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Plotino - Tratado 12,15 (II, 4, 15) — A matéria e o ilimitado

Enéada II, 4, 15

quarta-feira 8 de junho de 2022, por Cardoso de Castro

Míguez

15. Convendrá investigar de nuevo, si lo ilimitado y lo indeterminado se encuentran accidentalmente en la materia como en otra naturaleza, cómo pueden realmente ser accidentes y si la privación es también un accidente.

Si todos los números y todas las nociones que con ellos tienen relación caen fuera de lo infinito — porque el límite, la disposición y la ordenación de todas las cosas proviene de aquellos, y no son la ordenación ni la disposición las que fijan el orden, sino que lo ordenado es algo distinto del ser que ordena, que constituye el limite, la determinación y la razón — , resulta ciertamente necesario que lo ordenado y determinado sea a la vez infinito. Tienen, desde luego, ordenación la materia y todas aquellas cosas que, no siendo materia, participan en ella o encierran noción material; por lo cual la materia es lo ilimitado y no es ilimitada por accidente o porque lo ilimitado le pertenezca accidentalmente. Digamos en primer lugar que lo que se atribuye a una cosa debe ser una razón de ella; pero lo ilimitado no lo es, porque, ¿a qué podría atribuirse accidentalmente lo ilimitado? Contestaríamos que al límite o a lo que es limitado, pero la materia no es ni una ni otra cosa. Es claro que si lo infinito se une a lo que es limitado destruye su naturaleza; por lo cual, lo ilimitado no constituye un accidente de la materia, sino que es la misma materia.

En el mundo de los seres inteligibles, la materia es también lo ilimitado, algo engendrado por la infinitud del Uno, o por su poder, o por su eternidad; y no porque lo ilimitado se dé en el Uno, sino porque el Uno lo crea. Pero, ¿cómo ocurre eso? ¿Puede darse lo ilimitado en dos sentidos? ¿Qué diferencia hay entonces entre lo ilimitado sensible y lo ilimitado inteligible? No es otra que la que existe entre el arquetipo y su imagen. Pera, ¿es que entonces lo ilimitado de este mundo es inferior a lo ilimitado del mundo inteligible? Porque hay más todavía: cuanto más alejada se encuentra una imagen del ser verdadero, más se da en ella lo ilimitado. Ya que lo infinito se da en mayor medida en lo que es menos limitado, siendo también cierto que lo que está menos cerca del bien está más cerca del mal. Lo ilimitado del mundo inteligible lo es en calidad de imagen, y lo es aún en menor grado lo ilimitado de este mundo; pues cuanto más se aleja la imagen del ser real y verdadero, tanto más se corrompe su naturaleza y se hace más ilimitada. ¿Es entonces lo mismo lo ilimitado y el ser de lo ilimitado? Digamos que, dondequiera que la razón y la materia son cosas diferentes, también hay diferencia entre lo ilimitado y el ser de lo ilimitado; y se da en cambio identidad allí donde no hay más que materia; o mejor aún, no se da aquí en absoluto el ser de lo ilimitado. Porque ese ser es una razón, que no puede darse en lo ilimitado, si es verdaderamente ilimitado. Hemos de afirmar, por tanto, que la materia es ilimitada por si misma, como opuesta a la razón formal. Porque ésta, como tal razón, no puede ser otra cosa, al igual que la materia, que se opone a la razón por su carácter de ilimitada, no puede ser otra cosa que materia y ha de recibir el apelativo de ilimitada.

Bouillet

XV. Examinons encore si l’indéterminé, l’infini, est un accident, un attribut de quelque autre nature, comment il est accident, et si la privation peut être un accident. Les choses qui sont des nombres et des raisons sont exemptes de toute indétermination (car ce sont des déterminations, des ordres, des principes d’ordre pour le reste ; or ces principes n’ordonnent pas des objets déjà ordonnés ni des ordres; la chose qui reçoit l’ordre est autre que celle qui le donne, et les principes dont l’ordre dérive sont la détermination, la limitation, la raison). S’il en est ainsi, ce qui reçoit l’ordre et la détermination est nécessairement l’infini (τὸ ἄπειρον) (53). Or ce qui reçoit l’ordre, c’est la matière avec toutes les choses qui, sans être la matière, y participent et en jouent le rôle. Donc la matière est l’infini même (54). Elle n’est pas l’infini par accident ; l’infini n’est pas pour elle un accident. En effet, tout accident doit être une raison; or l’infini n’est pas une raison ; ensuite de quel être l’infini peut-il être un accident? Est-ce de la détermination et du déterminé? La matière n’est ni la détermination, ni le déterminé.Enfin l’infini ne saurait s’unir au déterminé sans en détruire la nature. L’infini n’est donc pas un accident de la matière [il en est l’essence]. La matière est l’infini lui-même. Dans le monde intelligible même, elle est l’infini.

