Página inicial > Antiguidade > Neoplatonismo (245-529 dC) > Plotino (204-270 dC) – Tratados Enéadas > Plotino - Tratado 28,23 (IV, 4, 23) — Sabe-se que a sensação não pode se fazer (...)

ENÉADAS

Plotino - Tratado 28,23 (IV, 4, 23) — Sabe-se que a sensação não pode se fazer sem órgãos (1)

Enéada IV, 4, 23

terça-feira 22 de fevereiro de 2022, por Cardoso de Castro

    

Cap 23-26: Sabe-se que a sensação não pode se fazer sem órgãos e tem por meta a utilidade  

    

Míguez

23. Conviene aceptar que la sensación   es la percepción de lo sensible por el alma   o por el ser   animado cuando el alma aprehende las cualidades de los cuerpos e imprime en sí misma las formas de éstos. El alma, naturalmente, debe percibir las cosas por sí sola, o bien juntamente con otra cosa. Si sola, ¿cómo podría hacerlo? Ciertamente, percibiría lo que se da en sí misma y es bien sabido que ella es tan sólo un pensamiento. Y si percibe otras cosas, ha debido poseerlas primero, ya por hacerse semejante a ellas, ya por unirse a algún ser que con ella tiene semejanza. Pero no es posible que se haga semejante si realmente permanece en sí misma, porque, ¿cómo un punto podría hacerse semejante a una línea? Tampoco, naturalmente, la línea que está en el pensamiento podría ser semejante a la línea sensible, ni, por supuesto, el fuego o el hombre pensados al fuego o al hombre sensibles. Aun con mayor razón la naturaleza productora del hombre ha de ser diferente al hombre que engendra, ya que, si llega a aprehender a solas al hombre sensible, alcanzará únicamente su modelo inteligible, escapándosele en cambio el hombre sensible al no poseer ella nada con que pueda aprehenderlo.

Un objeto visible, cuando es visto desde lejos por el alma, envía hasta ella una forma, la cual, en su comienzo, resulta indivisible   con relación al alma. Esta forma concluye en el objeto, del cual el alma ve su color   y su figura tal como ellos son. No basta sólo, pues, para la percepción con el objeto exterior y el alma; si así fuese, el alma no se sentiría afectada. Es necesario un tercer término para poder sufrir la acción del objeto y recibir su forma. Ese tercer término debe ser afectado al mismo tiempo que el objeto y de la misma manera que él, lo cual supone que ha de tener su misma materia. A él corresponde sufrir y al alma, en cambio, conocer. Y debe ser afectado de tal modo que conserve algo del objeto que le afecta, sin ser idéntico a él. Pero, como algo intermedio entre el objeto y el alma debe experimentar también una afección que resulte intermedia entre lo sensible y lo inteligible, puesto que refiere uno a otro ambos puntos extremos. Es él, por tanto, quien puede recibir la forma para darla a conocer al alma, pues no en vano es capaz de hacerse semejante a una y a otra. Por ser órgano del conocimiento sensible no puede ser idéntico al sujeto que conoce ni al objeto que es conocido; pero podrá hacerse semejante a uno y a otro, al objeto externo por ser afectado por él, al sujeto interno porque de su experiencia se origina una forma en el alma.

Si hemos de hablar con toda propiedad, conviene admitir que las sensaciones tienen lugar por medio de órganos corpóreos. Esto es consecuencia de la naturaleza del alma, la cual no percibe nada sensible si permanece fuera del cuerpo. El órgano a que nos referimos debe ser, o todo   el cuerpo, o una parte de él, elegida especialmente para esta función, como ocurre con el tacto y con la vista. Viendo el artificio de que se sirven los órganos se comprueba su carácter intermedio entre nosotros, que somos quienes juzgamos, y el objeto juzgado, ya que ellos nos dan a conocer los caracteres específicos de los objetos. Porque la regla adoptada para lo recto, tanto en el alma como en ’la plancha de madera, es como algo intermedio entre ambas, sirviendo para que el artesano juzgue de la rectitud misma de la plancha.

