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Plotino - Tratado 49,5 (V, 3, 5) — Como o Intelecto se conhece ele mesmo?

Enéada V, 3, 5

domingo 12 de junho de 2022, por Cardoso de Castro

Cap 5, 1-48: O Intelecto se conhece ele mesmo não por meio de suas partes, mas em razão da identidade, nele, do que pensa, do que é pensado e do pensamento

Míguez

5. Pero, ¿ve ella una parte de sí misma con otra de sus partes? Si así fuese, habría, entonces, una cosa que ve y otra que es vista, lo cual no acredita, precisamente, que se vea a sí misma. Más, ¿cómo podría afirmarse esto si ella es un todo de partes semejantes, en el que la parte que ve no difiere en modo alguno de la parte que es vista? Por lo que, si ve una parte de sí misma que es idéntica a ella, se ve también a sí misma; pues no hay diferencia alguna entre la parte que ve y la parte que es vista. O lo que es lo mismo, esa división carece de sentido. Pero, entonces, ¿cómo dividirla? Porque es claro que la división no podrá hacerse al azar. ¿Y quién podrá hacerla? ¿La realizará, acaso, el sujeto que contempla o bien el objeto que es contemplado? Pero, ¿cómo podría reconocerse ese sujeto en el objeto que es contemplado si él está contemplando como tal sujeto? Porque, evidentemente, el acto de contemplar no se da en modo alguno en el objeto contemplado, que, si se conoce a sí mismo, se conocerá como tal objeto contemplado pero no como sujeto que contempla. De modo que no se conocerá a sí mismo por entero, porque el ser que él ve es un ser contemplado y no un ser que contempla. Se trata, pues, de otro ser y no del mismo que ve. Aunque puede ocurrir que añada de sí mismo el sujeto que contempla, a fin de conocerse por entero. Pero si él se ve como sujeto que contempla, verá también, a la vez, las cosas que contempla. Y en el caso de que las cosas contempladas se den en esta contemplación, o bien verá sus improntas y no poseerá esas cosas, o bien tendrá que poseerlas y ya entonces no las ve porque se ha dividido a sí mismo. Pero las cosas estaban ahí antes que toda división y el sujeto las posee desde el momento que las contempla. Siendo esto así, conviene que la contemplación sea idéntica al objeto contemplado, e, igualmente, que sean lo mismo la Inteligencia y lo inteligible. Porque, si no fuesen lo mismo, no habría en modo alguno verdad y el que cree poseer los seres no poseería otra cosa que una impronta, que es algo diferente a los seres y no constituye ciertamente la verdad. Pues, en efecto, la verdad no debe ser el conocimiento de algo distinto, sino que lo que dice, eso precisamente debe ser. Así, Inteligencia, inteligible y ser constituyen una y la misma cosa, esto es, el primer ser, y aun la primera inteligencia que posee los seres, o mejor todavía, la inteligencia que es idéntica a los seres.

Pero si la Inteligencia y lo inteligible son una y la misma cosa, ¿no será ésta una razón para que el que piensa se piense a sí mismo? Porque es claro que el pensamiento, o comprenderá lo inteligible, o habrá de ser idéntico a él; pero esto no hace manifiesto que la Inteligencia se piense a sí misma. Convengamos en la identidad de la Inteligencia y de lo inteligible, porque lo inteligible es también un cierto acto. Un acto, añadiremos, que no puede ser calificado como un ser en potencia y sin vida, y al que no correspondería una vida y un pensamiento tomados a otro ser, cual si se tratase de una piedra o de alguna otra cosa inanimada, porque lo inteligible es en verdad la sustancia primera. Si, pues, es un acto, será sin duda el primero y el más bello de los actos; será el acto de la Inteligencia y el acto tomado en su misma esencia, porque es, a la vez, el acto más verdadero. Un acto así, que es el acto primero, tiene que ser también la primera inteligencia, porque esta inteligencia no puede ser en modo alguno una inteligencia en potencia, ni podrá ser diferente del acto intelectual. Siendo ella misma y su sustancia un acto, la Inteligencia deberá formar una sola y misma cosa con su acto. Pero como el ser y lo inteligible ya eran idénticos al acto, todos estos términos de los que ahora hablamos, Inteligencia, acto intelectual e inteligible, serán una y la misma cosa. Con lo que, sí el acto de la Inteligencia es lo inteligible, y si lo inteligible es la Inteligencia, la Inteligencia necesariamente se pensará a sí misma. Porque pensará por medio de su acto, que no es otra cosa que ella misma, y pensará así lo inteligible, que es también ella misma. De dos maneras, pues, se pensará a sí misma: como acto de la Inteligencia, que es ella misma, y como inteligible, al que piensa por medio de un acto que es la Inteligencia misma.

