a matéria inteligível

Enéada II, 4, 3

sexta-feira 3 de junho de 2022, por Cardoso de Castro

Capítulos 2-5: A matéria inteligível.

  • Cap. 2. Objeções contra a matéria inteligível.
  • Cap. 3. Respostas às objeções.
  • Cap. 4. A matéria inteligível existe.
  • Cap 5, 1-23. Sobre a matéria e a forma.
  • Cap 5, 24-39. A geração intemporal das Formas.

Míguez

3. Tendremos que contestar primero que no debe despreciarse en todas partes lo que se considera indefinido; esto es, no debe ser despreciada esa realidad que, en su propia idea, aparece como amorfa y que, en cambio, ha de ser tenida como sujeto de las realidades superiores. Porque ése es el caso del alma en su relación con la inteligencia y la razón: engendrada e informada por ellas se encamina hacia un ser mejor. En los seres inteligibles se dan los seres compuestos, sin que esto quiera decir que posean un cuerpo; así ocurre con las razones seminales, que son compuestas e introducen la composición en acto en la naturaleza cuando ésta actúa como forma. La naturaleza es todavía más compuesta si admitimos que actúa sobre otra cosa y que procede también de otra cosa. Por otra parte, la materia de los seres engendrados recibe constantemente unas y otras formas, en tanto la materia de los seres eternos es siempre la misma. En cuanto a la materia de aquí es tal vez lo contrario: aquí, en efecto, todas las formas han de ser consideradas como partes, aunque en cada momento sólo exista una, que apenas subsiste algún tiempo porque es rechazada por la otra. Por ello, aquí nada permanece idéntico, en tanto en el mundo de lo alto todas las cosas forman un conjunto; allí, la materia no necesita transformarse porque posee ya todas las formas, y nunca, diremos, se ve privada de ella. Posee también la forma la materia sensible, pero en un sentido diferente. En cuanto a si la materia inteligible es eterna o engendrada, estará claro para nosotros cuando lleguemos a saber lo que es.

Bouillet

III. Nous répondrons d’abord qu’il ne faut pas mépriser partout l’indéterminé ni ce que l’on conçoit comme informe, si cela même est le sujet de choses supérieures et excellentes : ainsi, l’âme est indéterminée par rapport à l’intelligence et à la raison, qui lui donnent une forme et une nature meilleure. Ensuite, si l’on dit que les choses intelligibles sont composées [de matière et de forme], ce n’est pas dans le sens où on le dit des corps : les raisons sont composées et produisent par leur acte un autre composé, la nature, qui aspire à la forme (09). Si, dans le monde intelligible, le composé tend vers un autre principe, ou en dépend, la différence qu’il y a entre ce composé et les corps est encore mieux marquée. En outre, la matière des choses engendrées change sans cesse de forme ; la matière des intelligibles est toujours identique. Enfin, la matière est ici-bas soumise à d’autres conditions [que dans le monde intelligible]. Ici-bas, en effet, la matière n’est toutes choses que par parties, n’est chaque chose que successivement : aussi rien n’est permanent au milieu de ces changements perpétuels, rien n’est jamais identique. La haut, au contraire, la matière est toutes choses simultanément, et, possédant toutes choses, elle ne saurait se transformer; donc, la matière n’est jamais informe là-haut : car elle n’est pas informe même ici-bas. Seulement l’une [la matière intelligible] est placée dans d’autres conditions que l’autre [la matière sensible]. Mais la première est-elle engendrée ou éternelle ? C’est une question que nous ne pourrons décider qu’après avoir déterminé ce qu’est cette matière.

Guthrie

INTELLIGIBLE MATTER IS NOT SHAPELESS.

3. To this it may first be answered that the indeterminate should not be scorned everywhere, nor that which is conceived of as shapeless, even if this be the substrate of the higher and better entities; for we might call even the soul indeterminate, in respect to intelligence and reason, which give it a better shape and nature. Besides, when we say that intelligible things are composite (of matter and form), this is not in the sense in which the word is used of bodies. Even reasons would thus be called composite, and by their actualization form another alleged composite, nature, which aspires to form. If, in the intelligible world, the composite tend toward some other principle, or depend thereon, the difference between this composite and bodies is still better marked. Besides, the matter of begotten things ceaselessly changes form, while the matter of the intelligible entities ever remains identical. Further, matter here below is subject to other conditions (than in the intelligible world). Here below, indeed, matter is all things only partly, and is all things only successively; consequently, amidst these perpetual changes nothing is identical, nothing is permanent. Above, on the contrary, matter is all things simultaneously, and possessing all things, could not transform itself. Consequently, matter is never shapeless above; for it is not even shapeless here below. Only the one (intelligible matter) is situated differently from the other (sense-matter). Whether, however, (intelligible matter) be begotten, or be eternal, is a question that cannot be determined until we know what it is.

MacKenna

3. Now it may be observed, first of all, that we cannot hold utterly cheap either the indeterminate, or even a Kind whose very idea implies absence of form, provided only that it offer itself to its Priors and [through them] to the Highest Beings. We have the parallel of the Soul itself in its relation to the Intellectual-Principle and the Divine Reason, taking shape by these and led so to a nobler principle of form.

Further, a compound in the Intellectual order is not to be confounded with a compound in the realm of Matter; the Divine Reasons are compounds and their Act is to produce a compound, namely that [lower] Nature which works towards Idea. And there is not only a difference of function; there is a still more notable difference of source. Then, too, the Matter of the realm of process ceaselessly changes its form: in the eternal, Matter is immutably one and the same, so that the two are diametrically opposites. The Matter of this realm is all things in turn, a new entity in every separate case, so that nothing is permanent and one thing ceaselessly pushes another out of being: Matter has no identity here. In the Intellectual it is all things at once: and therefore has nothing to change into: it already and ever contains all. This means that not even in its own Sphere is the Matter there at any moment shapeless: no doubt that is true of the Matter here as well; but shape is held by a very different right in the two orders of Matter.

As to whether Matter is eternal or a thing of process, this will be clear when we are sure of its precise nature.