Página inicial > Antiguidade > Neoplatonismo (245-529 dC) > Plotino (204-270 dC) – Tratados Enéadas > Plotino - Tratado 4,2 (IV, 2, 2) — Analise dicotômica da divisibilidade e da (...)

ENÉADAS

Plotino - Tratado 4,2 (IV, 2, 2) — Analise dicotômica da divisibilidade e da indivisibilidade da alma

Enéada IV, 2, 2

domingo 15 de maio de 2022, por Cardoso de Castro

Capítulo 2: Analise dicotômica da divisibilidade e da indivisibilidade da alma.

  • 5-35. Exame das consequências da hipótese segundo a qual a alma seria somente divisível. Demonstração de sua impossibilidade.
  • 35-39. Demonstração da impossibilidade da hipótese adversa segundo a qual a alma seria exclusivamente indivisível.
  • 39-49. Conclusão: a alma é ao mesmo tempo divisível e indivisível.

Míguez

2. La naturaleza del alma, pues, ha de ser tal que no pueda haber al lado de ella ni un alma que sea sólo indivisible, o sólo divisible, debiendo contar necesariamente con estas dos propiedades.

Porque si el alma, al igual que los cuerpos, tuviese partes distintas en lugares también diferentes, cuando una de sus partes se viese afectada por algo, esta sensación no alcanzaría a ninguna otra parte; esto es, únicamente aquella parte del alma, la que, por ejemplo, se encuentra en el dedo, y es diferente a las demás y existe por si misma, pasaría por esa prueba. Tendríamos, por tanto, varias almas que gobernarían cada parte de nosotros. Y, a mayor abundamiento, el mundo no tendría una sola alma, sino muchas almas que permanecerían separadas las unas de las otras. En vano hablaríamos de una continuidad de las partes, si no concluyésemos en la unidad absoluta; porque no podemos admitir lo que dicen (los estoicos) engañándose a sí mismos, esto es, que por medio de una distribución las sensaciones llegan a la parte rectora del alma. En primer lugar, hablan sin examen suficiente de la cuestión de una parte rectora del alma, pues ¿cómo repartirán ésta y en dónde situarán una y otra de sus partes? ¿Qué extensión asignarán a cada una de las partes y cuál será su diferencia cualitativa, si forman en realidad una sola masa continua? ¿Es acaso la parte rectora del alma la única que siente, o también las otras partes tienen sensación? Y si la sensación sobreviene tan sólo a la parte rectora, ¿en qué lugar de ella hemos de establecerla? Si, por el contrario, la sensación se produce en otra parte del alma que, por naturaleza, no debe sentir, esta parte no podrá comunicar su experiencia a la parte rectora y no habrá, en absoluto, sensación alguna. Pero, si se produce en la parte rectora, es claro que se producirá a la vez en una parte de ésta, dando por descontado que las otras partes no percibirán la sensación, porque sería una cosa inútil. O, en otro caso, tendríamos que admitir una multitud, o incluso un número infinito de sensaciones que no guardarían semejanza alguna entre sí. Una parte diría: yo he sido la primera en experimentar; otra (afirmaría): yo he experimentado la sensación de otra; y todas, a excepción de la primera, desconocerán dónde se ha producido la sensación. O bien ocurrirá que todas se hayan engañado, pensando que se ha producido allí donde ellas se encuentran. Por otra parte, si la parte rectora del alma no es la única que siente, sino que cualquiera de sus partes puede hacerlo, ¿por qué habrá de ser aquélla la parte rectora y no realmente todas las demás? ¿Por qué llevaremos la sensación hasta aquella parte? ¿Cómo es posible que de sensaciones múltiples, como por ejemplo las de los ojos y los oídos, se obtenga el conocimiento de un objeto único?

Si el alma es una y, además, totalmente indivisible en su misma unidad, si nada tiene que ver con la naturaleza de lo que es múltiple y divisible, un cuerpo ocupado por un alma no podrá ser animado en su totalidad; y así, colocada aquélla en el centro del cuerpo, dejará de extender su acción a toda la masa del ser animado.

