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Plotino - Tratado 27,23 (IV, 3, 23) — Como as faculdades da alma se exercem localmente

Enéada IV, 3, 23

quinta-feira 21 de abril de 2022, por Cardoso de Castro

Capítulos 20-24: A alma está no corpo como em um lugar?

  • Cap 20 a 21: A alma não está no corpo, como em um lugar, nem como um substrato, nem como uma parte em um todo, nem como a forma na matéria, nem mesmo como o piloto em seu navio
  • Cap 22: A alma está no corpo como a luz está no ar, e é o corpo que está na alma
  • Cap 23: Como as faculdades da alma se exercem localmente
  • Cap 24: A saída da alma fora do corpo

Míguez

23. Todo cuerpo animado e iluminado por un alma participa de esta alma de una cierta manera. El alma le da el poder conveniente para que cada órgano cumpla su función; de esta forma, decimos que en los ojos está la facultad de ver, en los oídos la de escuchar, en la lengua la de gustar y en todo el cuerpo la de tocar. Ahora bien, como el tacto cuenta como instrumentos con los primeros nervios, que son los que dan su movimiento e impulso al ser animado, y como, además, los nervios tienen su punto de arranque en el cerebro, se ha colocado aquí el principio de la sensación y de los deseos, e incluso el de todo ser animado; pues ha quedado establecido que donde están los principios de los órganos está también la potencia que los rige. Aunque mejor sería hablar del punto inicial de la actividad de esta potencia, porque de él y del movimiento del órgano correspondiente recibe su punto de apoyo la potencia del artesano que es adecuada a ese órgano; y debiéramos decir con más propiedad, no su potencia, porque la potencia se encuentra en todo el instrumento, sino la acción misma de esta potencia, cuyo punto inicial es el del órgano.

Tanto la sensación como el deseo, radicados en el alma, e igualmente la facultad imaginativa, tienen por encima de sí a la razón, la cual, por su parte inferior, es vecina de las partes superiores de estas facultades. Los antiguos colocaban la razón en la parte extrema del ser animado, esto es, en la cabeza, pero sin radicarla por ello en el cerebro, sino en la facultad sensitiva, que es la que le permite asentar en el cerebro. Conviene conceder al cuerpo las dos primeras facultades, pero a la parte del cuerpo que puede recibir mejor su acción. La razón, sin embargo, aun no teniendo nada en común con el cuerpo, debe entrar en relación con esas dos facultades, que son realmente una forma del alma y pueden recibir además impresiones de la razón. Así, la facultad sensitiva es una facultad de juicio, y la imaginación una potencia intelectual; el deseo y la tendencia están sometidos, a su vez, a la imaginación y a la razón. Si se dice que la razón se encuentra localizada en la cabeza no es por otra cosa sino porque las facultades que disfrutan de ella están precisamente ahí. Pero ya se ha indicado cómo ocurre esto con la facultad sensitiva.

En cuanto a la facultad vegetativa, y naturalmente también al crecimiento y a la nutrición, no quedan fuera del cuerpo. Si pensamos que el alimento se recibe por la sangre, que la sangre se encuentra en las venas, y que tanto éstas como aquélla tienen su principio en el hígado, no podrá dudarse que estas facultades toman de aquí su fuerza; e, igualmente, aquí reside también el deseo, porque el deseo va necesariamente a lo que engendra, a lo que, alimenta y a lo que hace crecer. Y como la sangre, al hacerse más sutil, más ligera y más pura, se convierte en el órgano de los impulsos, el corazón, que es la fuente de segregación de la sangre, vuélveme así el verdadero asiento de la ebullición de la cólera.

