Página inicial > Antiguidade > Neoplatonismo (245-529 dC) > Plotino (204-270 dC) – Tratados Enéadas > Plotino - Tratado 12,16 (II, 4, 16) — A matéria, a alteridade, a privação e o (...)

ENÉADAS

Plotino - Tratado 12,16 (II, 4, 16) — A matéria, a alteridade, a privação e o mal

Enéada II, 4, 16

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

Míguez

16. ¿Sería la materia idéntica a la alteridad? No, desde luego, sino a esa parte de ella que se opone a los seres por excelencia, esto es, a las razones formales. El no-ser es, por tanto, algo, y puede identificarse con la privación, si la privación es la antítesis de los seres que se dan en las razones formales. Pero, ¿desaparece la privación cuando se reúne a aquello de lo que ella es privación? De ningún modo; porque el receptáculo de la disposición no es la disposición misma sino la privación, al igual que el receptáculo de lo limitado no es lo limitado ni lo ilimitado, sino lo ilimitado y precisamente en tanto que ilimitado. ¿Cómo, pues, al reunirse con él, no destruye lo limitado la naturaleza (de lo ilimitado)? ¿Acaso porque no es ilimitado por accidente? Pues si se tratase de algo ilimitado en cuanto a la cantidad, lo destruiría; mas, no siendo así, por el contrario, lo conserva en el ser; lo hace pasar al acto y lo conduce a la perfección, cual si se tratase de un terreno inculto en el que se siembra el grano. Así ocurre con la hembra cuando es engendrada por el macho: no ve destruido su carácter femenino, sino que, al contrario, lo eleva más; se hace, pues, en mayor grado lo que ya era.

Veamos ahora: ¿es el mal la materia cuando participa en el bien? Seguramente por esto mismo, porque tiene necesidad de él y no lo posee. Porque el ser que tiene necesidad de alguna cosa y que la posee, se encuentra tal vez a igual distancia del bien y del mal y puede parangonarse con ambos; pero el ser que no tiene nada y se halla en la penuria, cuanto más pobre sea más cerca está del mal. En cuanto a la materia, es la pobreza, pero no de riqueza ni de fuerza, sino la pobreza de sabiduría, de virtud, de belleza, de forma, de aspecto, de cualidad. ¿Cómo no va a ser entonces deforme, e incluso completamente fea y mala? La materia del mundo inteligible es un ser, porque tiene, antes de ella, lo que está más allá del ser. Sin embargo, aquí, la materia tiene el ser antes de ella, no es realmente el ser, sino algo distinto del ser y que se encuentra por debajo de él.

Bouillet

XVI. Y a-t-il identité entre la matière et l’altérité (ἑτερότης) (59)? La matière n’est pas identique à l’altérité même, mais à une partie de l’altérité, à celle qui est opposée aux êtres véritables et aux raisons. C’est en ce sens qu’on peut dire du non-être qu’il est quelque chose, qu’il est identique à la privation, pourvu que la privation soit l’opposition aux choses qui existent dans la raison. La privation sera-t-elle détruite par son union avec la chose dont elle est un attribut? Nullement. Le réceptacle de l’habitude (ὑποδοχὴ ἕξεως) (60) n’est pas lui-même une habitude, mais une privation. Le réceptacle de la détermination n’est pas la détermination ni le déterminé, mais l’infini, en tant qu’il est infini. Comment la détermination peut-elle s’unir à l’infini sans en détruire la nature, puisque cet infini n’est pas tel par accident? Elle détruirait cet infini s’il était infini en quantité ; mais cela n’a pas lieu. Elle lui conserve au contraire son essence, elle réalise et complète sa nature; comme la terre qui ne contenait pas de semences [conserve sa nature] quand elle en reçoit, ou la femelle quand elle est fécondée par le mâle ; alors la femelle ne cesse pas d’être femelle ; elle l’est au contraire à un plus haut degré, elle réalise son essence.

La matière continue-t-elle à être le mal quand elle vient à participer du bien? Oui, parce qu’antérieurement elle était privée du bien, qu’elle ne le possédait point (61). Ce qui manque d’une chose et qui l’obtient, tient le milieu entre le bien et le mal, pourvu qu’il se trouve à une égale distance des deux. Mais ce qui ne possède rien, ce qui est dans l’indigence, ou plutôt ce qui est l’indigence même (πενία) (62), est nécessairement le mal : car ce n’est pas l’indigence des richesses, ni de la force, mais l’indigence de la sagesse, de la vertu, de la beauté, de la vigueur, de la figure, de la forme, de la qualité. Comment, en effet, cette chose ne serait-elle pas difforme, absolument laide, absolument mauvaise?

Dans le monde intelligible, la matière est Y être : car ce qui est au-dessus d’elle [l’Un] est regardé comme supérieur à l’être. Dans le monde sensible au contraire, ce qui est au-dessus de la matière est l’être; donc la matière est le non-être, et par là même elle est étrangère à la beauté de l’être.

Guthrie

MATTER IS NONESSENTIAL OTHERNESS.

