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Plotino - Tratado 26,4 (III, 6, 4) — O que é a potência passiva (pathetikon)?

Enéada III, 6, 4

quinta-feira 27 de janeiro de 2022, por Cardoso de Castro

Capítulo 4: O que é a potência passiva (pathetikon)?

  • 1-6: Anúncio da questão
  • 6-17: Todas as paixões não vêm de uma opinião, mas se acompanham de opinião
  • 17-30: Análise do medo e de suas manifestações corporais
  • 31-41: Introdução da noção de Forma (eidos): o poder vegetativo onde se enraíza o desejo é uma forma impassível
  • 41-52: Comparação entre a relação da alma ao corpo e aquele da harmonia das cordas de um instrumento de música

Baracat

4. Devemos investigar a chamada parte afectiva da alma. De certo modo, já falamos dela lá onde, a propósito de todas as afecções que se originam nas partes irascível e desiderativa, explicávamos como é cada uma; entretanto, ainda é preciso falando sobre ela, considerando, em primeiro lugar, o que dizemos ser a parte afectiva da alma. Com efeito, diz-se que, universalmente, é aquilo onde as afecções parecem constituir-se; e são afecções as que são seguidas por prazeres ou tristezas. Dentre as afecções, algumas se constituem com as opiniões, como quando alguém sente medo porque tem a opinião de estar em iminência de morrer, ou se compraz pensando que algo bom lhe ocorrerá: a opinião está em uma parte e a afecção se move em outra; mas outras afecções são tais que, regendo involuntariamente por si mesmas, produzem a opinião na faculdade que é opinativa por natureza. Foi dito que a opinião deixa inalterada a parte opinativa; e que o medo resultante da opinião, provindo por sua vez de cima, da opinião, proporciona como que uma consciência à parte da alma que se diz que teme.

Então, que produz esse temor? Desconserto e choque, dizem, ante um mal pressentido. Portanto, deveria ser assim evidente que a imaginação está na alma, tanto a primeira, que chamamos opinião, quanto a que dela provém e já não é opinião, mas como que uma opinião turvada e uma imaginação indistinta surgida na parte inferior, similar à atividade inerente à chamada natureza, tendo em conta que esta produz todas as coisas, como dizem, sem imaginação. O que resulta delas é já o desconserto sensível surgido no corpo, o abalo e o tremor do corpo, a palidez e a impossibilidade de falar. Certamente, esses efeitos não surgem na parte anímica: se não, diríamos que ela é corpórea, e, se fosse ela mesma quem sofresse tais efeitos, eles sequer chegariam ao corpo, pois o transmissor não poderia efetuar a transmissão porque estaria possuído pela afecção e se deslocaria de si mesmo.

No entanto, essa parte da alma, a afectiva, existe, e não é um corpo, mas uma forma. Na matéria, porém, não está apenas a faculdade desiderativa, mas também a de nutrição, crescimento e geração, que é raiz e princípio da forma desiderativa e afectiva. Em nenhuma forma deve estar presente um desconserto ou uma afecção em geral, mas a forma mesma deve permanecer imutável, ao passo que a matéria dessa forma deve ser afectada, quando quer que aconteça, enquanto a forma a move por sua presença. Pois não é precisamente a faculdade vegetativa a que vegeta quando faz vegetar, nem a que cresce quando faz crescer, e, em geral, não é ela a que, quando move, se move com aquele movimento com o qual move, mas ou não se move em absoluto ou se trata de um tipo distinto de movimento, ou seja, de atividade. Assim, a natureza mesma da forma deve ser atividade e deve produzir por sua presença, como se a harmonia movesse as cordas por si mesma. Portanto, a parte afectiva será causa de afecção, seja porque a afecção provém dela sob o movimento da imaginação sensível, seja sem a imaginação; e devemos investigar isso, para sabermos se é a opinião provinda de cima quem inicia; mas a parte afectiva mesma permanece, como uma harmonia. As causas do movimento são análogas ao músico; mas as partes golpeadas pela afecção seriam comparáveis às cordas. Pois mesmo lá, a afectada não é a harmonia, mas a corda; no entanto, a corda não se moveria, ainda que o músico quisesse, se não o ditasse a harmonia.

