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Plotino - Tratado 26,2 (III, 6, 2) — O vício é uma alteração da alma?

Enéada III, 6, 2

segunda-feira 21 de fevereiro de 2022, por Cardoso de Castro

Capítulo 2: O vício é uma alteração da alma?

  • 1-5: Posição do problema: o vício e a virtude estão "na" alma?
  • 5-18: A virtude não é uma harmonia? Comparação da alma com um corpo de dançarinos
  • 18-29: Cada parte deve ter sua virtude própria; o vício parece bem ser uma alteração das partes da alma
  • 29-41: A virtude é a atualização de cada parte da alma em conformidade com o ato do Intelecto. Recusa do modelo da cera e da espátula
  • 42-49: Lembrança concernente a memória
  • 49-54: Posição do princípio "os seres sem matéria são impassíveis"
  • 54-67: Retomada do exame dos vícios: "pusilanimidade" e "intemperança"
  • 67-68: Conclusão: no vício e na virtude, não há qualquer adição que faça sofrer a alma e que a alterasse

Míguez

2. En primer lugar, tratándose del vicio y de la virtud, ¿qué es lo que se produce cuando el vicio anida en el alma? Porque decimos que hay que quitarlo del alma, como si en efecto se diese algún mal en ella, y sustituirlo por la virtud, para que el orden y la belleza reemplacen en el alma, a la fealdad anterior. Afirmando que la virtud es una armonía y el vicio una carencia de ella, ¿no expresamos una opinión semejante a la de los antiguos, con la que avanzamos no poco hacia la solución buscada? Pues si la virtud es la conveniencia natural de unas partes del alma con otras, y el vicio, a su vez, es la falta de esta armonía, es claro que nada extraño y nada de fuera del alma viene a ella, sino que cada parte, tal cual es, colabora en esta ordenación, dejando ilc cumplir su fin, si la armonía deja de existir. Tal ocurre con los danzantes, que, asimismo, bailan y cantan de común acuerdo, aunque se trate de seres diferentes; en efecto, cuando uno canta los demás se callan, pero, no obstante, cada uno desenvuelve su papel. Por tanto, no solamente deben cantar, sino que cada uno ha de cantar su parte bellamente, conforme a su sentido musical. Así también, hay nrmonía en el alma sí cada parte realiza la función que le es propia. Conviene, pues, que antes de toda armonía cada parte tenga su virtud, e igualmente su vicio, precediendo ul desacuerdo mutuo. Mas, ¿qué es lo qué debe estar presente en una parte del alma para que ésta sea mala? El vicio. ¿Y para que sea buena? La virtud. Diremos que para la parte racional su vicio es la ignorancia y, siendo la ignorancia una negación, no resulta ser ninguna cosa. Así, pues, cuando las opiniones falsas, que constituyen la principal parte de su vicio, se encuentran en el alma, ¿cómo podemos decir que no vienen a ella y que la parte razonable no se altera? ¿No es también diferente la parte irascible, a medida de la cobardía o virilidad del alma? Y el deseo, a su vez, ¿no es de una manera en el hombre desenfrenado y de otra en el hombre prudente? He aquí, por tanto, que cuando : cada parte del alma se encuentra en la virtud, actúa, diremos, según su esencia y de conformidad con la razón. La parte razonable depende de la inteligencia, y las otras dependen de aquélla.