Bouillet

V. Est-ce en contemplant une de ses parties par une autre partie que l’intelligence pure se connaît elle-même? Alors, une partie sera le sujet, une autre partie sera l’objet de la contemplation; l’intelligence ne se connaîtra pas elle-même. — Mais quoi, dira-t-on, si l’intelligence est un tout composé de parties absolument semblables, en sorte que le sujet et l’objet de la contemplation ne différent pas l’un de l’autre; alors, en vertu de cette similitude, en voyant une de ses parties à laquelle elle est identique, l’intelligence ne se verra-t-elle pas elle-même? car, dans ce cas, le sujet ne diffère pas de l’objet. — D’abord, il est absurde de supposer l’intelligence divisée en plusieurs parties. Comment, en effet, opérera-t-on cette division? Ce ne peut être au hasard. Qui l’opérera? Sera-ce le sujet ou l’objet? Ensuite, comment le sujet se connaîtra-t-il lui-même si, dans la contemplation, il se place dans l’objet, puisque la contemplation n’appartient pas à ce qui est l’objet? Se connaîtrait-il comme objet plutôt que comme sujet? Alors, il ne se connaîtra pas complètement et dans sa totalité [comme sujet et comme objet] : car ce qu’il voit, c’est l’objet et non le sujet de la contemplation; c’est un autre qu’il voit, et non lui-même. Il faudra donc que, pour avoir une connaissance complète de lui-même, il se voie en outre comme sujet; or, s’il se voit comme sujet, il faudra qu’il voie en même temps les choses contemplées. Mais sont-ce les empreintes (11) des choses ou les choses elles-mêmes qui sont contenues dans l’acte de la contemplation? Si ce sont les empreintes, on ne possède pas les choses elles-mêmes. Si on possède ces choses, ce n’est pas parce qu’on se partage [en sujet et en objet]. Avant de se partager ainsi, on voyait ces choses, on les avait. Par conséquent, la contemplation doit être identique a ce qui est contemplé, l’intelligence à l’intelligible; sans cette identité, on ne possédera pas la vérité: car, au lieu de posséder les réalités, on n’aura d’elles qu’une empreinte, qui sera différente des réalités, qui, par conséquent, ne sera pas la vérité. La vérité doit donc ne pas différer de son objet; elle doit être ce qu’elle énonce. Donc, d’un côté, l’Intelligence, de l’autre l’Intelligible et l’Être ne font qu’une seule et même chose, savoir, l’Être premier et l’Intelligence première, qui possède les réalités ou plutôt qui leur est identique. — Mais, si l’objet pensé et la pensée ne font qu’une seule chose, comment le sujet pensant pourra-t-il de cette manière se penser lui-même? On voit bien que la pensée embrassera l’intelligible, ou qu’elle lui sera identique ; mais on ne voit pas comment l’intelligence se pensera elle-même. — Le voici : la pensée (νόησις) et l’intelligible (τὸ νοητόν) ne font qu’un, parce que l’intelligible est un acte et non une simple puissance, que la vie ne lui est ni étrangère ni adventice, que la pensée n’est pas un accident pour lui comme elle le serait pour un corps brut, pour une pierre, par exemple, qu’enfin l’intelligible est l’essence première. Or, si l’intelligible est un acte, c’est l’acte premier, la pensée la plus parfaite, la pensée substantielle (οὐσιώδης νόησις). Et, comme cette pensée est souverainement vraie, qu’elle est la pensée première, qu’elle possède l’existence au plus haut degré, elle est l’Intelligence première. Elle n’est donc pas l’Intelligence en puissance ; il n’y a pas à distinguer en elle la puissance et l’acte de la pensée; sinon, son essence ne serait qu’une simple puissance. Or, puisque l’intelligence est un acte, et que son essence est un acte, elle doit ne taire qu’une seule et même chose avec son acte. Mais l’être et l’intelligible ne font aussi qu’une seule et même chose avec leur acte. Donc l’intelligence, l’intelligible et la pensée ne feront ensemble qu’une seule chose. Puisque la pensée de l’intelligible est l’intelligible, et que l’intelligible est l’intelligence, l’intelligence se pensera ainsi elle-même. L’intelligence pensera, par l’acte de la pensée à laquelle elle est identique, l’intelligible auquel elle est également identique. Elle se pensera elle-même, en tant qu’elle est la pensée, et en tant qu’elle est l’intelligible qu’elle pense par la pensée à laquelle elle est identique (12).

Guthrie

INTELLIGENCE IS NOT DIVISIBLE; AND, IN ITS EXISTENCE. IS IDENTICAL WITH THOUGHT.

