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Plotino - Tratado 27,19 (IV, 3, 19) — Um comentário do Timeu 35a-b

Enéada IV, 3, 19

quarta-feira 20 de abril de 2022, por Cardoso de Castro

Cap 12-19: As almas humanas

  • Cap 12: Sua descida não é total mas cíclica
  • Cap 13: Sua descida obedece a uma lei
  • Cap 14: As almas são o ornamento do mundo
  • Cap 15 a 17: Os diferentes níveis de descida
  • Cap 18: O uso do raciocínio
  • Cap 19: Um comentário do Timeu   35a-b

Míguez

19. ¿Habrá que afirmar que lo indivisible y lo divisible aparecen como mezclados en el alma, o bien que lo indivisible pertenece al alma de algún modo y según cierto punto de vista, y lo divisible de otro modo, pero consecuente con el primero, siendo ambos cual dos partes del alma, a la manera como decirnos que la parte razonable es una, y otra, en cambio, la parte irrazonable de aquélla? Convendría conocer qué sentido damos a cada uno de estos términos; porque (Platón  ) habla de lo indivisible en absoluto, pero no así de lo divisible, que viene a ser considerado por él como la esencia que se hace — y no que se ha hecho — divisible en los cuerpos.

Convendrá advertir de qué alma tiene necesidad la naturaleza del cuerpo para vivir y qué es lo que de ella debe hallarse presente en el conjunto del cuerpo. Como la facultad sensitiva se manifiesta toda entera a través del cuerpo, diremos que llega a dividirse; porque si se encuentra en todas partes ello se debe, podría decirse, a que es susceptible de división, aunque si se manifiesta en todas partes por entero no cabe afirmar ya de manera absoluta que se encuentra dividida en los cuerpos, sino que se hace divisible en ellos. Si se argumentase que una división de este género se da sólo en la sensación del tacto, pero no en las otras sensaciones, tendríamos que contestar que también se da en estas últimas; porque, siendo el cuerpo el que toma parte en ellas, resulta necesario que se dividan, aunque de modo menos extenso que en el tacto. Igual acontece con la facultad vegetativa y con la facultad de crecer. En cuanto a la facultad de desear, que se encuentra en el hígado, y al impulso del ánimo, que asienta en el corazón, cabe decir otro tanto. Pero es posible que el cuerpo no reciba estas facultades en su mezcla material; tal vez las reciba de otra manera, como provenientes de alguna de las cosas ya recogidas por él con anterioridad. Digamos, en cambio, que la reflexión y la inteligencia nada tienen que ver con el cuerpo; todo lo que ellas pueden realizar no se verifica por un órgano del cuerpo, ya que, por el contrario, el cuerpo mismo constituye un obstáculo si se quiere hacer uso de él en las actividades reflexivas.

Vengamos a la conclusión de que lo indivisible y lo divisible son dos cosas distintas que, al mezclarse, no pueden producir un ser único. Forman, si acaso, un todo compuesto de dos partes, cada una de las cuales permanece pura y separada de la otra en el curso de su operación. No obstante, si la parte que se hace divisible en los cuerpos tiene en sí misma un carácter de indivisible recibido de lo alto, puede decirse que un mismo ser resulta a la vez indivisible y divisible, cual si se hubiese producido una mezcla entre ese ser y la potencia de lo alto que ha llegado hasta él.

Bouillet

XIX. (108). Faut-il admettre que [dans l’âme] l’indivisible et le divisible forment une seule et même chose, comme s’ils étaient mélangés ensemble? ou bien doit-on considérer sous un autre point de vue la distinction de l’indivisible et du divisible, regarder le premier comme la partie supérieure de l’âme, et l’autre comme la partie inférieure, absolument de la même manière que nous disons qu’une partie de l’âme est raisonnable et l’autre irraisonnable? Pour résoudre cette question, il faut examiner ce que sont la divisibilité et l’indivisibilité de l’âme.

Quand Platon   dit que l’âme est indivisible, il parle absolument ; quand il affirme qu’elle est divisible, c’est relativement [au corps]. Il dit en effet qu’elle devient divisible dans les corps et non qu’elle est devenue telle (109). Voyons donc comment, par sa nature, le corps a besoin de l’âme pour vivre, et quelle nécessité il y a que l’âme soit présente au corps tout entier.