Míguez

4. Hemos de examinar ahora la parte del alma que se considera pasiva. Ya se ha hablado de ella, en cierto modo, con todo lo que se ha dicho de las pasiones referentes a la cólera y al deseo; entonces se ha mostrado cómo es cada una. Mas no por ello hemos de pasar por alto la cuestión, fijándonos primeramente en lo que se entiende como parte pnsiva del alma. Se dice de una manera general que es la parte en la que parecen formarse las pasiones, esto es, los estados seguidos de placer y de pena. Unas pasiones son el resultado de opiniones, como cuando se tiene miedo pensando en el trance de la muerte, o cuando se siente complacencia imaginando un bien futuro; entonces la opinión se da en una cosa y la pasión se produce en otra distinta. Otras pasiones, constituidas en guías de sí mismas, actúan de manera espontánea y producen una opinión en la parte que, por naturaleza, está destinada a ella. Ya se ha indicado que la opinión deja esta parte inalterable en el momento que juzga. En cuanto al temor que no proviene de un juicio, si viene de lo alto como consecuencia de un juicio, produce una especie de percepción en esa parte del alma dominada por el miedo. ¿Qué es, sin embargo, lo que produce este temor? Dícese que es como una turbación y un pavor ante algo que se considera un mal. Tanto una como otra representación se dan evidentemente en el alma; la primera, a la que llamamos propiamente juicio, y la segunda, que ha salido de aquélla y que, aunque no sea un juicio, se presenta como una especie de juicio oscuro y cual una representación imprecisa que se produce en la parte inferior del alma, semeja realmente a los actos de la llamada naturaleza que, según se dice, produce todas las cosas sin el concurso de la representación. Después de esto surge ya la turbación percibida en el cuerpo, y el temblor y la conmoción que la acompañan, así como la palidez y la imposibilidad de hablar. Mas nada de ello afecta a la parte anímica; porque en ese caso tendríamos que considerarla corpórea, si es verdad que sufre tales estados. Pero entonces también dichos estados no llegarían al cuerpo porque el alma que los envía dejaría de actuar, retenida por su propia pasión que la impide cumplir su cometido.

Digamos que la parte pasiva del alma no es verdaderamente un cuerpo, sino una forma. Sin embargo, en la ma^ (cria tienen su asiento la facultad de desear, la potencia nutritiva, la potencia vegetativa y la potencia generadora; ósta es como la raíz y el principio del deseo y de la parte pasiva. Con todo, a una forma no pueden alcanzar ni la turbación ni, en absoluto, la pasión, sino que ha de permanecer inmóvil. Es su materia la que sufrirá estas pasiones cuando ellas se produzcan por la presencia de la forma motora. Cuando la potencia vegetativa hace brotar las plantas, ella misma no brota; ni tampoco crece cuando las hace crecer. Porque, en general, cuando algo se mueve, no se mueve con el mismo movimiento que produce, y, o bien no se mueve en absoluto, o su movimiento y su acto son de otra clase. Conviene, pues, que la naturaleza de la forma sea un acto y que actúe por su sola presencia, cual si se tratase de una armonía que moviese las cuerdas de una lira. Así, la parte pasiva del alma será la causa de la pasión, productora de su movimiento, que provendrá de una representación sensible o se originará sin representación (habrá que considerar aparte el caso de la opinión que tiene su comienzo en lo alto); pero ella misma permanecerá inmóvil a la manera de una armonía. Las causas del movimiento de la pasión son semejantes al músico, y las partes quebrantadas por las pasiones tienen relación con las cuerdas de la lira. Porque tratándose de la música no es la armonía la que sufre, sino la cuerda; pero la cuerda no vibraría a su vez (armoniosamente), aun queriéndolo el músico, sin contar con las prescripciones armónicas.