Conviene, pues, que el alma sea una y múltiple, divisible e indivisible. No pongamos en duda, por tanto, que una misma cosa pueda estar en varios lugares, porque, si no admitimos esto, no será posible tampoco que una naturaleza reúna y gobierne todas las cosas, abarcándolas a todas ellas y dirigiéndolas con sabiduría; ni que un ser sea múltiple porque las cosas también lo son, o uno, porque lo es igualmente el ser que lo contiene todo. Este ser, por su unidad múltiple, deberá distribuir la vida a todas partes; y por su unidad indivisible, la conducirá con prudencia en todas ellas.

En las cosas carentes de sabiduría hay un principio rector que imita esta unidad del alma. Platón   lo ha dicho en enigma de manera divina: “De (la esencia) indivisible y siempre idéntica a sí misma, y de la esencia divisible en los cuerpos (el demiurgo), hizo, por su misma mezcla, una tercera clase de esencia” [Timeo 34c-36a]. Así, pues, el alma es una y múltiple; y, por su parte, las formas que se dan en los cuerpos son múltiples y unas. Los cuerpos, por consiguiente, tienen sólo multiplicidad, en tanto el principio más alto tiene sólo unidad.

Bouillet

II. Telle devait être la nature de l’âme : elle ne pouvait être ni purement indivisible, ni purement divisible, mais elle devait être nécessairement indivisible et divisible, comme on vient de l’exposer. C’est ce que prouvent encore les considérations suivantes :

Si l’âme, comme le corps, avait plusieurs parties différentes les unes des autres, on ne verrait pas, quand une des parties sent, une autre partie éprouver la même sensation (12) ; mais chaque partie de l’âme, celle qui est dans le doigt par exemple, éprouverait les affections qui lui sont propres, en restant étrangère à tout le reste et demeurant en elle-même; en un mot, il y aurait dans chacun de nous plusieurs âmes qui administreraient (13). De même, dans cet univers, il y aurait non une seule âme [l’Âme universelle], mais un nombre infini d’âmes séparées les unes des autres. Recourra-t-on à la continuité des parties (συνεχεία) pour expliquer la sympathie qui unit les organes les uns avec les autres? Cette hypothèse est vaine, à moins que la continuité n’aboutisse à l’unité. Car on ne peut admettre, avec certains philosophes qui se trompent eux-mêmes, que les sensations arrivent au principe dirigeant (τὸ ἡγεμονοῦν) (14) par transmission de proche enproche (διαδόσει). D’abord, c’est chose inconsidérée que d’avancer qu’il y a dans l’âme une partie dirigeante. Comment, en effet, diviser l’âme et y distinguer telle partie et telle autre? Quant à la partie dirigeante, par quelle supériorité, soit de quantité, soit de qualité, la distinguer dans une masse une et continue? D’ailleurs, dans cette hypothèse, qui sentira? Sera-ce la partie dirigeante seule, ou bien les autres parties avec elle? Si c’est elle seule, elle ne sentira qu’autant que l’impression reçue lui aura été transmise à elle-même, dans le lieu où elle réside ; mais si l’impression vient à tomber sur quelque autre partie de l’âme, incapable de sentir, cette partie ne pourra transmettre cette impression à la partie dirigeante, et il n’y aura pas du tout de sensation. En admettant que l’impression parvienne à la partie dirigeante elle-même, elle sera reçue ou par une de ses parties, et, cette partie ayant une fois perçu la sensation, les autres n’auront plus à la percevoir (car ce serait inutile) ; ou par plusieurs parties à la fois, et alors il y aura des sensations multiples ou même en nombre infini, et toutes différeront les unes des autres. L’une, en effet, dira : c’est moi qui la première ai reçu l’impression ; l’autre : j’ai senti l’impression reçue par une autre ; chacune, excepté la première, ignorera où l’impression s’est produite; ou bien encore, chaque partie de l’âme se trompera, croyant que l’impression s’est produite où elle réside elle-même. Enfin, si toute partie de l’âme peut sentir aussi bien que la partie dirigeante, pourquoi dire qu’il y a une partie dirigeante? Quel besoin de faire parvenir la sensation jusqu’à elle? Comment enfin connaîtrait-elle comme un ce qui est le résultat de sensations multiples, de celles par exemple qui viennent des oreilles ou des yeux?