Obedecer a la razón es tanto como ver, pero sin cambiar de forma; es ver y existir en acto, cuando se Tealiza la visión. Así como la visión es en esencia la misma, ya se encuentre en potencia o en acto, sin que el acto suponga para nada una alteración — pues cuanto más se aproxíme : a algo que corresponda a su esencia, más actual se hace la visión, conociendo entonces con plena indiferencia —, así también la parte razonable del alma se corresponde con la inteligencia, y ve y disfruta del poder de pensar, sin que se produzca en ella marca alguna. Porque todo lo que ella ve, lo posee y no lo posee; lo posee porque lo conoce, y no lo posee porque no se fija en ella como resultado de una visión, esto es, como una forma sobre la cera. Conviene traer a la memoria que los recuerdos, según decíamos, no se deben sólo a ciertas impresiones encerradas en el alma, sino a que el alma despierta en sí misma un cierto poder de modo que llega a poseer lo que realmente no posee. ¿Pues qué? ¿No es acaso distinta, antes de recordar y después, cuando ella recuerda? Es distinta, si se quiere, pero sin que esto signifique alteración -excepto, claro está, si se entiende por alteración el paso de la potencia al acto-, puesto que nada se ha introducido en ella y es ella misma la que ha actuado según su naturaleza. En general, los actos se producen en los seres inmateriales sin necesidad de que sufran alteración; de otro modo estos seres se corromperían. Resulta mucho más lógico que permanezcan tal cual son y que el sufrir sus propios actos corresponda a los seres materiales. Porque si un ser inmaterial hubiese de sufrir algo, no tendría razón de existir. Ocurre aquí como con la visión, pues ésta es algo en acto, en tanto el ojo es lo que sufre; del mismo modo, las opiniones son como visiones, Y en cuanto a la parte irascible del alma, ¿cómo calificar la cobardía ? la virilidad? La cobardía, diremos, consiste en no mirar hacia la razón, o en mirar hacia una razón viciosa, o en una insuficiencia de los órganos -cual si se careciese de armas o éstas estuviesen deterioradas-, o en un impedimento para la acción, o en no sentirse afectado por las provocaciones. Se es valiente, en cambio, por todo lo contrario, aunque ni en uno ni en otro caso se produzca alferación o pasividad.

El deseo, considerado aisladamente, produce lo que llamamos el desenfreno. Porque, cuando actúa a solas no están con él todas las demás partes del alma a las que corresponde dominarle y mostrarle el camino, si ellas se encuentran presentes. La parte contemplativa del alma realiza entonces otra función y, si no se ve totalmente dominada por el ocio, dispone del suficiente descanso para contemplar otras cosas. Tal vez lo que llamamos vicio no sea otra cosa, en la mayor parte de los casos, que una mala disposición del cuerpo, y la virtud, entonces, el fenómeno contrario. De este modo, tanto en una como en otra situación, nada se añade al alma.

Bouillet

II. Qu’arrive-t-il à l’âme quand il y a en elle un vice? car on dit : arracher de l’âme un vice, y introduire la vertu, l’orner, y remplacer la laideur par la beauté.

Admettons, conformément à l’opinion des anciens, que la vertu est une harmonie (13) et la méchanceté le contraire : c’est le moyen de résoudre la question que nous nous sommes posée. En effet, quand les parties de l’âme [la partie raisonnable, la partie irascible, la partie concupiscible] seront en harmonie les unes avec les autres, il y aura vertu (14); dans le cas contraire, il y aura vice. Mais, dans ces deux cas, rien d’étranger à l’âme ne s’introduit en elle (15); ses parties restent chacune ce qu’elles sont, tout en concourant à l’harmonie. D’un autre côté, elles ne sauraient, quand il y a dissonance, jouer le même rôle que les personnages d’un chœur qui dansent et chantent d’accord, quoiqu’ils ne remplissent pas tous les mêmes fonctions, que l’un chante pendant que les autres se taisent, et que chacun chante sa partie propre : car il ne suffit pas que tous chantent d’accord ; il faut encore que chacun chante convenablement sa partie. Il y a donc harmonie dans l’âme quand chaque partie remplit sa fonction. Il faut cependant que chacune ait sa vertu propre avant qu’il y ait harmonie, ou son vice, avant qu’il y ait désaccord. Quelle est donc la chose dont la présence rend chaque partie de l’âme bonne ou mauvaise ? C’est évidemment la présence de la vertu ou du vice. Si l’on admet que, pour la partie raisonnable, le vice consiste dans l’ignorance (16), il n’y a là qu’une simple négation, on n’attribue rien de positif à la raison.