16. Is there any identity between matter and otherness ? Matter is not identical with otherness itself, but with that part of otherness which is opposed to real beings, and to reasons. It is in this sense that one can say of nonentity that it is something, that it is identical with privation, if only privation be the opposition to things that exist in reason. Will privation be destroyed by its union with the thing of which it’is an attribute? By no means. That in which a (Stoic) "habit" occurs is not itself a "habit," but a privation. That in which determination occurs is neither determination, nor that which is determined, but the infinite, so far as it is infinite. How could determination unite with the infinite without destroying its nature, since this infinite is not such by accident? It would destroy this infinite, if it were infinite in quantity; but that is not the case. On the contrary, it preserves its "being" for it, realizes and completes its nature; as the earth which did not contain seeds (preserves its nature) when it .receives some of them; or the female, when she is made pregnant by the male. The female, then, does not cease being a female; on the contrary she is so far more, for she realizes her nature ("being").

INDIGENCE IS NECESSARILY EVIL.

Does matter continue to be evil when it happens to participate in the good ? Yes, because it was formerly deprived of good, and did not possess it. That which lacks something, and obtains it, holds the middle between good and evil, if it be in the middle between the two. But that which possesses nothing, that which is in indigence, or rather that which is indigence itself, must necessarily be evil; for it is not indigence of wealth, but indigence of wisdom, of virtue, of beauty, of vigor, of shape, of form, of quality. How, indeed, could such a thing not be shapeless, absolutely ugly and evil?

THE RELATION OF BOTH KINDS OF MATTER TO ESSENCE.

In the intelligible world, matter is essence; for what is above it (the One), is considered as superior to essence. In the sense-world, on the contrary, essence is above matter; therefore matter is nonentity, and thereby is the only thing foreign to the beauty of essence.

Taylor

XVI. Is, therefore, matter the same witli difference, or is it not the same ? Perhaps it is not the same with difference simply considered, but with a part of difference which is opposed to beings properly so called, and which are productive principles. Hence, also, non-being is thus a certain being, and the same with privation, if privation is an opposition to the things which subsist in reason. Will, therefore, privation be corrupted by the accession of that of which it is the privation? By no means. For the receptacle of habit, is not habit, but privation. The receptacle, likewise, of bound, is not that which is terminated, nor bound, but the infinite, and this so far as it is infinite. How is it possible, therefore, that bound approaching should not destroy the nature of the infinite, especially since this infinite has not an accidental subsistence ? Or may we not say that if this infinite was infinite in quantity, it would perish ? Now, however, this is not the case, but on the contrary its being is preserved by bound.

For bound brings that which the infinite is naturally adapted to be, into energy and perfection; just as that which is not yet sown [is brought to perfection] when it is sown, and as the female [when impregnated] by the male. For then the female nature is not destroyed, but possesses the female characteristic in a greater degree; since then it becomes more eminently that which it is. Is, therefore, matter evil when it partakes of good ? Or shall we say it is evil on this account because it was in want of good ? For it did not possess it. For that which is in want of any thing, and obtains what it wants, will perhaps become a medium between good and evil, if it is equally disposed towards both. But that which possesses nothing, as being in poverty, or rather being poverty itself, is necessarily evil. For this is not the want of wealth or of strength, but it is the want of wisdom, and the want of virtue, of beauty, strength, morphe, form, and quality. How, therefore, is it possible it should not be deformed ? How is it possible it should not be perfectly base ? How is it possible it should not be perfectly evil ? The matter, however, which is in intelligibles is [real] being. For that which is prior to it is beyond being. But here [in the sensible region,] that which is prior to matter is being. Hence the matter which is here is not being, since it is different from it when compared with the beauty of being.

MacKenna

16. Then Matter is simply Alienism [the Principle of Difference]?

No: it is merely that part of Alienism which stands in contradiction with the Authentic Existents which are Reason-Principles. So understood, this non-existent has a certain measure of existence; for it is identical with Privation, which also is a thing standing in opposition to the things that exist in Reason.

But must not Privation cease to have existence, when what has been lacking is present at last?

By no means: the recipient of a state or character is not a state but the Privation of the state; and that into which determination enters is neither a determined object nor determination itself, but simply the wholly or partly undetermined.

Still, must not the nature of this Undetermined be annulled by the entry of Determination, especially where this is no mere attribute?

No doubt to introduce quantitative determination into an undetermined object would annul the original state; but in the particular case, the introduction of determination only confirms the original state, bringing it into actuality, into full effect, as sowing brings out the natural quality of land or as a female organism impregnated by the male is not defeminized but becomes more decidedly of its sex; the thing becomes more emphatically itself.

But on this reasoning must not Matter owe its evil to having in some degree participated in good?

No: its evil is in its first lack: it was not a possessor (of some specific character).

To lack one thing and to possess another, in something like equal proportions, is to hold a middle state of good and evil: but whatsoever possesses nothing and so is in destitution - and especially what is essentially destitution - must be evil in its own Kind.

For in Matter we have no mere absence of means or of strength; it is utter destitution - of sense, of virtue, of beauty, of pattern, of Ideal principle, of quality. This is surely ugliness, utter disgracefulness, unredeemed evil.

The Matter in the Intellectual Realm is an Existent, for there is nothing previous to it except the Beyond-Existence; but what precedes the Matter of this sphere is Existence; by its alienism in regard to the beauty and good of Existence, Matter is therefore a non-existent.