L’infini semble né de l’infinité de l’Un (τοῦ ἑνὸς ἀπειρία), soit de sa puissance, soit de son éternité : il n’y a pas infinité dans l’Un, mais l’Un est le créateur de l’infinité (55). Comment peut-il y avoir infinité à la fois là-haut et ici-bas [dans l’Un et dans la matière] ? C’est qu’il y a deux infinis (56) : il y a entre euxla même différence qu’entre l’archétype et l’image (57).

L’infini d’ici-bas est-il moins infini? Au contraire, il l’est plus. Par cela même que l’image est éloignée de l’être véritable, elle est plus infinie. L’infinité est plus grande dans ce qui est moins déterminé (58). Or ce qui est plus éloigné du bien est plus dans le mal. Donc là-haut l’infini, possédant plus l’être, est l’infini idéal (εἴδωλον ὡς ἄπειρον); ici-bas, l’infini possédant moins l’être, parce qu’il est éloigné de l’être et de la vérité, qu’il dégénère en image [de l’être véritable], est l’infini réel (ἀληθέστερον ἄπειρον).

Y a-t-il identité entre l’infini et l’essence de l’infini ? Quand l’infini est raison et matière, l’infini et l’essence de l’infini sont deux choses différentes. Quand l’infini n’est que la matière, l’infini et l’essence de l’infini sont identiques. Disons mieux : ici-bas, l’infini n’a pas d’essence; sinon, il serait une raison, ce qui est contraire à la nature de l’infini. Donc la matière est en elle-même l’infini par opposition à la raison. De même que la raison, considérée en elle-même, est appelée raison, de même la matière, qui est opposée à la raison par son infinité et qui n’est nulle autre chose [que matière], doit être appelée infini.

Guthrie

MATTER AS THE INFINITE IN ITSELF.

15. Let us further examine if the indeterminate, or infinite, be an accident, or an attribute of some other nature; how it comes to be an accident, and whether privation ever can become an accident. The things that are numbers and reasons are exempt from all indetermination, because they are determinations, orders, and principles of order for the rest. Now these principles do not order objects already ordered, nor do they order orders. The thing that receives an order is different from that which gives an order, and the principles from which the order is derived are determination, limitation and reason. In this case, that which receives the order and the determination must necessarily be the infinite (as thought Plato  ). Now that which receives the order is matter, with all the things which, without being matter, participate therein, and play the part of matter. Therefore matter is the infinite itself. Not accidentally is it the infinite; for the infinite is no accident. Indeed, every accident must be a reason; now of what being can the infinite be an accident? Of determination, or of that which is determined? Now matter is neither of these two. Further, the infinite could not unite with the determinate without destroying its nature. The infinite, therefore, is no accident of matter (but is its nature, or "being"). Matter is the infinite itself. Even in the intelligible world, matter is the infinite.

THE INFINITE MAY BE EITHER IDEAL OR REAL, INFINITE OR INDEFINITE.

The infinite seems born of the infinity of the One, either of its power, or eternity; there is no infinity in the One, but the One is creator of the infinite. How can there be infinity simultaneously above and below (in the One and in matter) ? Because there are two infinities (the infinite and the indefinite; the infinite in the One, the indefinite in matter). Between’them obtains the same difference as the archetype and its image. Is the infinite here below less infinite? On the contrary, it is more so. By the mere fact that the image is far from veritable "being," it is more infinite. Infinity is greater in that which is less determinate (as thought Aristotle  ). Now that which is more distant from good is further in evil. Therefore the infinite on high, possessing the more essence, is the ideal infinite; here below, as the infinite possesses less essence, because it is far from essence and truth, it degenerates into the image of essence, and is the truer (indefinite) infinite.

MATTER AS THE INFINITE IN ITSELF.

Is the infinite identical with the essence of the infinite? There is a distinction between them where there is reason and matter; where however matter is alone, they must be considered identical; or, better, we may say absolutely that here below the infinite does not occur; otherwise it would be a reason, which is contrary to the nature of the infinite. Therefore matter in itself is the infinite, in opposition to reason. Just as reason, considered in itself, is called reason, so matter, which is opposed to reason by its infinity, and which is nothing else (than matter), must be called infinite.