Mais, quand il y a dans l’âme quelques-unes de ces fausses opinions qui sont la principale cause du vice, ne faut-il pas avouer qu’il se produit alors en elle quelque chose de positif et qu’une de ses parties subit une altération ? La partie irascible n’est-elle pas dans une disposition différente selon qu’elle est courageuse ou lâche ; et la partie concupiscible, selon qu’elle est tempérante ou intempérante? — Quand une partie de l’âme est vertueuse, c’est qu’elle agit conformément à son essence, qu’elle obéit à la raison (car la raison commande à toutes les parties de l’âme et est soumise elle-même à l’intelligence). Or, obéir à la raison, c’est voir ; ce n’est pas recevoir une empreinte, c’est avoir une intuition, accomplir l’acte de la vision (17). La vue a la même essence quand elle est en puissance et quand elle est en acte ; elle n’est pas altérée quand elle passe de la puissance à l’acte (18) ; elle ne fait que s’appliquer à ce qu’il est dans son essence de faire, à voir et à connaître, sans pâtir. La partie raisonnable est dans le même rapport avec l’intelligence ; elle en a l’intuition (19). Quant à l’intelligence, sa nature n’est pas de recevoir une empreinte semblable à celle que fait un cachet (20), mais elle possède en un Sens ce qu’elle voit, et elle 129 ne le possède pas en un autre : elle le possède, parce qu’elle le connaît ; elle ne le possède pas, en ce sens qu’elle n’en reçoit pas, en le voyant, une forme pareille à celle qu’un cachet imprime à la cire. Enfin, il faut ne pas oublier que la mémoire ne consiste pas à garder des impressions, mais que c’est la faculté qu’a l’âme de se rappeler et de se rendre présentes les choses qui ne lui sont pas présentes (21). Mais quoi? L’âme n’est-elle pas autre avant de réveiller un souvenir et après l’avoir réveillé? Elle est autre, si l’on veut, mais elle n’est pas altérée, à moins qu’on ne nomme altération (ἀλλοίωσις) le passage de la puissance à l’acte. En tout cas, rien d’adventice ne s’introduit alors en elle, elle ne fait qu’agir selon sa propre nature.

En général, les actes des essences immatérielles n’impliquent en aucune façon que ces essences soient altérées (sinon elles périraient), mais tout au contraire qu’elles demeurent ce qu’elles sont. Il n’appartient qu’aux choses matérielles de pâlir en agissant. Si un principe immatériel était exposé à pâtir, il ne demeurerait plus ce qu’il est. Ainsi, dans l’acte de la vision, la vue agit, l’œil pâtit (22). Quant aux opinions, ce sont des actes analogues à la vision.

Mais comment la partie irascible peut-elle être tantôt courageuse, tantôt lâche? — Si elle est lâche, c’est qu’elle ne considère pas la raison, ou qu’elle considère la raison déjà devenue mauvaise, ou bien que le défaut de ses instruments, c’est-à-dire le manque ou la faiblesse de ses organes, l’empêche d’agir ou d’être émue et irritée. Elle est courageuse, si le contraire a lieu. Dans l’un et l’autre cas, l’âme ne subit pas d’altération, ne pâtit pas.

Enfin, quand la partie concupiscible est intempérante, c’est qu’elle agit seule (car, alors elle fait seule toutes choses, les principes qui doivent lui commander et la diriger ne sont pas présents) ; c’est en outre, que la partie raisonnable, dont la fonction est de voir [de considérer les notions qu’elle reçoit de l’intelligence], est occupée à autre chose (car elle ne fait pas tout à la fois), qu’elle vaque à un autre acte, parce qu’elle considère autant qu’elle le peut d’autres choses que les choses corporelles (23). Peut-être aussi le vice ou la vertu de la partie concupiscible dépendent-ils beaucoup du bon ou du mauvais état des organes ; en sorte que, dans l’un comme dans l’autre cas, rien n’est ajouté à l’âme.

Guthrie

VIRTUE AS A HARMONY; VICE AS A DISHARMONY.