Toute puissance sensitive, par cela même qu’elle sent par le moyen du corps tout entier, arrive à se diviser : car, puisqu’elle est présente partout, on peut dire qu’elle est divisée; mais comme, d’un autre côté, elle se manifeste tout entière partout, on ne peut dire qu’elle soit divisée réellement; on doit se borner à affirmer qu’elle devient divisible dans les corps. — Elle n’est divisée que dans le tact, objectera-t-on peut-être? — Nous répondrons qu’elle l’est aussi dans les autres sens (puisque c’est toujours le corps qui la reçoit), mais qu’elle l’est moins. Il en est de même de la puissance végétative et nutritive ; et si la concupiscence réside dans le foie, la colère dans le cœur, ces appétits sont soumis aux mêmes conditions (110). Peut-être d’ailleurs le corps 302 ne reçoit-il pas ces appétits dans ce mélange, ou les reçoit-il d’une autre façon, de telle sorte qu’ils résultent de quelqu’une des choses que le corps tient de l’âme par participation. Quant à la raison et à l’intelligence, elles ne se communiquent pas au corps, parce qu’elles n’ont pas besoin des organes pour accomplir leurs fonctions ; au contraire, elles ne trouvent en eux qu’un obstacle à leurs opérations (111).

Ainsi, l’indivisible et le divisible sont dans l’âme deux parties distinctes, et non deux choses mélangées ensemble de manière à n’en constituer qu’une seule; ils forment un tout composé de deux parties qui sont pures chacune et séparables l’une de l’autre par la puissance qui est propre à chacune d’elles (112). Si donc la partie qui devient divisible dans le corps reçoit de la partie supérieure la puissance d’être indivisible, cette même partie peut être à la fois divisible et indivisible, comme étant mélangée à la fois de la nature divisible et de la puissance [d’être indivisible] qu’elle reçoit de la partie supérieure.

Guthrie

D. HOW CAN THE SOUL SIMULTANEOUSLY BE DIVISIBLE AND INDIVISIBLE?

A DECISION WILL DEPEND ON THE MEANING OF THE TERMS.

19. Must we consider that (in the soul), the indivisible and the divisible are identical, as if they were mingled together? Or should we consider the distinction between the indivisible and the divisible from some other point of view? Should the first be considered as the higher part of the soul, and the latter as the lower, just exactly as we say that one part of the soul is rational, and the other part is irrational? Such questions can be answered only by a close scrutiny of the nature of the divisibility and indivisibility of the soul.

THE BODY NEEDS THE SOUL FOR LIFE.

When Plato   says that the soul is indivisible, he speaks absolutely. When he insists that she is divisible, it is always relatively (to the body). He does indeed say that she becomes divisible in the bodies, but not that she has become such. Let us now examine how, by her nature, the body needs the soul to live, and what necessity there is for the soul to be present in the entire body.

SENSE, GROWTH AND EMOTION TEND TOWARDS DIVISIBILITY.

By the mere fact that it feels by means of the entire body, every sense-power undergoes division. Since it is present everywhere, it may be said to be divided. But as, on the other hand, it manifests itself everywhere as a whole, it cannot really be considered as divided. We cannot go further than the statement that it becomes divisible in bodies. Some might object that it was divided only in the sense of touch. It is however also divided in the other senses, since it is always the same body that receives it, but only less so. The case is the same with the power of growth and nutrition; and if appetite have its seat in the liver, and anger in the heart, these appetites must be subject to the same conditions. Besides, it is possible that the body does not receive those appetites in a mixture, or that it receives them in some other manner, so that they result from some of the things that the body derives from the soul by participations. Reason and intelligence, however, are not communicated to the body because they stand in no need of any organs to fulfil their functions. On the contrary, they find in them only an obstacle to their operations.

THE SOUL AS A WHOLE OF TWO DISTINCT DIVISIBLE AND INDIVISIBLE PARTS.

Thus the indivisible and the divisible are in the soul two distinct parts, and not two things mingled together so as to constitute but a single one. They form a single whole composed of two parts, each of which is pure and separable from the other by its characteristic power. If then the part which in the body becomes divisible receives from the superior part the power of being indivisible, this same part might simultaneously be divisible and indivisible, as a mixture of divisible nature and of the (indivisible) power received by it from the higher part.