Bouillet

Passons maintenant à la partie de l’âme qu’on nomme la partie passive (τὸ παθητικὸς). Nous en avons déjà parlé [dans le § 3] en traitant de toutes les passions qui se rapportent à la partie irascible et à la partie concupiscible ; 133 cependant nous allons revenir sur cette partie et expliquer pourquoi on l’appelle la partie passive de l’âme. On lui donne ce nom, parce que c’est à elle que paraissent se rapporter les passions, c’est-à-dire les faits qui sont accompagnés de peine ou de plaisir (30). Parmi les passions, il en est qui naissent de l’opinion : ainsi, l’on éprouve de la crainte ou de la joie selon qu’on s’attend à mourir ou que l’on espère obtenir quelque bien; alors, l’opinion est dans l’âme, et la passion dans le corps. D’autres passions, au contraire, se produisant à l’improviste, font naître l’opinion dans la partie de l’âme à laquelle appartient cette fonction, mais ne causent en elle aucune altération, comme nous l’avons déjà expliqué. Cependant, si, en examinant la crainte inopinée, 134 on remonte plus haut, on voit qu’elle a elle-même l’opinion pour origine, qu’elle implique quelque appréhension dans la partie de l’âme qui éprouve la crainte, à la suite de laquelle se produisent le trouble et la stupeur qui accompagnent l’attente du mal. Or, c’est à l’âme qu’appartient l’imagination, soit l’Imagination première que nous nommons Opinion, soit l’Imagination [seconde] qui procède de la première; celle-ci n’est plus proprement l’opinion, c’est une puissance inférieure, une opinion obscure, une imagination confuse (ἀνεπίκριτος φαντασία), semblable à l’action qui appartient à la Nature et par laquelle cette puissance produit chaque chose, comme on le dit, aveuglément (ἀφαντάττως) (31). Quant à l’agitation sensible qui en est la suite, elle a lieu dans le corps ; c’est à lui que se rapportent le tremblement, la palpitation, la pâleur, l’impuissance de parler. On ne peut en effet attribuer de pareilles modifications à une partie de l’âme; sinon, cette partie serait corporelle. Il y a plus; si cette partie de l’âme subissait de pareilles passions (32), le corps lui-même n’éprouverait plus les modifications dont on vient de parler : car la partie de l’âme qui fait éprouver au corps ces modifications ne remplirait plus alors son office, parce qu’elle serait dominée par la passion et qu’elle ne s’appartiendrait plus.

La partie passive de l’âme n’est donc pas corporelle : c’est une forme, mais une forme engagée dans la matière, comme l’appétit concupiscible, la puissance végétative, nutritive et génératrice, puissance qui est la racine et le principe de l’appétit concupiscible et de la partie passive de l’âme. Or une forme ne peut absolument pas éprouver d’agitation ni de passion, mais elle doit rester ce qu’elle est. C’est à la matière [du corps] qu’il appartient d’éprouver une 135 passion, quand cette passion est produite par la présence de la puissance qui en est le principe. En effet, ce n’est pas la puissance végétative qui végète, ni la puissance nutritive qui est nourrie ; en général, le principe qui produit un mouvement n’est point mû lui-même par le mouvement qu’il produit, mais ou il n’est mû en aucune façon, ou son mouvement et son action sont d’une tout autre nature (33). Or l’essence d’une forme est d’agir, de produire par sa présence seule, comme si l’harmonie faisait par elle-même vibrer les cordes de la lyre (34). Ainsi, la partie passive [sans pâtir elle-même] est la cause des passions, soit que les mouvements procèdent d’elle, c’est-à-dire de l’imagination sensible, soit qu’ils aient lieu sans imagination [distincte] (35).

Il resterait à considérer si, l’opinion ayant pour origine un principe supérieur [l’âme], ce principe ne reste pas immobile parce qu’il est la forme de l’harmonie, tandis que la cause du mouvement remplit le rôle du musicien, et les parties ébranlées par la passion celui des cordes : car, ce n’est pas l’harmonie, mais la corde qui éprouve la passion; et la corde ne peut vibrer, le musicien le voulût-il, si l’harmonie ne le prescrit.

Guthrie

PASSIONAL CHANGES OCCUR IN THE BODY, NOT EVEN TO THE PASSIONAL PART OF THE SOUL.