5. Does pure Intelligence know itself by contemplating one of its parts by means of another part? Then one part will be the subject, and another part will be the object of contemplation; intelligence will not know itself. It may be objected that if intelligence be a whole composed of absolutely similar parts, so that the subject and the object of contemplation will not differ from each other; then, by the virtue of this similitude, on seeing one of its parts with which it is identical, intelligence will see itself; for, in this case, the subject does not differ from the object. To begin with, it is absurd to suppose that intelligence is divided into several parts. How, indeed, would such a division be carried out? Not by chance, surely. Who will carry it out? Will it be the subject or object? Then, how would the subject know itself if, in contemplation, it located itself in the object, since contemplation does not belong to that which is the object? Will it know itself as object rather than as subject? In that case it will not know itself completely and in its totality (as subject and object); for what it sees is the object, and not the subject of contemplation; it sees not itself, but another. In order to attain complete knowledge of itself it will, besides, have to see itself as subject; now, if it see itself as subject, it will, at the same time, have to see the contemplated things. But is it the (Stoic) "types" (or impressions) of things, or the things themselves, that are contained in the actualization of contemplation ? If it be these impressions, we do not possess the things themselves. If we do possess these things, it is not because we separate ourselves (into subject and object). Before dividing ourselves in this way, we already saw and possessed these things. Consequently, contemplation must be identical with that which is contemplated, and intelligence must be identical with the intelligible. Without this identity, we will never possess the truth. Instead of possessing realities, we will never possess any more than their impressions, which will differ from the realities; consequently, this will not be the truth. Truth, therefore, must not differ from its object; it must be what it asserts.

THOUGHT IS IDENTICAL WITH THE INTELLIGIBLE WHICH IS AN ACTUALIZATION.

On one hand, therefore, intelligence, and on the other the intelligible and existence form but one and the same thing, namely, the primary existence and primary Intelligence, which possesses iealities, or rather, which is identical with them. But if the thought-object and the thought together form but a single entity, how will the thinking object thus be able to think itself? Evidently thought will embrace the intelligible, or will be identical therewith: but we still do not see how intelligence is to think itself. Here we are: thought and the intelligible fuse into one because the intelligible is an actualization and not a simple power; because life is neither alien nor incidental to it; because thought is not an accident for it, as it would be for a brute body, as for instance, for a stone; and, finally, because the intelligible is primary "being." Now, if the intelligible be an actualization, it is the primary actualization, the most perfect thought, or, "substantial thought." Now, as this thought is supremely true, as it is primary Thought, as it possesses existence in the highest degree, it is primary Intelligence. It is not, therefore, mere potential intelligence; there is no need to distinguish within it the potentiality from the actualization of thought; otherwise, its substantiality would be merely potential. Now since intelligence is an actualization, and as its "being" also is an actualization, it must fuse with its actualization. But existence and the intelligible also fuse with their actualization. Therefore intelligence, the intelligible, and thought will form but one and the same entity. Since the thought of the intelligible is the intelligible, and as the intelligible is intelligence, intelligence will thus think itself. Intelligence will think, by the actualization of the thought to which it is identical, the intelligible to which it also is identical. It will think itself, so far as it is thought; and in so far as it is the intelligible which it thinks by the thought to which it is identical.