Taylor

XIX. Shall we however say that the impartible and partible, are to be considered according to the same thing [in the soul], as if they were mingled together; or that the impartible is to be assumed according to one thing, but the partible as something successive, and another part of the soul ? Just as we say the rational part is one thing, but the irrational another. This, however, will be known, when we have explained what we say each of these is. The impartible, therefore, is simply assumed by Plato  , but the partible not simply; [for he says that the soul is a medium between an essence impartible] and an essence which is divisible about bodies, and that the soul is not on this account generated. It is requisite, therefore, to consider after what manner the nature of body is indigent of soul for the purposes of living; and to see that it is necessary the soul should every where be present with the body, and also with the whole of it. Every sensitive power indeed, if it perceives through the whole body, arrives at the whole by being divided. For being every where in the body, it may be said to be divided ; but appearing every where a whole, it may be said that it is not entirely distributed into parts; but that it becomes partible about bodies.

If, however, some one should say that the soul is not divided in the other senses, but in the touch alone, to this we reply, that the soul is also divided in the other senses, since it is the body which receives it, but that it is less divided than in the touch. The physical and augmentative powers also of the soul, are divided in a similar manner. And if desire dwells about the liver, but anger about the heart, the same thing must also be asserted of these. Perhaps however, these were not assumed in that mixture; or perhaps they were assumed, but after another manner, and these were produced from some one of the assumed particulars. But the reasoning power and intellect, do not give themselves to body; for their work is not effected through corporeal instruments; since these are an impediment when they are employed in contemplations. Hence the impartible is different from the partible, and they are not mingled as one thing, but as a whole consisting of parts, each of which is pure, and separate in power. If, however, that which becomes partible about bodies, has the impartible from a more sublime power, this very same thing may be both impartible and partible, as being mingled from the partible, and the power which proceeds into it from on high.

MacKenna

19. Are we to think of the indivisible phase of the soul and the divided as making one thing in a coalescence; or is the indivisible in a place of its own and under conditions of its own, the divisible being a sequent upon it, a separate part of it, as distinct as the reasoning phase is from the unreasoning?

The answer to this question will emerge when we make plain the nature and function to be attributed to each.

The indivisible phase is mentioned [in the passage of Plato  ] without further qualification; but not so the divisible; "that soul" we read "which becomes divisible in bodies" - and even this last is presented as becoming partible, not as being so once for all.

"In bodies": we must then, satisfy ourselves as to what form of soul is required to produce life in the corporeal, and what there must be of soul present throughout such a body, such a completed organism.

Now, every sensitive power - by the fact of being sensitive throughout - tends to become a thing of parts: present at every distinct point of sensitiveness, it may be thought of as divided. In the sense, however, that it is present as a whole at every such point, it cannot be said to be wholly divided; it "becomes divisible in body." We may be told that no such partition is implied in any sensations but those of touch; but this is not so; where the participant is body [of itself insensitive and non-transmitting] that divisibility in the sensitive agent will be a condition of all other sensations, though in less degree than in the case of touch. Similarly the vegetative function in the soul, with that of growth, indicates divisibility; and, admitting such locations as that of desire at the liver and emotional activity at the heart, we have the same result. It is to be noted, however, as regards these [the less corporeal] sensations, that the body may possibly not experience them as a fact of the conjoint thing but in another mode, as rising within some one of the elements of which it has been participant [as inherent, purely, in some phase of the associated soul]: reasoning and the act of the intellect, for instance, are not vested in the body; their task is not accomplished by means of the body which in fact is detrimental to any thinking on which it is allowed to intrude.

Thus the indivisible phase of the soul stands distinct from the divisible; they do not form a unity, but, on the contrary, a whole consisting of parts, each part a self-standing thing having its own peculiar virtue. None the less, if that phase which becomes divisible in body holds indivisibility by communication from the superior power, then this one same thing [the soul in body] may be at once indivisible and divisible; it will be, as it were, a blend, a thing made up of its own divisible self with, in addition, the quality that it derives from above itself.