Bouillet

XXIII. Puisque, pour le corps, être animé c’est être pénétré de la lumière que répand l’âme, chaque partie du corps y participe d’une façon particulière; chaque organe, selon son aptitude, reçoit la puissance propre à la fonction qu’il remplit (126) : c’est ainsi qu’on dit que la puissance de la vue réside dans les yeux ; celle de l’ouïe, dans les oreilles ; celle du goût, dans la langue; celle de l’odorat, dans le nez; et celle du tact, dans le corps entier, puisque, pour ce dernier sens, le corps entier est l’organe de l’âme. Or, comme le tact a pour instruments les premiers nerfs, qui possèdent aussi la puissance de mouvoir l’animal (πρὸς τὴν κίνησιν τοῦ ζώου ἡ δύναμις) et sont le siège de cette puissance ; comme en outre les nerfs ont leur origine dans le cerveau, on y a placé le principe de la sensation et de l’appétit (ἡ τῆς αἰσθήσεως καὶ ὁρμῆς ἀρχή) en un mot de tout l’animal (127), parce que l’on pensait sans 309 doute que la puissance qui se sert des organes est présente dans la partie du corps où sont les origines de ces organes. Il eût mieux valu dire que l’action de la puissance qui se sert des organes a son origine dans le cerveau : car la partie du corps de laquelle part le mouvement imprimé à l’organe devait servir en quelque sorte de fondement à la puissance de l’artisan (128), puissance dont la nature est en harmonie avec celle de l’organe [qu’elle met en mouvement] ; ou plutôt cette partie du corps ne sert pas de fondement à cette puissance, car cette puissance est partout, mais le principe de l’action est dans la partie du corps dans laquelle est le principe même de l’organe.

D’un autre côté, comme la puissance sensitive et la puis- 310 tance appétitive, appartenant à l’âme sensitive et imaginative, sont au-dessous de la raison, parce qu’elles se rapportent à ce qu’il y a d’inférieur, tandis que la raison est en haut [est la puissance qui d’en haut dirige l’animal] (129), il en résulte que les anciens ont placé la raison dans la partie la plus élevée de tout l’animal, dans la tête, non que la raison soit dans le cerveau (130), mais parce qu’elle a pour siège la puissance sensitive, par l’intermédiaire de laquelle elle réside dans le cerveau. Il fallait en effet attribuer la puissance sensitive au corps, et, dans le corps, aux organes les plus capables de se prêter à son action. Quant à la raison, qui n’a point de commerce avec le corps, elle devait être en commerce avec la puissance sensitive, qui est une forme de l’âme et peut participer à la raison (131) : car la puissance sensitive juge en quelque sorte, et la puissance Imaginative a quelque chose d’intellectuel; enfin, l’appétit (ὁρμή) et le désir (ὅρεξις) se rattachent à l’imagination et à la raison. La raison est donc dans la tête, non comme dans un lieu, mais parce qu’elle est en rapport avec la puissance sensitive qui réside dans cet organe, comme nous l’avons expliqué tout à l’heure.

Quant à la puissance végétative, nutritive et génératice, comme elle exerce son action dans le corps tout entier, 311 que c’est par le sang qu’elle le nourrit, que le sang est contenu dans les veines, et que les veines ainsi que le sang ont leur origine dans le foie, on a donné cet organe pour siège à la partie de l’âme appelée concupiscence : car la puissance d’engendrer, de nourrir et d’accroître le corps implique concupiscence (132). Enfin, comme le sang [devenu par la respiration] subtil, léger, mobile, pur, est un instrument convenable pour la puissance irascible, le cœur, qui est la source du sang (car c’est du cœur que part le sang qui possède ces qualités), est avec raison assigné pour siège au bouillonnement de la puissance irascible (133).

Guthrie

WHILE THE SOUL-POWER IS EVERYWHERE, THE PRINCIPLE OF ACTION IS LOCALIZED IN THE SPECIAL ORGAN.

