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Plotino - Tratado 12,8 (II, 4, 8) — A natureza da matéria sensível

Enéada II, 4, 8

domingo 5 de junho de 2022, por Cardoso de Castro

Míguez

8. ¿Qué es, pues, esta materia considerada una, continua y desprovista de cualidades? Parece evidente que no es un cuerpo, porque carece de cualidades; de serlo, contaría con alguna cualidad, Cuando se dice que es materia de todas las cosas sensibles y no materia tan sólo de algunas, o forma con relación a otras, cual ocurre con el barro, que es materia para el alfarero, pero no materia en absoluto, se hace referencia a una materia que conviene a todo. A esa materia no le atribuimos todo lo que se da en las cosas sensibles; esto es, además de cualidades como el color, el calor y el frío, otras como la ligereza o la pesadez, o la densidad, o la rareza, o la apariencia exterior; y ni siquiera le atribuimos la magnitud. Porque una cosa es la magnitud, y otra muy distinta lo que cuenta con la magnitud; una cosa es también la apariencia, y otra muy distinta el ser al que corresponde esa apariencia. Conviene, por otra parte, que la materia no sea un compuesto, sino algo simple y uno con arreglo a su propia naturaleza; pues es claro que carece de toda determinación. El ser que da a la forma a la materia le da formas que son diferentes de ella; y añade a estas formas una magnitud y toda otra cualidad que poseen los seres. Si así no fuese, quedaría sometido a la magnitud de la materia y haría entonces, no realmente todo lo que él quiere, sino lo que quiere la materia. Es ficticio afirmar que su voluntad concuerda con la magnitud de la materia. Si el principio activo es anterior a la materia, la materia será, en su totalidad, como él la quiera; estará dispuesta dócilmente a recibir todas las cosas, incluso también la magnitud. Pero si la materia recibe una magnitud, necesariamente recibirá una apariencia, y de este modo resultará aún más difícil de trabajar. Una forma trae a la materia todas las propiedades de ésta; toda forma tiene una cierta magnitud, que viene con la razón seminal y es dada por ella. Cada género de seres se ve limitado por una forma y una determinada magnitud; así, por ejemplo, una es la magnitud del hombre y otra la del pájaro, e incluso una muy distinta la de tal pájaro determinado. No resulta, pues, demasiado sorprendente introducir la cantidad en la materia y añadirle además la cualidad, Porque, si la cualidad es una forma, ¿no lo será también la cantidad, que cuenta con una medida y un número?

Bouillet

VIII. Quelle est donc cette matière une, continue, sans qualité? Évidemment elle ne saurait être un corps, puisqu’elle n’a pas de qualité ; si elle était un corps, elle aurait une qualité. Nous disons qu’elle est la matière de tous les objets sensibles, et non la matière des uns, la forme des autres, comme l’argile est la matière relativement au potier sans être la matière absolument (29). Puisque nous ne considérons pas la matière de tel ou tel objet, mais la matière de toutes choses, nous n’attribuerons à sa nature rien de ce qui tombe sous les sens, aucune qualité, ni couleur, ni chaleur, ni froid, ni légèreté, ni pesanteur, ni densité, ni rareté, ni figure, ni grandeur par conséquent : car autre chose est la grandeur, autre chose être grand ; autre chose est la figure, autre chose être figuré. La matière n’est donc pas une chose composée, mais simple, une par sa nature (30). A cette condition seule elle sera privée de toutes propriétés.

Le principe qui donne la forme à la matière lui donnera la forme comme une chose étrangère à sa nature; il y introduira également la grandeur et toutes les propriétés qui sont réelles. Sinon, il sera esclave de la grandeur de la matière, il n’en déterminera pas la grandeur d’après sa volonté, mais d’après la disposition de la matière. Supposer que sa volonté se concerte avec la grandeur de la matière, c’est faire une fiction absurde. Au contraire, si la cause efficiente précède la matière, la matière sera absolument telle que le voudra la cause efficiente, capable de recevoir docilement toute espèce de forme, par conséquent, la grandeur. Si la matière avait la grandeur, elle aurait aussi la figure ; elle serait ainsi plus difficile à façonner. La forme entre donc dans la matière en lui apportant tout [ce qui constitue l’essence corporelle] ; or toute forme contient une grandeur et une quantité qui sont déterminées par la raison [l’essence] et avec elle. C’est pourquoi dans toutes les espèces d’êtres, la quantité n’est déterminée qu’avec la forme : car la quantité [la grandeur] de l’homme n’est pas la quantité de l’oiseau. Il serait absurde de prétendre que donner à la matière la quantité d’un oiseau et lui en imprimer la qualité sont deux choses différentes, que la qualité. (τὸ ποιόν) est une raison, et que la quantité (τὸ ποσόν) n’est pas une forme : car la quantité est mesure et nombre.

Guthrie

MATTER IS NOTHING COMPOSITE. BUT BY NATURE SIMPLE AND ONE.