D’un autre côté, si l’âme était absolument une, essentiellement indivisible et une en elle-même, si elle avait une nature incompatible avec la multiplicité et la division, elle ne pourrait en pénétrant le corps l’animer tout entier : se plaçant comme au centre, elle laisserait sans vie toute la masse de l’animal. Il est donc nécessaire que l’âme soit à la fois une et multiple, divisée et indivise, et il ne faut pas nier, comme chose impossible, que l’âme, bien qu’une et identique, soit en plusieurs points du corps à la fois. Si l’on refuse d’admettre cette vérité, on anéantira par cela même cette nature qui contient et administre l’univers (15),qui embrasse tout en même temps et dirige tout avec sagesse, nature à la fois multiple, parce que les êtres sont multiples, et une, parce que le principe qui contient tout doit être un : c’est par son unité multiple qu’elle communique la vie à toutes les parties de l’univers ; c’est par son unité indivisible qu’elle dirige tout avec sagesse. Dans les choses mêmes qui n’ont pas de sagesse, l’unité qui y joue le rôle de principe dirigeant imite l’unité de l’Âme universelle. C’est là ce que Platon   a voulu indiquer allégoriquement par ces paroles divines : « De l’essence indivisible et toujours la même, et de l’essence qui devient divisible dans les corps, Dieu forma par leur mélange une troisième espèce d’essence (16). »

L’Âme [universelle] est donc à la fois une et multiple [comme nous venons de le dire] ; les formes des corps sont multiples et unes ; les corps ne sont que multiples; enfin le principe suprême [l’Un] est seulement un.

Guthrie

SOUL AS BOTH ESSENTIALLY DIVISIBLE AND INDIVISIBLE.

2. Such then the nature of the soul had to be. She could not be either purely indivisible, nor purely divisible, but she necessarily had to be both indivisible and divisible, as has just been set forth. This is further proved by the following considerations. If the soul, like the body, have several parts differing from each other, the sensation of one part would not involve a similar sensation in another part. Each part of the soul, for instance, that which inheres in the finger, would feel its individual affections, remaining foreign to all the rest, while remaining within itself. In short, in each one of us would inhere several managing souls (as said the Stoics). Likewise, in this universe, there would be not one single soul (the universal Soul), but an infinite number of souls, separated from each other.

POLEMIC AGAINST THE STOIC PREDOMINATING PART OF THE SOUL.

Shall we have recourse to the (Stoic) "continuity of parts" to explain the sympathy which interrelates all the organs? This hypothesis, however, is useless, unless this continuity eventuate in unity. For we cannot admit, as do certain (Stoic) philosophers, who deceive themselves, that sensations focus in the "predominating principle" by "relayed transmission." To begin with, it is a wild venture to predicate a "predominating principle" of the soul. How indeed could we divide the soul and distinguish several parts therein? By what superiority, quantity or quality are we going to distinguish the "predominating part" in a single continuous mass? Further, under this hypothesis, we may ask, Who is going to feel? Will it be the "predominating part" exclusively, or the other parts with it? If that part exclusively, it will feel only so long as the received impression will have been transmitted to itself, in its particular residence; but if the impression impinge on some other part of the soul, which happens to be incapable of sensation, this part will not be able to transmit the impression to the (predominating) part that directs, and sensation will not occur. Granting further that the impression does reach the predominating part itself, it might be received in a twofold manner; either by one of its (subdivided) parts, which, having perceived the sensation, will not trouble the other parts to feel it, which would be useless; or, by several parts simultaneously, and then we will have manifold, or even infinite sensations which will all differ from each other. For instance, the one might say, "It is I who first received the impression"; the other one might say, "I received the impression first received by another"; while each, except the first, will be in ignorance of the location of the impression; or again, each part will make a mistake, thinking that the impression occurred where itself is. Besides, if every part of the soul can feel as well as the predominating part, why at all speak of a "predominating part?" What need is there for the sensation to reach through to it? How indeed would the soul recognize as an unity the result of multiple sensations; for instance, of such as come from the ears or eyes ?