Conviene, sin embargo, que el objeto juzgado se encuentre en contacto con el órgano, porque si el órgano se halla alejado de aquél podrá interponerse entre ellos alguna otra cosa, como acontece por ejemplo cuando el cuerpo siente el calor de un fuego que está alejado de él. Tendríamos que preguntarnos en este sentido si se da realmente la percepción aun sin la modificación del medio, esto es, si existiendo un vacío entre el órgano de la visión y el color, puede llegar a verse con la sola presencia del órgano. Pero se trata ya de otro punto. En cuanto a la sensación, queda claro que pertenece a un alma encerrada en un cuerpo y que se realiza por el cuerpo.

Bouillet

XXIII. Sentir les choses sensibles, c’est pour l’âme ou pour l’animal   percevoir en saisissant les qualités inhérentes aux corps et en se représentant leurs formes (61). L’âme doit donc percevoir les choses sensibles ou seule ou avec le corps. Si l’âme est seule, comment y parviendra-t-elle ? Pure et isolée, elle ne peut que concevoir ce qu’elle a en elle-même, elle ne peut que penser (62). Pour qu’elle conçoive alors aussi des objets autres qu’elle-même, il faut qu’elle les ait saisis antérieurement, soit en leur devenant semblable, soit en se trouvant unie à quelque chose qui leur soit devenu semblable.

Il est impossible qu’en restant pure l’âme devienne semblable aux objets sensibles [par conséquent qu’elle les saisisse]. comment en effet le point pourrait-il devenir semblable à la ligne? La ligne intelligible elle-même ne saurait devenir conforme à la ligne sensible, non plus que le feu intelligible au feu sensible, l’homme intelligible à l’homme sensible. La nature même qui engendre l’homme ne saurait être identique à l’homme engendré. L’âme isolée, pût-elle saisir les objets sensibles, finira par s’appliquer à l’intuition   des objets intelligibles, parce que, n’ayant rien pour saisir les premiers, elle les laissera échapper. En effet, quand l’âme aperçoit de loin un objet visible, quoique ce soit la forme seule qui parvienne jusqu’à elle, cependant ce qui a commencé par être pour elle comme indivisible finit par constituer un sujet, soit couleur, soit figure, dont l’âme détermine la quantité.

Il ne suffit donc pas qu’il y ait l’âme et l’objet extérieur [pour que la sensation soit possible] : car il n’y aurait là rien qui pâtit; il doit y avoir un troisième terme qui pâtisse, c’est-à-dire qui reçoive la forme sensible (μορφή}; il faut que ce troisième terme partage la passion de l’objet extérieur (συμπαθες), qu’il éprouve la même passion (ὁμοιοπαθές), qu’il soit de la même mati  ère, et, d’un autre côté, que sa passion soit connue par un autre principe (63); il faut enfin que la passion garde quelque chose de l’objet qui la produit, sans lui être cependant identique. L’organe qui pâtit doit donc être d’une nature intermédiaire entre l’objet qui produit la passion et l’âme, entre le sensible et l’intelligible, et jouer ainsi le rôle de moyen terme entre deux extrêmes, recevant d’un côté, annonçant de l’autre, et devenant semblable également à tous les deux. Pour être l’instrument de la connaissance, l’organe doit n’être identique ni au sujet qui connaît, ni à l’objet qui est connu ; il doit devenir semblable à chacun d’eux, à l’objet extérieur parce qu’il pâtit, à l’âme qui connaît parce que la passion qu’il éprouve devient une forme (εἶδος  ;). Pour parler exactement, les sensations ont lieu par les organes : c’est la conséquence du principe que nous avons avancé, savoir, que l’âme isolée du corps ne peut saisir rien de sensible. Quant à l’organe, il est ou le corps entier, ou une partie du corps destinée à remplir une fonction particulière; c’est ce qui a lieu pour le tact, par exemple, ou la vue. Il est également facile de voir que les instruments des artisans jouent le rôle d’intermédiaires entre l’esprit   qui juge et l’objet qui est jugé, et qu’ils servent à reconnaître les propriétés des substances. La règle, étant également conforme à l’idée d’être droit qui est dans l’esprit et à la propriété d’être droit qui se trouve dans le bois, sert d’intermédiaire à l’esprit de l’artisan pour juger si le bois qu’il travaille est droit.