8. What then is this matter which is one, continuous, and without qualities? Evidently, it could not be a body, since it has no quality; if it were a body, it would have a quality. We say that it is the matter of all sense-objects, and not the matter of some, and the form of others, just as clay is matter, in respect to the potter, without being matter absolutely (as thought Aristotle  ). As we are not considering the matter of any particular object, but the matter of all things, we would not attribute to its nature anything of what falls under our senses — no quality, color, heat, cold, lightness, weight, density, sparseness, figure or magnitude; for magnitude is something entirely different from being large, and figure from the figured object. Matter therefore is not anything composite, but something simple, and by nature one (according to the views of Plato   and Aristotle   combined). Only thus could matter be deprived of all properties (as it is).

MATTER AND THE INFORMING PRINCIPLE MUST BE CONTEMPORARIES TO ACCOUNT FOR THEIR MUTUAL RELATIONS.

The principle which informs matter will give it form as something foreign to its nature; it will also introduce magnitude and all the real properties. Otherwise, it would be enslaved to the magnitude of matter, and could not decide of the magnitude of matter, and magnitude would be dependent on the disposition of matter. A theory of a consultation between it and the magnitude of matter would be an absurd fiction. On the contrary, if the efficient cause precede matter, matter will be exactly as desired by the efficient cause, and be capable of docilely receiving any kind of form, including magnitude. If matter possessed magnitude, it would also possess figure, and would thus be rather difficult to fashion. Form therefore enters into matter by importing into it (what constitutes corporeal being); now every form contains a magnitude and a quantity which are determined by reason ("being"), and with reason. That is why in all kinds of beings, quantity is determined only along with form; for the quantity (the magnitude) of man is not the quantity of the bird. It would be absurd to insist on the difference between giving to matter the quantity of a bird, and impressing its quality on it, that quality is a reason, while quantity is not a form; for quantity is both measure and number.

Taylor

VIII. What, then, is this nature, which is said to be one, continued, and void of quality ? And, indeed, that it is not a body if void of quality, is evident (Thomas Taylor – corpo e matéria); for if it were, it would have quality. But we say that it is the matter of all sensibles, and that it is not the matter of some, but the form of others; as clay is matter to the potter, but is not simply matter. We do not, therefore, speak of it in this way, but with reference to all things; and this being the case, we must not attribute to the .nature of it any thing which is perceived among sensibles. Hence, besides not granting to it other qualities, such as colour, heat and cold, we must ascribe to it neither levity or gravity, neither density or rarity, or figure; and therefore, neither must we ascribe to it magnitude. For magnitude itself is one thing, and to be great another. And figure itself is one thing, and that which is figured another. It is necessary, however, that it should not be a composite, but simple, and one certain thing in its own nature. For thus it will be destitute of all things. And he who imparts morphe to it, will impart morphe as something different from matter. He will also prefer, as it were, magnitude and all things from the things which exist; for otherwise, he would be subservient to the magnitude of matter, and his production would not possess the quantity which he wished it should, but that which matter is capable of receiving. To assert, however, that the will of the artificer concurs with the magnitude of matter, is fictitious. But if the maker is prior to matter, in this case matter will entirely be such as the maker wishes it to be, and will with facility be brought to all things, and therefore to magnitude. If, however, it has magnitude, it is also necessary that it should have figure, so that it will be still more difficult to be fashioned by the artificer. Form, therefore, enters matter, bringing all things with it. But every form possesses magnitude, and the quantity which it contains is accompanied with reason [i.e. with a productive principle] and subsists under this. Hence, in every genus of things, quantity is defined together with forni. For there is one magnitude of a man, and another of a bird. And it would be absurd to suppose, that the introduction of quantity to the matter of a certain bird, is any thing else than adding to it its proper quality. Nor must it be said that quality is a productive principle, but that quantity is not form, since it is both measure and number.

MacKenna

8. What, then, is this Kind, this Matter, described as one stuff, continuous and without quality?

Clearly since it is without quality it is incorporeal; bodiliness would be quality.

It must be the basic stuff of all the entities of the sense-world and not merely base to some while being to others achieved form.

Clay, for example, is matter to the potter but is not Matter pure and simple. Nothing of this sort is our object: we are seeking the stuff which underlies all alike. We must therefore refuse to it all that we find in things of sense - not merely such attributes as colour, heat or cold, but weight or weightlessness, thickness or thinness, shape and therefore magnitude; though notice that to be present within magnitude and shape is very different from possessing these qualities.

It cannot be a compound, it must be a simplex, one distinct thing in its nature; only so can it be void of all quality. The Principle which gives it form gives this as something alien: so with magnitude and all really-existent things bestowed upon it. If, for example, it possessed a magnitude of its own, the Principle giving it form would be at the mercy of that magnitude and must produce not at will, but only within the limit of the Matter’s capacity: to imagine that Will keeping step with its material is fantastic.

The Matter must be of later origin than the forming-power, and therefore must be at its disposition throughout, ready to become anything, ready therefore to any bulk; besides, if it possessed magnitude, it would necessarily possess shape also: it would be doubly inductile.

No: all that ever appears upon it is brought in by the Idea: the Idea alone possesses: to it belongs the magnitude and all else that goes with the Reason-Principle or follows upon it. Quantity is given with the Ideal-Form in all the particular species - man, bird, and particular kind of bird.

The imaging of Quantity upon Matter by an outside power is not more surprising than the imaging of Quality; Quality is no doubt a Reason-Principle, but Quantity also - being measure, number - is equally so.