THE SOUL HAS TO BE BOTH ONE AND MANIFOLD. EVEN ON THE STOIC HYPOTHESES.

On the other hand, if the soul were absolutely one, essentially indivisible and one within herself, if her nature were incompatible with manifoldness and division, she could not, when penetrating into the body, animate it in its entirety; she would place herself in its centre, leaving the rest of the mass of the animal lifeless. The soul, therefore, must be simultaneously one and manifold, divided and undivided, and we must not deny, as something impossible, that the soul, though one and identical, can be in several parts of the body simultaneously. If this truth be denied, this will destroy the "nature that contains and administers the universe" (as said the Stoics); which embraces everything at once, and directs everything with wisdom; a nature that is both manifold, because all beings are manifold; and single, because the principle that contains everything must be one. It is by her manifold unity that she vivifies all parts of the universe, while it is her indivisible unity that directs everything with wisdom. In the very things that have no wisdom, the unity that in it plays the predominating "part," imitates the unity of the universal Soul. That is what Plato   wished to indicate allegorically by these divine words: "From the "Being" that is indivisible and ever unchanging; and from the "being" which becomes divisible in the bodies, the divinity formed a mixture, a third kind of "being." The (universal) Soul, therefore, is (as we have just said) simultaneously one and manifold; the forms of the bodies are both manifold and one; the bodies are only manifold; while the supreme Principle (the One), is exclusively an unity.

Taylor

II. That it is necessary, however, that the nature of soul should be a thing of this kind, and that it is not possible for soul to be any thing besides this, being neither alone impartible, nor alone partible, but that it is necessarily after this manner both these, is manifest from the following considerations. For if it was like bodies having another and another part, when one part suffered, another part would not be sensible of the suffering, but that soul for instance, which is in the finger, would have a sensation of the passion, as being different, and subsisting in itself. And, in short, there would be many souls, governing each of us. One soul, likewise, would not govern this universe, but an infinite number of souls separate from each other. For with respect to what is said about continuity, unless it contributes to unity, it is introduced in vain. For that which is asserted by some who deceive themselves, is not to be admitted, viz. that the senses gradually arrive at the ruling part, by a continued succession. In the first place, therefore, to say that the senses arrive at the ruling part of the soul, is said without examination. For how do they divide, and assert this to be one thing, but that another, and the ruling part something else ? By how much quantity, also, do they divide each of these ; or by what difference, the quality being one, and the bulk continued ? Whether, likewise, is the ruling part alone sentient, or have the other parts also a sensible perception ? And if this is the case with the ruling part alone, it will then perceive, when the sensible passion falls on this part established in a certain place ; but if it falls on another part of the soul, which is not naturally adapted to be sentient, this part will not deliver the same passion to the ruling part, nor, in short, will there be sensation, If, also, the sensible passion falls on the ruling part, it will either fall on a part of it, and this being sentient, the remaining parts will no longer be sensitive ; for it would be in vain ; or there will be many and infinite sensible perceptions, and all of them will be dissimilar. Hence, one sensible perception will say, I primarily suffer, but another will say, I perceive the passion of another sense. Each sensation, likewise, except the first, will be ignorant where the passion was generated. Or each part of the soul will be deceived, fancying that the passion was there generated, where it is. If, however, not only the ruling part, but any other part has a sensible perception, why will this part be the leader, but another part not ? Or why is it necessary that sensation should arrive at the ruling part? How, likewise, will the sensations arising from many senses, such as the ears and eyes, know one particular thing? But again, if the soul is entirely one, so as to be perfectly impartible, and one in itself ; and if it entirely flies from the nature of multitude and partibility, no body which may participate of the soul, will be wholly animated; but the soul establishing itself as it were about the centre of each, will leave all the bulk of the animal without animation. Hence it is necessary that soul should be thus one and many, partible and at the same time impartible: and we ought not to disbelieve that it is impossible for one and the same thing to be in many places at once. For if we do not admit this, there will not be a nature which connects and governs all things; and which at once comprehends all things, and conducts them by wisdom. And this nature is indeed multitude, because beings are many ; but it is also one, in order that the nature which comprehends may be one. By its multitudinous one, therefore, it supplies all the parts of body with life; but by its impartible one it conducts all things wisely. In those things, however, which are deprived of wisdom, that which is the leading one imitates this one of the soul. Hence, this is the meaning of what is divinely though obscurely asserted by Plato  , viz. that from an essence impartible and always subsisting according to sameness, and from an essence divisible about bodies, the Demiurgus mingled a third species of essence from both. Soul, therefore, is after this manner one and many; but the forms in bodies are many and one; bodies are many only ; and that which is supreme is one alone.