C’est une autre question que d’examiner s’il faut que l’objet perçu soit en contact avec l’organe, ou si la sensation peut avoir lieu loin de l’objet sensible au moyen d’un intermédiaire: c’est le cas où du feu, par exemple, se trouve placé loin de notre corps, sans que le milieu pâtisse en aucune façon ; c’est encore le cas où, un vide se trouvant servir de milieu entre l’œil et la couleur, on peut se demander s’il suffit, pour voir, de posséder la puissance propre à l’organe (64).

Nous venons d’ailleurs d’établir que la sensation n’appartient qu’à l’âme qui se trouve dans le corps et qu’elle suppose des organes.

Guthrie

CONCEPTIVE THOUGHT DEMANDS THE INTERMEDIARY PROCESS OF SENSATION.

23. Conception of sense-objects occurs when the soul or the living being experiences perceptions by grasping the bodies’ inherent qualities, and by representing their forms to itself. The soul must therefore perceive sense-objects either with or without the body. How could the soul do so alone? Pure and isolated, she can conceive only what she has within herself; she can only think. But for conception of objects other than herself, she must previously have grasped them, either by becoming assimilated to them, or by finding herself united to something which may have become similar to them.

THE PURE SOUL WOULD REMAIN ISOLATED.

It is impossible for the soul to become similar to sense-objects (in order to grasp them), by remaining pure. How indeed could a point become similar to a line? The intelligible line itself could not become conformed to the sense-line, any more than intelligible fire to the sense-fire, or the intelligible man to the sense-man. Nature herself which begets man could not be identical with the begotten man. The isolated soul, even if she could grasp sense-objects, will finish by applying herself to the intuition of intelligible objects, because, having nothing by which to grasp the former, she will let them escape. Indeed, when the soul perceives from far a visible object, although only the form reaches her, nevertheless what first began by being for her indivisible, finally constitutes a subject, whether it be color or a figure, whose size is determined by the soul.

SENSATION DEPENDS ON THE SENSE-SHAPE, WHICH, LIKE TOOLS, IS INTERMEDIATE.

The soul and the exterior object do not therefore suffice (to explain sensation); for there would be nothing that suffers. There must therefore be a third term that suffers, that is, which receives the sense-form, or, shape. This third term must “sympathize,” or, share the passion of the exterior object, it must also experience the same passion, and it must be of the same matter; and, on the other hand, its passion must be known by another principle; last, passion must keep something of the object which produces it, without however being identical with it. The organ which suffers must therefore be of a nature intermediary between the object which produces the passion and the soul, between the sensible and the intelligible, and thus play the part of a term intermediary between the two extremes, being receptive on one side, making announcements on the other, and becoming equally similar to both. The organ that is to become the instrument of knowledge must be identical neither with the subject that knows, nor with the object that is known. It must become similar to both of them; to the exterior object because it suffers, and to the cognizing soul because the passion which it experiences becomes a form. Speaking more accurately, the sensations operate by the organs. This results from the principle asserted above, that the soul isolated from the body can grasp nothing in the sense-world. As used here, the word “organ” either refers to the whole body, or to some part of the body fitted to fulfil some particular function; as in the case of touch or sight. Likewise, it is easy to see that tools of artisans play a part intermediary between the mind   which judges, and the object which is judged; and that they serve to discover the properties of substances. For instance, a (foot) rule, which is equally conformed to the idea of straightness in the mind, and to the property of straightness in the wood, serves the artisan’s mind as intermediary to judge if the wood he works be straight.