2. What occurs in the soul when she contains a vice? We ask this because it is usual to say, “to snatch a vice from the soul;” “to introduce virtue into her,” “to adorn her,” “to replace ugliness by beauty in her.” Let us also premiss, following the opinions of the ancients, that virtue is a harmony, and wickedness the opposite. That is the best means to solve the problem at issue. Indeed, when the parts of the soul (the rational part, the irascible part, and the part of appetite), harmonize with each other, we shall have virtue; and, in the contrary case, vice. Still, in both cases, nothing foreign to the soul enters into her; each of her parts remain what they are, while contributing to harmony. On the other hand, when there is dissonance, they could not play the same parts as the personnel of a choric ballet, who dance and sing in harmony, though not all of them fill the same functions; though one sings while the remainder are silent; and though each sings his own part; for it does not suffice that they all sing in tune, they must each properly sing his own part. In the soul we therefore have harmony when each part fulfils its functions. Still each must have its own virtue before the existence of a harmony; or its vice, before there is disharmony. What then is the thing whose presence makes each part of the soul good or evil? Evidently the presence of virtue or vice. The mere statement that, for the rational part (of the soul) vice consists in ignorance, is no more than a simple negation, and predicates nothing positive about reason.

THIS DEFINITION SUFFICES TO EXPLAIN THE FACTS OF EVIL IN THE SOUL.

But when the soul contains some of those false opinions which are the principal cause of vice, must we not acknowledge that something positive occurs in her, and that one of her parts undergoes an alteration? Is not the disposition of the soul’s irascible part different according to its courage or cowardliness? And the soul’s appetitive-part, according to whether it be temperate or intemperate? We answer that a part of the soul is virtuous, when it acts in conformity with its “being,” or when it obeys reason; for reason commands all the parts of the soul, and herself is subjected to intelligence. Now to obey reason is to see; it is not to receive an impression, but to have an intuition, to carry out the act of vision. Sight is of the same (nature) when in potentiality, or in actualization; it is not altered in passing from potentiality to actualization, she only applies herself to do what it is her (nature) to do, to see and know, without being affected. Her rational part is in the same relation with intelligence; she has the intuition thereof. The nature of intelligence is not to receive an impression similar to that made by a seal, but in one sense to possess what it sees, and not to possess it in another; intelligence possesses it by cognizing it; but intelligence does not possess it in this sense that while seeing it intelligence does not receive from it a shape similar to that impressed on wax by a seal. Again, we must not forget that memory does not consist in keeping impressions, but is the soul’s faculty of recalling and representing to herself the things that are not present to her. Some objector might say that the soul is different before reawakening a memory, and after having reawakened it. She may indeed be different, but she is not altered, unless indeed, we call the passing from potentiality to actualization an alteration. In any case, nothing extraneous enters into her, she only acts according to her own nature.

ONLY THE PHYSICAL ORGANS, NOT THE IMMATERIAL NATURES, COULD BE AFFECTED.

In general, the actualizations of immaterial (natures) do not in any way imply that these (natures) were altered — which would imply their destruction — but, on the contrary, they remain what they were. Only material things are affected, while active. If an immaterial principle were exposed to undergo affections, it would no longer remain what it is. Thus in the act of vision, the sight acts, but it is the eye that is affected. As to opinions, they are actualizations analogous to sight.

PSYCHOLOGICAL EXPLANATION OF ANGER-PART’S COURAGE OR COWARDLINESS.

But how can the soul’s irascible-part be at one time courageous, and at the other cowardly? When it is cowardly, it does not consider reason, or considers reason as having already become evil; or because the deficiency of its instruments, that is, the lack of weakness of its organs, hinders it from acting, or feeling emotion, or being irritated. In the contrary condition it is courageous. In either case, the soul undergoes no alteration, nor is affected.

PSYCHOLOGICAL EXPLANATION OF VIRTUE OR VICE OF APPETITE.

Further, the soul’s appetite is intemperate when it alone is active; for then, in the absence of the principles that ought to command or direct her, it alone does everything. Besides, the rational part, whose function it is to see (by considering the notions it receives from intelligence), is occupied with something else, for it does not do everything simultaneously, being busy with some other action; it considers other than corporeal things, so far as it can. Perhaps also the virtue or vice of the appetite depend considerably on the good or evil condition of the organs; so that, in either case, nothing is added to the soul.

