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Plotino - Tratado 27,25 (IV, 3, 25) — A memória não pertence ao intelecto

Enéada

sexta-feira 14 de janeiro de 2022, por Cardoso de Castro

      

a)Introducción (25, 1-10).

b)La memoria no reside ni en los seres impasibles e intemporales, ni en el compuesto animal  , ni en el alma   corporalizada, sino en el alma sola, en la superior y en la inferior   (25, 10-27, 25).

      

Míguez

25. En cuanto a la memoria, ¿será posible que subsista en las almas cuando han salido ya de este mundo, o sólo se dará en algunas y en otras no? Pero, si es así, ¿se acordarán las almas de todo o tan sólo de algunas cosas? Convendría averiguar también si la memoria permanece siempre, o únicamente por un poco tiempo, luego que las almas han salido del cuerpo. Si queremos hacer una buena investigación, hemos de comprender primeramente qué es lo que en nosotros recuerda. En mi opinión, no se trata de lo que es la memoria sino del principio en el que ella reside. Porque lo que es la memoria ya se ha dicho en otro lugar y se ha repetido frecuentemente; lo que hemos de precisar con exactitud es la naturaleza de lo que recuerda.

Si la memoria es memoria de algo adquirido, sea conocimiento o impresión, no podrá existir en seres impasibles y ajenos al tiempo. No podrá, por tanto, situarse en Dios, ni en el ser, ni en la inteligencia, puesto que en ellos no cuenta para nada el tiempo, sino realmente la eternidad. Para Dios, el ser o la inteligencia, no hay un antes ni un después; son siempre como son y permanecen en identidad consigo mismos, sin experimentar nunca el menor cambio. ¿Cómo, pues, un ser idéntico y semejante a sí mismo iba a disfrutar del recuerdo, si no posee ni retiene en un momento dado un estado   diferente del que poseía antes? Es claro que no se da en él una sucesión tal de pensamientos que le permita recordarse del estado o del pensamiento anteriores. Y, sin embargo, ¿qué impide que, sin experimentar cambio alguno, conozca los cambios de los demás seres y, por ejemplo, los períodos del mundo? Si piensa en los cambios de los seres que varían, pensará primeramente en una cosa y luego en otra; pero, en cuanto a los pensamientos de sí mismo, no podrá afirmarse que recuerda, porque los recuerdos no vienen a él para que los retenga y evite su alejamiento, ya que si así fuese temería que se le escapase su propia esencia.

En lo referente al alma  , el término recordar no debe ser empleado en el mismo sentido que cuando se habla de las nociones innatas que ella posee. Porque cuando el alma se encuentra en este mundo posee verdaderamente esas nociones sin tener conocimiento de ellas, sobre todo al tomar contacto con el cuerpo; luego, cuando adquiere un conocimiento actual, podría aplicarse a este estado lo que los antiguos han dado en llamar la memoria y la reminiscencia. Ahora bien, se trata aquí de una memoria muy diferente, con la que nada tiene que ver el tiempo.

Con todo, tal vez hablemos con demasiada displicencia de estas cosas y sin que podamos verificar exactamente lo que decimos. Cabría quizá preguntarse a este respecto si la memoria y la reminiscencia pertenecen al alma ya citada, o bien a otra alma más oscura, o incluso al compuesto de alma y de cuerpo. Más, ya se trate de una o de otra cosa, o, por ejemplo, del ser animado, ¿cómo reciben el recuerdo? Convendrá que tomemos la cuestión desde el principio y que averigüemos lo que, en nosotros mismos, posee la memoria. Si es el alma la que recuerda, cuál de sus facultades o de sus partes es la que lo hace; y si es el ser animado — para algunos es él precisamente el que experimenta la sensación   — , de que modo lo realiza. Aún podríamos indagar a que damos el nombre de ser animado y si conviene considerar la misma cosa tanto a quien percibe la sensación como a quien verifica los pensamientos. ¿O hay, en realidad, una realidad distinta para cada caso?