Taylor

XV. Again, it must be investigated, whether if the infinite and indefinite are in another nature accidentally, how this is an accident, and whether privation happens to it. If, indeed, such things as numbers and reasons [or productive principles] are remote from infinity; for they are boundaries and orders, and arrangement is derived to other things from these ; but these arrange not that which is arranged, nor the orders of things, that which arranges being different from that which is arranged; and end, bound, and reason, arrange; — if this be the case, it is necessary that what is arranged and bounded, should be infinite. Matter, however, is arranged, and also such things as are not matter, by participating or possessing the nature of matter. Hence it is necessary, that matter should be infinite, yet not infinite in such a way as if the infinite was accidental to matter. For in the first place, that which happens to any thing ought to be formative; but the infinite is not formative. In the next place, to what existing thing will the infinite be an accident ? Will it be to bound, and that which is bounded? Matter, however, is neither any thing bounded, nor bound. The infinite, also, acceding to that which is bounded, loses its own nature. Hence, the infinite is not an accident to matter. Matter, therefore, is the infinite;. since in intelligibles also, matter is the infinite which is there.3 And there, indeed, it is generated from the infinity or power of the one, or from the ever, infinity not being in the one, but proceeding from it. How, therefore, is the infinite there, and also here? Or is not the infinite twofold? And in what do they differ? They differ in the same manner as archetype and image. Is the latter, therefore, in a less degree infinite ? Perhaps it is more infinite. For so far as the image flies from the reality of existence, so far it is in a greater degree infinite. For infinity is in a greater degree in that which is less bounded. For that which is less in good is more in evil. Hence the infinite which is in intelligibles, in consequence of having more of being, is but as an image [with respect to the infinity of matter]. But the infinite which is here, as having less of being, so far as it flies from existence and truth, and is drawn down to the nature of an image, is a more true infinite. Is, therefore, the infinite the same thing as to be infinite? Perhaps where there are that which has a productive and forming power, and matter, each of these is different; but where there is matter alone, they must either be said to be the same, or in short, and which also is better, to be infinite is not here. For it would be reason in order that it might be infinite [i.e. would have a productive and forming power,] which is not in the infinite. Hence matter must be said to be of itself infinite, through having an arrangement opposite to reason. For as reason not being any thing else is reason, thus also it must be said, that matter being opposed to reason according to infinity, is infinite in such a way as not to be any thing else.

MacKenna

15. The further question, therefore, is raised whether boundlessness and indetermination are things lodging in something other than themselves as a sort of attribute and whether Privation [or Negation of quality] is also an attribute residing in some separate substratum.

Now all that is Number and Reason-Principle is outside of boundlessness: these bestow bound and settlement and order in general upon all else: neither anything that has been brought under order nor any Order-Absolute is needed to bring them under order. The thing that has to be brought under order [e.g., Matter] is other than the Ordering Principle which is Limit and Definiteness and Reason-Principle. Therefore, necessarily, the thing to be brought under order and to definiteness must be in itself a thing lacking delimitation.

Now Matter is a thing that is brought under order - like all that shares its nature by participation or by possessing the same principle - therefore, necessarily, Matter is The Undelimited and not merely the recipient of a nonessential quality of Indefiniteness entering as an attribute.

For, first, any attribute to any subject must be a Reason-Principle; and Indefiniteness is not a Reason-Principle.

Secondly, what must a thing be to take Indefiniteness as an attribute? Obviously it must, beforehand, be either Definiteness or a defined thing. But Matter is neither.

Then again Indefiniteness entering as an attribute into the definite must cease to be indefinite: but Indefiniteness has not entered as an attribute into Matter: that is, Matter is essentially Indefiniteness.

The Matter even of the Intellectual Realm is the Indefinite, [the undelimited]; it must be a thing generated by the undefined nature, the illimitable nature, of the Eternal Being, The One illimitableness, however, not possessing native existence There but engendered by The One.

But how can Matter be common to both spheres, be here and be There?

Because even Indefiniteness has two phases.

But what difference can there be between phase and phase of Indefiniteness?

The difference of archetype and image.

So that Matter here [as only an image of Indefiniteness] would be less indefinite?

On the contrary, more indefinite as an Image-thing remote from true being. Indefiniteness is the greater in the less ordered object; the less deep in good, the deeper in evil. The Indeterminate in the Intellectual Realm, where there is truer being, might almost be called merely an Image of Indefiniteness: in this lower Sphere where there is less Being, where there is a refusal of the Authentic, and an adoption of the Image-Kind, Indefiniteness is more authentically indefinite.

But this argument seems to make no difference between the indefinite object and Indefiniteness-essential. Is there none?

In any object in which Reason and Matter co-exist we distinguish between Indeterminateness and the Indeterminate subject: but where Matter stands alone we make them identical, or, better, we would say right out that in that case essential Indeterminateness is not present; for it is a Reason-Principle and could not lodge in the indeterminate object without at once annulling the indeterminateness.

Matter, then, must be described as Indefinite of itself, by its natural opposition to Reason-Principle. Reason is Reason and nothing else; just so Matter, opposed by its indeterminateness to Reason, is Indeterminateness and nothing else.