Taylor

V. Does intellect, therefore, by one part of itself behold another part? In this case, however, one part will be that which sees, but another, that which is seen. And this is not for the same thing to see itself. What then ? If the whole is a thing of such a kind as to consist of similar parts, so that the perceiver differs in no respect from the thing perceived, in this case, the perceiver seeing that part which is the same with itself, will also see itself. For the perceiver does not at all differ from the thing perceived. Or may we not indeed in the first place say that this division of intellect is absurd ? For how is the division to be made ? since it cannot be casually. Who likewise is it that divides it? Is it he who arranges himself in the order of the perceiver, or he who arranges himself as the thing perceived ? In the next place, how will the perceiver know himself, when in perceiving he arranges himself in the order of that which is seen ? For that which sees was not supposed to be in that which is seen. Or will not he who thus knows himself, understand himself to be that which is perceived, but not that which perceives ? So that he will not know all, nor the whole of himself. For that which he knows he knows as a thing seen, but not as a thing that sees, and thus he will be the perceiver of another thing, and not of himself. May he not, however, of himself add, that he is also that which sees, in order that he may perfectly know himself ? But if he comprehends in himself that which sees, he also at the same time comprehends the things that are seen. If, therefore, in the perceiver the things perceived are contained, if indeed, they are impressions of the things seen, he will not contain the things themselves. But if he possesses the things themselves, he does not see them through dividing himself [into the perceiver and the thing perceived]; but prior to the division of himself, he both beheld and possessed them. If, however, this be the case, it is necessary that contemplation should be the same with the object of contemplation, and intellect the same with the intelligible. For if it is not the same, there will not be truth. For unless this is admitted, he who is said to possess beings, will only possess an impression different from beings, which is not truth. For truth ought not to be of another thing, but that which it says, that also it should be. Thus, therefore, intellect, the intelligible, and being are one; and this is the first being, and the first intellect, possessing beings; or rather, it is the same with beings. If, however, intelligence and the intelligible are one, how on this account does that which is intellective intellectually perceive itself ? For intelligence, indeed, as it were, comprehends the intelligible, or is the same with it. Intellect, however, which intellectually perceives itself, is not yet manifest. But intelligence and the intelligible are the same; for the intelhgible is a certain energy, since it is neither power, nor void of life, nor again is its life adventitious, nor its intellection in something different from itself, as in a stone, or a certain inanimate thing, and it is also the first essence. If, therefore, it is energy, and the first energy, intelligence likewise will be most beautiful, and will be essential intelligence. For intelligence of this kind is most true, is the first, and subsists primarily, and will therefore be the first intellect. For this intellect is not in capacity, nor is this one thing, but intelligence another; since thus again, the essential of it would be in capacity. If, therefore, it is energy, and the essence of it is energy, it will be one and the same with energy. Since, however, being and the intelligible are one and the same with energy, all will be at the same time one, viz., intellect, intelligence, and the intelligible. If, therefore, the intelligence of it is the intelligible, but it is the intelligible, hence it will itself intellectually perceive itself. For it will perceive itself by intelligence, which it is, and will understand the intelligible which also it is. According to each of these, therefore, it will intellectually perceive itself, both so far as it is intelligence, and so far as it is the intelligible, and will understand by intelligence, which it is.

MacKenna

5. Does it all come down, then, to one phase of the self knowing another phase?

That would be a case of knower distinguished from known, and would not be self-knowing.

What, then, if the total combination were supposed to be of one piece, knower quite undistinguished from known, so that, seeing any given part of itself as identical with itself, it sees itself by means of itself, knower and known thus being entirely without differentiation?

To begin with, the distinction in one self thus suggested is a strange phenomenon. How is the self to make the partition? The thing cannot happen of itself. And, again, which phase makes it? The phase that decides to be the knower or that which is to be the known? Then how can the knowing phase know itself in the known when it has chosen to be the knower and put itself apart from the known? In such self-knowledge by sundering it can be aware only of the object, not of the agent; it will not know its entire content, or itself as an integral whole; it knows the phase seen but not the seeing phase and thus has knowledge of something else, not self-knowledge.

In order to perfect self-knowing it must bring over from itself the knowing phase as well: seeing subject and seen objects must be present as one thing. Now if in this coalescence of seeing subject with seen objects, the objects were merely representations of the reality, the subject would not possess the realities: if it is to possess them it must do so not by seeing them as the result of any self-division but by knowing them, containing them, before any self-division occurs.

At that, the object known must be identical with the knowing act [or agent], the Intellectual-Principle, therefore, identical with the Intellectual Realm. And in fact, if this identity does not exist, neither does truth; the Principle that should contain realities is found to contain a transcript, something different from the realities; that constitutes non-Truth; Truth cannot apply to something conflicting with itself; what it affirms it must also be.

Thus we find that the Intellectual-Principle, the Intellectual Realm and Real Being constitute one thing, which is the Primal Being; the primal Intellectual-Principle is that which contains the realities or, rather, which is identical with them.

But taking Primal Intellection and its intellectual object to be a unity, how does that give an Intellective Being knowing itself? An intellection enveloping its object or identical with it is far from exhibiting the Intellectual-Principle as self-knowing.

All turns on the identity. The intellectual object is itself an activity, not a mere potentiality; it is not lifeless; nor are the life and intellection brought into it as into something naturally devoid of them, some stone or other dead matter; no, the intellectual object is essentially existent, the primal reality. As an active force, the first activity, it must be, also itself, the noblest intellection, intellection possessing real being since it is entirely true; and such an intellection, primal and primally existent, can be no other than the primal principle of Intellection: for that primal principle is no potentiality and cannot be an agent distinct from its act and thus, once more, possessing its essential being as a mere potentiality. As an act - and one whose very being is an act - it must be undistinguishably identical with its act: but Being and the Intellectual object are also identical with that act; therefore the Intellectual-Principle, its exercise of intellection and the object of intellection all are identical. Given its intellection identical with intellectual object and the object identical with the Principle itself, it cannot but have self-knowledge: its intellection operates by the intellectual act which is itself upon the intellectual object which similarly is itself. It possesses self-knowing, thus, on every count; the act is itself; and the object seen in that act - self, is itself.