MacKenna

2. Let us begin with virtue and vice in the Soul. What has really occurred when, as we say, vice is present? In speaking of extirpating evil and implanting goodness, of introducing order and beauty to replace a former ugliness, we talk in terms of real things in the Soul.

Now when we make virtue a harmony, and vice a breach of harmony, we accept an opinion approved by the ancients; and the theory helps us decidedly to our solution. For if virtue is simply a natural concordance among the phases of the Soul, and vice simply a discord, then there is no further question of any foreign presence; harmony would be the result of every distinct phase or faculty joining in, true to itself; discord would mean that not all chimed in at their best and truest. Consider, for example, the performers in a choral dance; they sing together though each one has his particular part, and sometimes one voice is heard while the others are silent; and each brings to the chorus something of his own; it is not enough that all lift their voices together; each must sing, choicely, his own part to the music set for him. Exactly so in the case of the Soul; there will be harmony when each faculty performs its appropriate part.

Yes: but this very harmony constituting the virtue of the Soul must depend upon a previous virtue, that of each several faculty within itself; and before there can be the vice of discord there must be the vice of the single parts, and these can be bad only by the actual presence of vice as they can be good only by the presence of virtue. It is true that no presence is affirmed when vice is identified with ignorance in the reasoning faculty of the Soul; ignorance is not a positive thing; but in the presence of false judgements - the main cause of vice - must it not be admitted that something positive has entered into the Soul, something perverting the reasoning faculty? So, the initiative faculty; is it not, itself, altered as one varies between timidity and boldness? And the desiring faculty, similarly, as it runs wild or accepts control?

Our teaching is that when the particular faculty is sound it performs the reasonable act of its essential nature, obeying the reasoning faculty in it which derives from the Intellectual Principle and communicates to the rest. And this following of reason is not the acceptance of an imposed shape; it is like using the eyes; the Soul sees by its act, that of looking towards reason. The faculty of sight in the performance of its act is essentially what it was when it lay latent; its act is not a change in it, but simply its entering into the relation that belongs to its essential character; it knows - that is, sees - without suffering any change: so, precisely, the reasoning phase of the Soul stands towards the Intellectual Principle; this it sees by its very essence; this vision is its knowing faculty; it takes in no stamp, no impression; all that enters it is the object of vision - possessed, once more, without possession; it possesses by the fact of knowing but "without possession" in the sense that there is no incorporation of anything left behind by the object of vision, like the impression of the seal on sealing-wax.

And note that we do not appeal to stored-up impressions to account for memory: we think of the mind awakening its powers in such a way as to possess something not present to it.

Very good: but is it not different before and after acquiring the memory?

Be it so; but it has suffered no change - unless we are to think of the mere progress from latency to actuality as change - nothing has been introduced into the mind; it has simply achieved the Act dictated by its nature.

It is universally true that the characteristic Act of immaterial entities is performed without any change in them - otherwise they would at last be worn away - theirs is the Act of the unmoving; where act means suffering change, there is Matter: an immaterial Being would have no ground of permanence if its very Act changed it.

Thus in the case of Sight, the seeing faculty is in act but the material organ alone suffers change: judgements are similar to visual experiences.

But how explain the alternation of timidity and daring in the initiative faculty?

Timidity would come by the failure to look towards the Reason-Principle or by looking towards some inferior phase of it or by some defect in the organs of action - some lack or flaw in the bodily equipment - or by outside prevention of the natural act or by the mere absence of adequate stimulus: boldness would arise from the reverse conditions: neither implies any change, or even any experience, in the Soul.

So with the faculty of desire: what we call loose living is caused by its acting unaccompanied; it has done all of itself; the other faculties, whose business it is to make their presence felt in control and to point the right way, have lain in abeyance; the Seer in the Soul was occupied elsewhere, for, though not always at least sometimes, it has leisure for a certain degree of contemplation of other concerns.

Often, moreover, the vice of the desiring faculty will be merely some ill condition of the body, and its virtue, bodily soundness; thus there would again be no question of anything imported into the Soul.