Bouillet

XXV. La mémoire soulève les questions suivantes[138] : Subsiste-t-elle généralement dans les âmes qui sont sorties d’ici-bas ? Subsiste-t-elle seulement dans quelques-unes ? Dans ce dernier cas, est-elle générale ou spéciale, durable ou passagère ? — Pour bien résoudre ces questions, il faut d’abord déterminer quel est en nous le principe auquel appartient la mémoire ; c’est-à-dire, il faut déterminer non ce qu’est la mémoire, mais en quelle espèce d’êtres elle doit exister en vertu de sa nature (car nous avons défini ailleurs la mémoire et nous en avons souvent parlé). Il est donc nécessaire de déterminer avec exactitude quel est en nous le principe auquel il est naturel de se souvenir.

Si la mémoire suppose soit une connaissance, soit une passion adventice, elle ne saurait être attribuée aux essences impassibles et placées en dehors du temps. Elle ne convient donc pas à Dieu  , à l’Être et à l’Intelligence, qui existent en dehors du temps, qui sont éternels et immuables, qui n’ont ni avant ni après, qui demeurent toujours dans le même état, sans jamais éprouver aucun changement. Comment ce qui est identique et immuable pourrait-il faire usage de la mémoire, puisqu’il ne saurait acquérir ni garder une disposition différente de la précédente, ni avoir des pensées successives dont l’une serait présente et l’autre serait passée à l’état de souvenir [1] ?

Mais [dira-t-on], qui empêche l’intelligence de connaître les changements des autres êtres, les révolutions périodiques du monde, par exemple, sans changer elle-même ? — Il faudrait alors qu’elle suivît les changements de l’objet en mouvement, puisqu’elle penserait d’abord une chose, puis une autre. En outre, la pensée est autre chose que la mémoire, et il ne faut pas donner le nom de mémoire à la pensée de soi-même. En effet, l’intelligence ne s’applique pas à retenir ses pensées et à les empêcher de s’échapper ; sinon, elle pourrait craindre aussi que son essence ne lui échappât [2]. Pour l’âme même, se souvenir n’est pas la même chose que se rappeler les notions innées : quand elle est descendue ici-bas, elle peut posséder ces notions sans y penser, surtout si elle est récemment entrée dans les corps [3]. Les anciens semblent avoir appelé mémoire et réminiscence (μνημὴ, ἀνάμνησις  ) l’acte par lequel l’âme pense aux choses qu’elle possède ; c’est là une espèce particulière de mémoire, tout à fait indépendante du temps.

Mais peut-être notre solution semble-t-elle être superficielle et ne pas reposer sur un examen assez approfondi de la question. On pourrait en effet demander si la mémoire et la réminiscence, au lieu d’appartenir à l’âme raisonnable, ne sont pas propres à l’âme inférieure, ou au composé de l’âme et du corps que nous appelons l’animal  . Si elles appartiennent à l’âme inférieure, d’où tient-elle ce qu’elle possède et comment le possède-t-elle ? Même question, si c’est l’animal. — Pour cela, il faut (comme nous l’avons déjà dit plus haut) chercher quel est en nous le principe auquel appartient la mémoire. Si c’est l’âme qui possède la mémoire, quelle faculté ou quelle partie la mémoire y constitue t-elle ? Si c’est à l’animal qu’appartient la mémoire, comme l’ont avancé quelques-uns, le regardant comme le principe sentant, quel est en lui le mode d’action de cette faculté ? Que faut-il en outre appeler l’animal ? Enfin, est-ce le même pouvoir qui perçoit les choses sensibles et les choses intelligibles, ou bien y a-t-il là deux puissances différentes ?

Guthrie

COSMIC QUESTIONS ABOUT MEMORY DEPEND ON EXACT DEFINITION OF WHAT MEMORY IS.

25. Memory raises the following questions. Does memory generally remain with the bodies that have issued from here below? Does it subsist only in some of them? In this case is memory general or special, durable or transitory? These questions cannot be answered until we define that interior principle in us to which memory belongs. That is, we shall have to determine, not what is memory, but in what kind of beings it must exist by virtue of its nature, for elsewhere we have often defined and treated of memory itself. We must therefore exactly define that principle within us to which memory is natural.