4. Let us now pass to that part of the soul that is called the "passional" (or, affective). We have already mentioned it, when treating of all the "passions" (that is, affections), which were related to the irascible-part and appetitive part of the soul; but we are going to return to a study of this part, and explain its name, the "passional" (or, affective) part. It is so called because it seems to be the part affected by the "passions;" that is, experiences accompanied by pleasure or pain. Amidst these affections, some are born of opinion; thus, we feel fear or joy, according as we expect to die, or as we hope to attain some good; then the "opinion" is in the soul, and the "affection" in the body. On the contrary, other passions, occurring in an unforeseen way, give rise to opinion in that part of the soul to which this function belongs, but do not cause any alteration within her, as we have already explained. Nevertheless, if, on examining unexpected fear, we follow it up higher, we discover that it still contains opinion as its origin, implying some apprehension in that part of the soul that experiences fear, as a result of which occur the trouble and stupor which accompany the expectation of evil. Now it is to the soul that belongs imagination, both the primary imagination that we call opinion, and the (secondary) imagination that proceeds from the former; for the latter is no longer genuine opinion, but an inferior power, an obscure opinion, a confused imagination which resembles the action characteristic of nature, and by which this power produces each thing, as we say, unimaginatively. Its resulting sense-agitation occurs within the body. To it relate trembling, palpitation, paleness, and inability to speak. Such modifications, indeed, could not be referred to any part of the soul; otherwise, such part of the soul would be physical. Further, if such part of the soul underwent such affections these modifications would not reach the body; for that affected part of the soul would no longer be able to exercise its functions, being dominated by passion, and thus incapacitated.

THE SOUL’S AFFECTIVE PART MAY BE THE CAUSE OF AFFECTIONS; BUT IS INCORPOREAL.

The affective part of the soul, therefore, is not corporeal; it is a form indeed, but a form engaged in matter, such as the appetite, the power of growth, both nutritive and generative, a power which is the root and principle of appetite, and the affective part of the soul. Now a form cannot undergo an affection or a passion, but must remain what it is. It is the matter (of a body) which is capable of being affected by a "passion" (an affection), when this affection is produced by the presence of the power which is its principle. Indeed it is neither the power of growth that grows, nor the nutritive power that is fed; in general, the principle that produces a motion is not itself moved by the movement it produces; in case it were moved in any way, its movement and action would be of an entirely different nature. Now the nature of a form is an actualization, by its mere presence producing (something), just as if the harmony alone could cause the vibration of the strings of a lyre. Thus the affective part (of the soul, without itself being affected) is the cause of the affections, whether the movement proceed from it, that is, from sense-imagination, or whether they occur without (distinct) imagination.

THE AFFECTIONS OF THE SOUL COMPARED TO A MUSICIAN PLAYING THE LYRE.

We might further consider whether, inasmuch as opinion originates in a higher principle (of the soul), this principle does not remain immovable because it is the form of harmony, while the cause of the movement plays the role of the musician, and the parts caused to vibrate by the affection, that of the strings; for it is not the harmony, but the string that experiences the affection; and even if the musician desired it, the string would not vibrate unless it were prescribed by the harmony.

MacKenna

4. We have, however, still to examine what is called the affective phase of the Soul. This has, no doubt, been touched upon above where we dealt with the passions in general as grouped about the initiative phase of the Soul and the desiring faculty in its effort to shape things to its choice: but more is required; we must begin by forming a clear idea of what is meant by this affective faculty of the Soul.

In general terms it means the centre about which we recognize the affections to be grouped; and by affections we mean those states upon which follow pleasure and pain.

Now among these affections we must distinguish. Some are pivoted upon judgements; thus, a Man judging his death to be at hand may feel fear; foreseeing some fortunate turn of events, he is happy: the opinion lies in one sphere; the affection is stirred in another. Sometimes the affections take the lead and automatically bring in the notion which thus becomes present to the appropriate faculty: but as we have explained, an act of opinion does not introduce any change into the Soul or Mind: what happens is that from the notion of some impending evil is produced the quite separate thing, fear, and this fear, in turn, becomes known in that part of the Mind which is said under such circumstances to harbour fear.

But what is the action of this fear upon the Mind?

The general answer is that it sets up trouble and confusion before an evil anticipated. It should, however, be quite clear that the Soul or Mind is the seat of all imaginative representation - both the higher representation known as opinion or judgement and the lower representation which is not so much a judgement as a vague notion unattended by discrimination, something resembling the action by which, as is believed, the "Nature" of common speech produces, unconsciously, the objects of the partial sphere. It is equally certain that in all that follows upon the mental act or state, the disturbance, confined to the body, belongs to the sense-order; trembling, pallor, inability to speak, have obviously nothing to do with the spiritual portion of the being. The Soul, in fact, would have to be described as corporeal if it were the seat of such symptoms: besides, in that case the trouble would not even reach the body since the only transmitting principle, oppressed by sensation, jarred out of itself, would be inhibited.