EXCLUSION OF OTHER SIDE ISSUES.

We have just demonstrated that sensation belongs exclusively to an embodied soul, and that this implies organs. But we have nothing to do with the question whether the perceived object must be in contact with the organ, or whether the sensation can take place   at a distance from the sense-object, by means of an intermediary; as the case of the fire which is located at a distance from our body, without the intermediary’s suffering in any manner. It happens again where, empty space serving as intermediary between the eye and the color, one may well   ask whether, to see, it suffice to possess the potentiality proper to that organ. But it is sure that sensation is some activity of the soul in a body, or through a body.

MacKenna

23. A first principle is that the knowing of sensible objects is an act of the soul, or of the living conjoint, becoming aware of the quality of certain corporeal entities, and appropriating the ideas present in them.

This apprehension must belong either to the soul isolated, self-acting, or to soul in conjunction with some other entity.

Isolated, self-acting, how is it possible? Self-acting, it has knowledge of its own content, and this is not perception but intellection: if it is also to know things outside itself it can grasp them only in one of two ways: either it must assimilate itself to the external objects, or it must enter into relations with something that has been so assimilated.

Now as long as it remains self-centred it cannot assimilate: a single point cannot assimilate itself to an external line: even line cannot adapt itself to line in another order, line of the intellectual to line of the sensible, just as fire of the intellectual and man of the intellectual remain distinct from fire and man of the sensible. Even Nature, the soul-phase which brings man into being, does not come to identity with the man it shapes and informs: it has the faculty of dealing with the sensible, but it remains isolated, and, its task done, ignores all but the intellectual as it is itself ignored by the sensible and utterly without means of grasping it.

Suppose something visible lying at a distance: the soul sees it; now, admitting to the full that at first only the pure idea of the thing is seized - a total without discerned part - yet in the end it becomes to the seeing soul an object whose complete detail of colour and form is known: this shows that there is something more here than the outlying thing and the soul; for the soul is immune from experience; there must be a third, something not thus exempt; and it is this intermediate that accepts the impressions of shape and the like.

This intermediate must be able to assume the modifications of the material object so as to be an exact reproduction of its states, and it must be of the one elemental-stuff: it, thus, will exhibit the condition which the higher principle is to perceive; and the condition must be such as to preserve something of the originating object, and yet not be identical with it: the essential vehicle of knowledge is an intermediary which, as it stands between the soul and the originating object, will, similarly, present a condition midway between the two spheres, of sense and the intellectual-linking the extremes, receiving from one side to exhibit to the other, in virtue of being able to assimilate itself to each. As an instrument by which something is to receive knowledge, it cannot be identical with either the knower or the known: but it must be apt to likeness with both - akin to the external object by its power of being affected, and to the internal, the knower, by the fact that the modification it takes becomes an idea.

If this theory of ours is sound, bodily organs are necessary to sense-perception, as is further indicated by the reflection that the soul entirely freed of body can apprehend nothing in the order of sense.

The organ must be either the body entire or some member set apart for a particular function; thus touch for one, vision for another. The tools of craftsmanship will be seen to be intermediaries between the judging worker and the judged object, disclosing to the experimenter the particular character of the matter under investigation: thus a ruler, representing at once the straightness which is in the mind and the straightness of a plank, is used as an intermediary by which the operator proves his work.

Some questions of detail remain for consideration elsewhere: Is it necessary that the object upon which judgement or perception is to take place should be in contact with the organ of perception, or can the process occur across space upon an object at a distance? Thus, is the heat of a fire really at a distance from the flesh   it warms, the intermediate space remaining unmodified; is it possible to see colour over a sheer blank intervening between the colour and the eye, the organ of vision reaching to its object by its own power?

For the moment we have one certainty, that perception of things of sense belongs to the embodied soul and takes place through the body.


Ver online : ENÉADAS III-IV (Gredos)