MEMORY INAPPLICABLE EXCEPT TO BEINGS SUBJECT TO LIMITATIONS OF TIME.

As memory presupposes a knowledge or casual experience, memory cannot be attributed to beings that are impassible, and outside of the limitations of time. Memory is therefore inapplicable to the Divinity, to Essence, and to Intelligence, all of whom exist outside of time, as eternal and immutable, without a conception of priority or subsequentness, who ever abide   in the same condition, without ever experiencing any change. How could that which is identical and immutable make use of memory, since it could neither acquire nor keep a disposition differing from the preceding one, nor have successive thoughts of which the one would be present, while the other had passed into the condition of being remembered?

THERE IS A TIMELESS MEMORY CONSISTING OF SELF-CONSCIOUSNESS.

It (may be objected) that nothing hinders Intelligence from knowing the changes of other beings, such as, for instance, the periodical revolutions of the world, without itself undergoing any change. But then it would have to follow the changes of the moving object, as it would think first of one thing, and then of another. Besides, thought is something else than memory, and we must not apply to self-consciousness the name of memory. Indeed, intelligence does not busy itself with retaining its thoughts, and with hindering them from escaping; otherwise it might also fear lest it lose its own nature ("Being"). For the soul herself, remembering is not the same as recalling innate notions. When the soul has descended here below, she may possess these notions without thinking of them, especially if it be only recently that she entered into the body. The ancient philosophers seem to have applied the terms memory and reminiscence to the actualization by which the soul thinks of the entities she possesses; that (however) is a quite special kind of memory, entirely independent of time.

DEFINITION OF MEMORY DEPENDS ON WHETHER IT BELONGS TO THE SOUL OR ORGANISM.

But perhaps our solution seems superficial, and appears to rest on an insufficient analysis  . It might indeed be asked whether memory and reminiscence, instead of belonging to the rational soul, might not characterize the lower soul, or the composite of soul and body that we call the organism? If indeed they belong to the lower soul, from where does the latter derive them, and how does she possess them? The same question may further be asked in the case of the organism. To answer all this, we shall, as said above, have to study our own interior principle to which memory belongs. If it be the soul that possesses memory, we shall have to ask what faculty or part thereof is constituted by memory. If, as has been urged by some, it be the organism to which memory belongs, and considering the organism as the sentient principle, how could this faculty operate within it? Besides, what is it that we should call the organism ? Further, is it the same power that perceives sense  -objects, and intelligible entities, or are there two distinct powers ?

Taylor

XXV. With respect to memory, it must be considered whether souls on departing from these places recollect [what happened to them on the earth] ; or whether this is the case with some souls, but not with others; and likewise, whether they have a recollection of all things, or of certain things only. And in a similar manner, it deserves to be investigated whether they always remember, or for a certain time near to their departure from hence. If, however, we intend to investigate these things rightly, what that is which remembers must be first assumed. I do not mean that we must inquire what memory is, but what that is in which it is naturally adapted to subsist. For we have elsewhere shown what memory1 is, and it has been frequently mentioned; but it must now be more accurately assumed what that is which is naturally adapted to remember. If, therefore, the power of memory is something adventitious, or something belonging to discipline or passion, remembrance will not happen to beings which are impassive and superior to time. Hence, memory must not be placed in deity, or in being, or intellect. For to these nothing accedes; nor does time, but eternity subsist about being.