None the less, there is an affective phase of the Soul or Mind and this is not corporeal; it can be, only, some kind of Ideal-form.

Now Matter is the one field of the desiring faculty, as of the principles of nutrition growth and engendering, which are root and spring to desire and to every other affection known to this Ideal-form. No Ideal-form can be the victim of disturbance or be in any way affected: it remains in tranquillity; only the Matter associated with it can be affected by any state or experience induced by the movement which its mere presence suffices to set up. Thus the vegetal Principle induces vegetal life but it does not, itself, pass through the processes of vegetation; it gives growth but it does not grow; in no movement which it originates is it moved with the motion it induces; it is in perfect repose, or, at least, its movement, really its act, is utterly different from what it causes elsewhere.

The nature of an Ideal-form is to be, of itself, an activity; it operates by its mere presence: it is as if Melody itself plucked the strings. The affective phase of the Soul or Mind will be the operative cause of all affection; it originates the movement either under the stimulus of some sense-presentment or independently - and it is a question to be examined whether the judgement leading to the movement operates from above or not - but the affective phase itself remains unmoved like Melody dictating music. The causes originating the movement may be likened to the musician; what is moved is like the strings of his instrument, and once more, the Melodic Principle itself is not affected, but only the strings, though, however much the musician desired it, he could not pluck the strings except under dictation from the principle of Melody.

Taylor

IV. Let us, however, direct our attention to what is called the passive part of the soul; though we have already after a manner spoken concerning this, when we discussed all the passions which are produced about the irascible and epithymetic part, and showed how each of them subsists. Nevertheless, it is requisite to discuss it more amply; in the first place assuming what that which is passive in the soul is said to be. It is said, therefore, to be that about which the passions appear to subsist. But these are things to which pleasure and pain are consequent. Of the passions, however, some originate from opinions, as when some one being of opinion that he shall die, is terrified, or fancying that he shall obtain some good is delighted ; the opinion indeed, being in one thing, but the exciting passion in another. But other passions are such as, existing involuntarily, produce opinion in that which is naturally adapted to opine. And we have already observed that opinion permits the nature which opines to remain immovable. Unexpected fear, however, when it accedes, will be found to originate from opinion, affording as it were a certain perception to the part of the soul which is said to be afraid. For what does this being afraid effect ? Perturbation it is said, and astonishment from the expectation of evil. It is evident, however, that the phantasy is in the soul, both the first2 which we call opinion, and the second which is derived from the first, and is no longer opinion [truly so called,] but is conversant with that which is beneath, being as it were obscure opinion, and an unadvised and rash imagination, such as the energy which is said to be inherent in nature, according to which it produces every thing without phantasy. But a sensible perturbation from these is produced about the body ; viz. a trembling and concussion, paleness, and an inability of speaking. For these effects are not in the psychical part; since if they were, we should not say that they are corporeal. For if they pertained to the soul, that power of it whose province it is to transmit these, would no longer perform its office, in consequence of being detained by passions, and departing from itself. This passive part, therefore, of the soul, is not indeed body, but a certain form. Nevertheless, it is in matter, as are also the epithymetic, the nutritive, augmentative, and generative powers, the three latter of which are the root and principle of the epithymetic and passive form. It is requisite, however, that no perturbation, or in short passion should be present with any form; but it is necessary that form should remain permanent, and that the matter of it should be conversant with passion, when passion is produced through the presence of the exciting power of form. For the vegetable power does not itself vegetate when it causes other things to vegetate; nor is increased when it increases other things ; nor in short when it moves, is moved according to the motion with which it moves, but is either not moved at all, or has another mode of motion or energy. Hence it is necessary that the nature itself of form should be energy; and should produce by being present, just as if harmony should of itself move the chords [of a musical instrument]. The passive part of the soul, therefore, will be indeed the cause of passion, whether the motion is produced by it from the sensitive phantasy, or also without the phantasy. This, likewise, must be considered, whether opinion originating supernally, that which is passive in the soul subsists alone in the form of the harmony ; but the motive causes are analogous to the musician; and the things which are struck through passion have the relation of chords. For in a musical instrument also, harmony does not suffer, but the chord. And the chord is not moved, though the musician wishes that it should be, unless harmony commands it to be moved.


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