MacKenna

2. It can be demonstrated that soul must, necessarily, be of just this nature and that there can be no other soul than such a being, one neither wholly partible but both at once.

If it had the nature of body it would consist of isolated members each unaware of the conditions of every other; there would be a particular soul - say a soul of the finger - answering as a distinct and independent entity to every local experience; in general terms, there would be a multiplicity of souls administering each individual; and, moreover, the universe would be governed not by one soul but by an incalculable number, each standing apart to itself. But, without a dominant unity, continuity is meaningless.

The theory that "Impressions reach the leading-principle by progressive stages" must be dismissed as mere illusion.

In the first place, it affirms without investigation a "leading" phase of the soul.

What can justify this assigning of parts to the soul, the distinguishing one part from another? What quantity, or what difference of quality, can apply to a thing defined as a self-consistent whole of unbroken unity?

Again, would perception be vested in that leading principle alone, or in the other phases as well?

If a given experience bears only on that "leading principle," it would not be felt as lodged in any particular members of the organism; if, on the other hand, it fastens on some other phase of the soul - one not constituted for sensation - that phase cannot transmit any experience to the leading principle, and there can be no sensation.

Again, suppose sensation vested in the "leading-principle" itself: then, a first alternative, it will be felt in some one part of that [some specifically sensitive phase], the other part excluding a perception which could serve no purpose; or, in the second alternative, there will be many distinct sensitive phases, an infinite number, with difference from one to another. In that second case, one sensitive phase will declare "I had this sensation primarily"; others will have to say "I felt the sensation that rose elsewhere"; but either the site of the experience will be a matter of doubt to every phase except the first, or each of the parts of the soul will be deceived into allocating the occurrence within its own particular sphere.

If, on the contrary, the sensation is vested not merely in the "leading principle," but in any and every part of the soul, what special function raises the one rather than the other into that leading rank, or why is the sensation to be referred to it rather than elsewhere? And how, at this, account for the unity of the knowledge brought in by diverse senses, by eyes, by ears?

On the other hand, if the soul is a perfect unity - utterly strange to part, a self-gathered whole - if it continuously eludes all touch of multiplicity and divisibility - then, no whole taken up into it can ever be ensouled; soul will stand as circle-centre to every object [remote on the circumference], and the entire mass of a living being is soulless still.

There is, therefore, no escape: soul is, in the degree indicated, one and many, parted and impartible. We cannot question the possibility of a thing being at once a unity and multi-present, since to deny this would be to abolish the principle which sustains and administers the universe; there must be a Kind which encircles and supports all and conducts all with wisdom, a principle which is multiple since existence is multiple, and yet is one soul always since a container must be a unity: by the multiple unity of its nature, it will furnish life to the multiplicity of the series of an all; by its impartible unity, it will conduct a total to wise ends.

In the case of things not endowed with intelligence, the "leading-principle" is their mere unity - a lower reproduction of the soul’s efficiency.

This is the deeper meaning of the profound passage [in the Timaeus  ], where we read "By blending the impartible, eternally unchanging essence with that in division among bodies, he produced a third form of essence partaking of both qualities."

Soul, therefore, is, in this definite sense, one and many; the Ideal-Form resident in body is many and one; bodies themselves are exclusively many; the Supreme is exclusively one.