Nor is either temporal priority or that which is successive there; hut each of these always subsists as it is, in sameness, receiving no mutation. How, therefore, can that which is in the same and the similar be in want of memory ? For it is not at all disposed in futurity in a way different from what it was before; nor has it one intelligence after another, in order that it may abide in another, or that it may remember another intellection which it formerly possessed. But what prevents it from knowing the mutations of other things, without being changed itself, such as the periods of the world ? Shall we say it is because it intellectually perceives one thing as prior, but another as posterior   which is consequent to the mutations of that which is convolved ? Besides, remembrance is different from intellectual perception: and it must not be said that the intellection of itself is recollection. For it does not proceed in its energy for the purpose of detaining it, lest it should depart; for thus it might fear lest the essence of itself should depart from itself. Neither, therefore, must it be said that soul remembers after the same manner, as we say it recollects those things which it innately possesses. But having descended hither, it possesses these innate conceptions, yet does not [always] energize according to them, and especially when it has profoundly descended into body. The ancients, however, appear to have considered memory and reminiscence to be the same thing as for the soul to energize according to those things which it now possesses; so that this is another species of memory. Hence, time is not present with memory thus denominated. Perhaps, however, these things are considered by us lightly, and not accurately. For perhaps it may be doubted, whether memory and reminiscence belong to such a soul as this [which we are now considering] or whether they do not rather pertain to another more obscure soul, or to this animal which is a composite of soul and body. And if they belong to another soul, it may also be doubted when and how it received what it recollects; and a similar doubt will arise if they are said to pertain to the composite of soul and body. Hence, that must be investigated which was the subject of our inquiry from the first, what that is which possesses in us the power of remembering. And if, indeed, it is the soul which remembers, it must be considered what part or power of the soul it is; but if it is the sentient power, as to some it has appeared to be, what the mode is of its subsistence must be investigated, and what ought to be called the animal. And again, whether it is proper to admit that the same thing apprehends both sensibles and intelligibles, or that one thing perceives the former, but another the latter of these.

MacKenna

25. Now comes the question, equally calling for an answer, whether those souls that have quitted the places of earth retain memory of their lives - all souls or some, of all things, or of some things, and, again, for ever or merely for some period not very long after their withdrawal.

A true investigation of this matter requires us to establish first what a remembering principle must be - I do not mean what memory is, but in what order of beings it can occur. The nature of memory has been indicated, laboured even, elsewhere; we still must try to understand more clearly what characteristics are present where memory exists.

Now a memory has to do with something brought into ken from without, something learned or something experienced; the Memory-Principle, therefore, cannot belong to such beings as are immune from experience and from time.

No memory, therefore, can be ascribed to any divine being, or to the Authentic-Existent or the Intellectual-Principle: these are intangibly immune; time does not approach them; they possess eternity centred around Being; they know nothing of past and sequent; all is an unbroken state of identity, not receptive of change. Now a being rooted in unchanging identity cannot entertain memory, since it has not and never had a state differing from any previous state, or any new intellection following upon a former one, so as to be aware of contrast between a present perception and one remembered from before.

But what prevents such a being [from possessing memory in the sense of] perceiving, without variation in itself, such outside changes as, for example, the kosmic periods?

Simply the fact that following the changes of the revolving kosmos   it would have perception of earlier and later: intuition   and memory are distinct.

We cannot hold its self-intellections to be acts of memory; this is no question of something entering from without, to be grasped and held in fear of an escape; if its intellections could slip away from it [as a memory might] its very Essence [as the Hypostasis   of inherent Intellection] would be in peril.

For the same reason memory, in the current sense, cannot be attributed to the soul in connection with the ideas inherent in its essence: these it holds not as a memory but as a possession, though, by its very entrance into this sphere, they are no longer the mainstay of its Act.

The Soul-action which is to be observed seems to have induced the Ancients to ascribe memory, and "Recollection," [the Platonic Anamnesis] to souls bringing into outward manifestation the ideas they contain: we see at once that the memory here indicated is another kind; it is a memory outside of time.

But, perhaps, this is treating too summarily a matter which demands minute investigation. It might be doubted whether that recollection, that memory, really belongs to the highest soul and not rather to another, a dimmer, or even to the Couplement, the Living-Being. And if to that dimmer soul, when and how has it come to be present; if to the Couplement, again when and how?

We are driven thus to enquire into these several points: in which of the constituents of our nature is memory vested - the question with which we started - if in the soul, then in what power or part; if in the Animate or Couplement - which has been supposed, similarly to be the seat of sensation - then by what mode it is present, and how we are to define the Couplement; finally whether sensation and intellectual acts may be ascribed to one and the same agent, or imply two distinct principles.