Taylor

II. In the first place however, it is requisite to speak of virtue and vice, and to show what then takes place when vice is said to be present with the soul. For we say it is necessary to take away-something, as if a certain evil was in the soul, and that virtue should be inserted in it, and it should be adorned and made beautiful, instead of being, as it was before, base and deformed. If therefore we should say that virtue is harmony, but vice dissonance, shall we adduce an opinion conformable to that of the ancients ? For this assertion will in no small degree promote the object of our investigation. For if, indeed, virtue consists in the parts of the soul being naturally concordant with each other, but vice, in their not being concordant, nothing adventitious or extraneous will take place ; but each part will proceed such as it is, into an appropriate order, and being such will not enter into dissonance, like dancers who in dancing do not accord with each other ; either one of them singing, when the rest do not sing, or each singing by himself. For it is not only necessary that they should sing together, but that each should sing well with an appropriate music, as far as pertains to his own part of the performance ; so that then also in the soul there is harmony, when each part performs that which is adapted to it. It is requisite, however, prior to the harmony, that there should be another virtue of each of the parts, and another vice of each prior to their dissonance with respect to each other. What is it therefore, from which being present, each part is evil ? Is it from vice being present ? And again, is each part good through the presence of virtue ? Perhaps, therefore, some one may say that ignorance in the reasoning power is the vice of it, this ignorance consisting in the negation of knowledge, and not in the presence of a certain thing. But when false opinions are inherent, which especially produce vice, how is it possible in this case that something should not be ingenerated, and that this part of the soul should not thus be changed in quality ? Is not also the irascible part affected in one way when it is timid, and in another when it is brave ? And is not the epithymetic1 part likewise, affected differently when it is intemperate, and when it is temperate ? Or may we not say, that when each part possessing virtue, energizes according to the essence by which it is characterized, we then say it is obedient to reason ? And the reasoning part, indeed, is obedient to intellect, but the other parts to reason. Or shall we say that to be obedient to reason is as it were to see, that which is obedient not being figured, but seeing, and being in energy when it sees ; just as sight both when it is in capacity, and when in energy, is the same in essence; but energy is not a change in quality, but at once applies itself to that to which it is essentially adapted, and perceives and knows without passivity. The reasoning power also thus subsists with reference to intellect, and thus sees. And the power of intellection is this, not becoming internally, the impressions as it were of a seal, but it possesses, and again does not possess that which it sees. It possesses the spectacle indeed, in consequence of knowing it; but does not possess it, because nothing is impressed in it from the object of vision, like the figure in the wax. It is, however, necessary to recollect, that memory is not a certain repository of impressions, but a power of the soul exciting itself in such a way as to possess that which it had not.

What then, was it not one thing before it thus recollected, and another afterwards when it now recollects ? [It was] if you are willing to call it another, and not to say that it is changed in quality; unless some one should assert that a progression from power to energy is a mutation in quality. Nothing however is here added, but that is effected which there was a natural aptitude to effect. For in short, the energies of immaterial natures are not themselves in energizing changed in quality, or they would perish, but they much rather energize by remaining permanent. But to energize with passivity is the province of things which are connected in their energies with matter. If however that which is immaterial is passively affected, it will not be able any where to abide, as in the sight, vision energizing, it is the eye which suffers [and not the energy of seeing]. And opinions are as it were visions. But how is the irascible part timid ? And how also does it possess fortitude ? Shall we say it is timid indeed, either because it does not look to reason, or because it looks to depraved reason; or that it is so through a defect of instruments, such as the want or the weakness of corporeal arms, in consequence of which it is either prevented from energizing, or is not moved so as to be as it were incited ? But it possesses fortitude, if the contrary takes place; in neither of which cases, there is not any change of quality, or passion. Again, that part of the soul which desires, when it energizes alone, produces what is called intemperance. For [sometimes] it performs all things alone, other things not being present, whose province it is in their turn to have dominion, and to point out to this part [what it ought to do]. In the mean time the power whose province it is to see, performs something else, and not all things; but is elsewhere at leisure, in consequence of seeing as much as possible other things. Perhaps, too, what is called the vice of this part, consists very much in a bad habit of the body ; but the virtue of it is a contrary habit; so that no addition is in either case made to the soul.


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