23. Since, for the body, being animated amounts to being penetrated by the light shed by the soul, every part of the body participates therein in some particular manner. Each organ, according to its fitness, receives the power suitable to the function it fulfils. Thus we may say that the power of sight resides in the eyes; that of hearing in the ears; that of taste in the tongue; that of smell in the nose; that of touch in the whole body, since, for the latter sense, the whole body is the organ of the soul. Now as the instruments for touch are the first nerves, which also possess the power of moving the organism, as they are the seat of this power; as, besides, the nerves originate in the brain, in the brain has been localized the principle of sensation and appetite — in short, the principle of the whole organism; no doubt because it was thought that the power which uses the organs is present in that part of the body where are the origins of these organs. It would have been better to say that it is the action of the power that makes use of the organs that originates in the brain; for that part of the body from which starts the movement impressed on the organ had to serve somewhat as a foundation for the power of the workman, a power whose nature is in harmony with that of the organ (it sets in motion); or rather, this part of the body does not serve as foundation for this power, for this power is everywhere, but the principle of the action is in that part of the body in which is the very principle of that organ.

REASON IS IN THE HEAD, BUT NOT IN THE BRAIN, WHICH IS THE SEAT OF THE INTERMEDIARY, THE POWER OF SENSATION.

On the other hand, as the power of sensation and the power of appetite, which belong to the sensible and imaginative soul, are beneath reason, because they are related to what is inferior, while reason is above, the result was that the ancients localized reason in the highest part of the animal, in the head; not that reason is in the brain, but because reason is seated in the sense-power, by the intermediation of which, only, reason may be said to reside in the brain. The sense-power, surely, had to be attributed to the body, and, within the body, to the organs most capable of lending themselves to its action. Reason, which has no (direct) dealing with the body, had however to be in relation with the sense-power, which is a form of the soul, and can participate in reason. The sense-power, does, to a certain extent, judge; and the power of imagination has something intellectual. Last, the appetite, and the desire somehow connect with imagination and reason. Reason, therefore, is in the head, not as in a locality, but because it is in relation with the sense-power which resides in that organ, as has been shown above.

GROWTH IS LOCALIZED IN THE LIVER, ANGER IN THE HEART.

As the power of growth, nutrition, and generation operates all through the entire body; and as it is by the blood that the body is nourished; as the blood is contained in the veins; and as the veins, as well as the blood, originate in the liver; this organ has been assigned as the seat of that part of the soul called appetite; for appetite is involved in the power of begetting, of feeding and increasing the body. Further as the blood (purified by respiration) is subtle, light, mobile and pure, the heart becomes a suitable instrument for the power of anger, for the blood that possesses these qualities starts from the heart. Therefore, with good reason, the heart is assigned as the seat of the turbulent convulsions of the power of anger.

Taylor

XXIII. Since the animated body is illuminated by the soul, a different part of the body differently participates of it; and the power fitted to effect a certain work, is denominated according to the aptitude of the organ to the work. Thus the power in the eyes is denominated visive, in the ears acoustic, in the tongue gustic, and in the nostrils olfactive; but we say that the power of the touch is present with the whole body. For in order to effect this perception, the whole body is present as an instrument with the soul. Since, however, the instruments of the touch are in the nerves first, which also have the power of moving the animal, this power imparts itself from the nerves. But the nerves beginning from the brain, which is the principle of sense and impulse, and in short of the whole animal, as they are derived from hence to the other parts of the body, that which uses these instruments is considered as subsisting there where the principles of the instruments subsist. It is better, however, to say, that the principle of the energy of the power is there; for from whence the instrument is to be moved, there it is requisite that the power of the artificer, which is adapted to the instrument, should be as it were firmly fixed; or rather not the power, since power is every where. But the principle of energy is there, where the principle of the instrument exists. Since, therefore, the power of sensible perception, and the power of impulse, pertain to the sensitive soul, and the nature of the phantasy, which as being nearer to that which is beneath, have reason situated above them; — this being the case, where this principle is in the supreme part, there reason was placed by the ancients in the summit of the whole animal, viz. in the head; not as being [immediately] situated in the brain, but in this sensitive power, through which [as a medium] reason is established in the brain. For it is requisite to assign the sensitive power to the body, and to that which is especially the recipient of the energy of the body. But it is necessary that the form of the soul which is able to receive apprehensions from reason, should communicate with reason which has no communication with the body. For the sensitive power is in a certain respect judicial; and the fantastic power is at it were intellectuaL Impulse and appetite also follow the phantasy and reason. Hence the reasoning power is there, not as in place, but because that which is [locally] there, enjoys this power [by participation]. But how that which is there subsists, has been shown in the sensitive power. Since, however, the vegetative, and also the augmentative and nutritive powers never fail, but each of them nourishes through the blood, and the blood which nourishes is in the veins, but the principle of the veins and the blood is in the liver, in which these powers are firmly fixed; — this being the case, the ancients assigned this place to a portion of the epithymetic soul. For that which generates, nourishes, and increases, must necessarily desire these [viz. the veins and blood]. But as attenuated, light, acute, and pure blood, is an instrument adapted to anger, the fountain of the blood, the heart, was considered by the ancients as a fit habitation for anger. For here a blood of this kind is secreted, which is adapted to the effervescence of anger.