Taylor

XXV. With respect to memory, it must be considered whether souls on departing from these places recollect [what happened to them on the earth] ; or whether this is the case with some souls, but not with others; and likewise, whether they have a recollection of all things, or of certain things only. And in a similar manner, it deserves to be investigated whether they always remember, or for a certain time near to their departure from hence. If, however, we intend to investigate these things rightly, what that is which remembers must be first assumed. I do not mean that we must inquire what memory is, but what that is in which it is naturally adapted to subsist. For we have elsewhere shown what memory1 is, and it has been frequently mentioned; but it must now be more accurately assumed what that is which is naturally adapted to remember. If, therefore, the power of memory is something adventitious, or something belonging to discipline or passion, remembrance will not happen to beings which are impassive and superior to time. Hence, memory must not be placed in deity, or in being, or intellect. For to these nothing accedes; nor does time, but eternity subsist about being.

Nor is either temporal priority or that which is successive there; hut each of these always subsists as it is, in sameness, receiving no mutation. How, therefore, can that which is in the same and the similar be in want of memory ? For it is not at all disposed in futurity in a way different from what it was before; nor has it one intelligence after another, in order that it may abide in another, or that it may remember another intellection which it formerly possessed. But what prevents it from knowing the mutations of other things, without being changed itself, such as the periods of the world ? Shall we say it is because it intellectually perceives one thing as prior, but another as posterior which is consequent to the mutations of that which is convolved ? Besides, remembrance is different from intellectual perception: and it must not be said that the intellection of itself is recollection. For it does not proceed in its energy for the purpose of detaining it, lest it should depart; for thus it might fear lest the essence of itself should depart from itself. Neither, therefore, must it be said that soul remembers after the same manner, as we say it recollects those things which it innately possesses. But having descended hither, it possesses these innate conceptions, yet does not [always] energize according to them, and especially when it has profoundly descended into body. The ancients, however, appear to have considered memory and reminiscence to be the same thing as for the soul to energize according to those things which it now possesses; so that this is another species of memory. Hence, time is not present with memory thus denominated. Perhaps, however, these things are considered by us lightly, and not accurately. For perhaps it may be doubted, whether memory and reminiscence belong to such a soul as this [which we are now considering] or whether they do not rather pertain to another more obscure soul, or to this animal which is a composite of soul and body. And if they belong to another soul, it may also be doubted when and how it received what it recollects; and a similar doubt will arise if they are said to pertain to the composite of soul and body. Hence, that must be investigated which was the subject of our inquiry from the first, what that is which possesses in us the power of remembering. And if, indeed, it is the soul which remembers, it must be considered what part or power of the soul it is; but if it is the sentient power, as to some it has appeared to be, what the mode is of its subsistence must be investigated, and what ought to be called the animal. And again, whether it is proper to admit that the same thing apprehends both sensibles and intelligibles, or that one thing perceives the former, but another the latter of these.


Ver online : ENÉADAS III-IV (Gredos)


[1On trouve dans saint Augustin les mêmes idées sur la mémoire: « Omne praeteritum jam non est; omne futurum nonduni est: omne igitur et futurum et praeteritum deest. Apud Deum autem nihil deest. Nec praeteritum igitur, nec futurum, sed omne praesens est apud Deum. » (De diversis quaestionibus, § 17.)

[2« Quibus autem est memoria necessaria, nisi praetereuntibus et quasi fugientibus rebus? Ille igitur sapiens ampleclitur Deum, eoque perfruitur qui semper manet, nec exspectatur ut sit, nec metuitur ut desit, sed eo ipso quo vere est, semper est praesens... Quia?» (S. Augustin, De Ordine, Il,2.)

[3Il y a dans le texte: καὶ μάλιστα ἐνταῦθα ἠκούσῃ. Ficin traduit : « et maxime huc longe profectam. » Creuzer propose un autre sens: « et maxime quae modo huc advenit» ; il le justifie en ces termes: « Nimirum Plotinus loqui videtur de animis infantium haud ita multo ante natorum, quae conlurbutae recenti lapsu et quasi ebriae minus valent superiores mentis vires explicare, sed materiae et nutritioni magis mancipatae sunt. » Nous adoptons le sens de Creuzer qui est parfaitement d’accord avec ce que Plotin dit ailleurs sur l’état de l’intelligence dans les enfants (Enn. 1, liv. I, § 11; t. 1, p. 47).