MacKenna

23. I explain: A living body is illuminated by soul: each organ and member participates in soul after some manner peculiar to itself; the organ is adapted to a certain function, and this fitness is the vehicle of the soul-faculty under which the function is performed; thus the seeing faculty acts through the eyes, the hearing faculty through the ears, the tasting faculty through the tongue, the faculty of smelling through the nostrils, and the faculty of sentient touch is present throughout, since in this particular form of perception the entire body is an instrument in the soul’s service.

The vehicles of touch are mainly centred in the nerves - which moreover are vehicles of the faculty by which the movements of the living being are affected - in them the soul-faculty concerned makes itself present; the nerves start from the brain. The brain therefore has been considered as the centre and seat of the principle which determines feeling and impulse and the entire act of the organism as a living thing; where the instruments are found to be linked, there the operating faculty is assumed to be situated. But it would be wiser to say only that there is situated the first activity of the operating faculty: the power to be exercised by the operator - in keeping with the particular instrument - must be considered as concentrated at the point at which the instrument is to be first applied; or, since the soul’s faculty is of universal scope the sounder statement is that the point of origin of the instrument is the point of origin of the act.

Now, the faculty presiding over sensation and impulse is vested in the sensitive and representative soul; it draws upon the Reason-Principle immediately above itself; downward, it is in contact with an inferior of its own: on this analogy the uppermost member of the living being was taken by the ancients to be obviously its seat; they lodged it in the brain, or not exactly in the brain but in that sensitive part which is the medium through which the Reason-Principle impinges upon the brain. They saw that something must be definitely allocated to body - at the point most receptive of the act of reason - while something, utterly isolated from body must be in contact with that superior thing which is a form of soul [and not merely of the vegetative or other quasi-corporeal forms but] of that soul apt to the appropriation of the perceptions originating in the Reason-Principle.

Such a linking there must be, since in perception there is some element of judging, in representation something intuitional, and since impulse and appetite derive from representation and reason. The reasoning faculty, therefore, is present where these experiences occur, present not as in a place but in the fact that what is there draws upon it. As regards perception we have already explained in what sense it is local.

But every living being includes the vegetal principle, that principle of growth and nourishment which maintains the organism by means of the blood; this nourishing medium is contained in the veins; the veins and blood have their origin in the liver: from observation of these facts the power concerned was assigned a place; the phase of the soul which has to do with desire was allocated to the liver. Certainly what brings to birth and nourishes and gives growth must have the desire of these functions. Blood - subtle, light, swift, pure - is the vehicle most apt to animal spirit: the heart, then, its well-spring, the place where such blood is sifted into being, is taken as the fixed centre of the ebullition of the passionate nature.