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Plotino - Tratado 18,2 (V, 7, 2) — Dificuldades relativas ao nascimento das crianças

Enéada V, 7, 2

terça-feira 14 de junho de 2022, por Cardoso de Castro

Capítulo 2: Dificuldades relativas ao nascimento das crianças

  • 1-13: Diferentes casos de figura concernindo o papel dos genitores na individuação dos filhos
  • 14-23: A matéria também desempenha um papel, negativo, na individuação (o "contra-natureza", a feiura)

Míguez

2. Con todo, si las combinaciones de las razones del macho y de la hembra producen razones diferentes, no de a existir una razón para cada uno de los seres que nace. Y, por otra parte, cada uno de los generadores, como por ejemplo el macho, no produce según razones diferentes sino de acuerdo con una sola razón que es la suya propia o la de su padre. Nada impide, en verdad, que se sirva de razones diferentes, puesto que las contiene todas, pero algunas entre éstas están siempre más dispuestas a actuar. ¿Cómo, embargo, se producen seres diferentes de unos mismos padres? Sin duda, por la desigual preponderancia de las razones. Pero esto no es verdad si, contra lo que parece, se atribuye al macho o a la hembra el mayor número razones. Porque cada uno de ellos dio una parte igual (de la forma). Y mejor, la dio toda, y de tal modo se la encuentra dominando las partes de la materia producidas en cada uno de los generadores. Pero, ¿cómo explicar las diferencias tratándose de una región diferente? ¿Se producirán, acaso, por el desigual dominio de la materia (por la forma)? Pero, entonces, todos los seres, salvo uno, se darían contra naturaleza, cuando sólo la fealdad ha de atribuirse al hecho de que la materia domine las razones perfectas y ocultas, pero dadas enteramente (por los padres). Aceptemos que existan razones diferentes. Pero, ¿por qué ha de haber tantas cuantos sean los individuos engendrados en un solo período, si seres que poseen las mismas razones pueden diferenciarse realmente por su apariencia externa? Estaremos de acuerdo en ello si (como se dice) cada individuo posee todas las razones. Ahora bien, lo que se pregunta es si esos individuos pueden ser diferentes dominando en ellos las mismas razones. Porque, ¿no es verdad que seres totalmente idénticos pueden existir en períodos diferentes, pero no en el mismo período?

Bouillet

II. On dira peut-être : la manière dont s’unissent dans l’acte de la génération la raison séminale du mâle et celle de la femelle rendent compte de la diversité des individus; il n’est pas besoin d’admettre que chacun d’eux ait sa raison séminale. Le principe générateur, le mâle, par exemple, n’engendrera pas d’après des raisons séminales diverses, mais d’après la sienne propre ou celle de son père. — Rien n’empêche qu’il n’engendre d’après des raisons différentes, puisqu’il les possède toutes; seulement, il en est toujours qui sont plus disposées à agir. — Mais comment se fait-il que des mêmes parents naissent des individus qui diffèrent entre eux? — Cette diversité, si elle n’est pas une simple apparence, tient à la manière dont les deux principes générateurs concourent à l’acte de la génération : tantôt c’est l’influence du mâle qui y prédomine, tantôt c’est l’influence de la femelle; tantôt l’influence de chacun d’eux est égale; en tout cas, la raison séminale est donnée tout entière et domine la matière fournie par l’un ou par l’autre principe générateur. — A quoi lient alors la différence des individus qui naissent dans des parties différentes (05)? Provient-elle donc de ce que la raison séminale domine la matière à des degrés divers? — Dans ce cas, tous les individus, sauf un, seraient des êtres contre-nature. [Or, il n’en est pas ainsi.] La variété des individus est un principe de beauté; par suite, la forme n’est pas une; il n’y a que la laideur qu’il faille rapporter à la prédominance de la matière. Dans le monde intelligible, les raisons séminales sont parfaites, et, pour être cachée, elles n’en sont pas moins données tout entières.

Admettons que les raisons séminales des individus soient différentes. Pourquoi doit-il y en avoir autant qu’il y a d’individus qui arrivent à l’existence dans une période? — Il est possible que des raisons identiques produisent des individus qui diffèrent par leur apparence extérieure. Nous avons déjà accordé que cela a lieu même quand les raisons séminales sont données tout entières. On demande si cela est possible en admettant que les mêmes raisons se développent. Nous répondrons que des choses absolument semblables peuvent se réaliser dans des périodes diverses; mais, dans la même période, il n’y a rien d’absolument identique (06).

Guthrie

SEX ALONE WOULD NOT ACCOUNT FOR THIS DIVERSITY.

2. (First objection): The manner in which the ("seminal) reasons" of the male and female unite, in the act of generation, suffices to account for the diversity of individuals, without implying that each of them possesses its own ("seminal) reason." The generating principle, the male, for exemple, will not propagate according to different ("seminal) reasons," since it possesses all of them, but only according to its own, or those of its father. Since it possesses all of the ("seminal) reasons," nothing would hinder it from begetting according to different "reasons," only, there are always some which are more disposed to act than are others.

EXPLANATION OF THE DIVERSITY FROM SAME PARENTS.

(Second objection): Please explain how differing individuals are born from the same parents. This diversity, if it be anything more than merely apparent, depends on the manner in which the two generating principles concur in the act of generation; at one time the male predominates, at other times, the female; again, they may both act equally. In either case, the ("seminal) reason" is given in its entirety, and dominates the matter furnished by either of the generating principles.

VARIETY MAY DEPEND ON THE LATENCY OF PART OF SEMINAL REASONS.

(Third objection): What then is the cause of the difference of the individuals conceived in some other place (than the womb, as in the mouth), (as Aristotle2 and Sextus Empiricus3 asked) ? Would it arise from matter being penetrated by the ("seminal) reason" in differing degrees? In this case, all the individuals, except one, would be beings against nature (which, of course, is absurd). The varieties of the individuals are a principle of beauty; consequently, form cannot be one of them; ugliness alone should be attributed to the predominance of matter. In the intelligible world, the ("seminal) reasons" are perfect, and they are not given any less entirely for being hidden.

LEIBNITZ’S DOCTRINE OF THE INDISCERNIBLES.

(Fourth objection) : Granting that the ("seminal) reasons" of the individuals are different, why should there be as many as there are individuals which achieve existence in any one period? It is possible that identical "reasons" might produce individuals differing in external appearance; and we have even granted that this may occur when the ("seminal) reasons" are given entirely. It is asked, is this possible when the same "reasons" are developed? We teach that absolutely similar things might be reproduced in different periods; but, within the same period, there is nothing absolutely identical.

MacKenna

2. But individuals are brought into being by the union of the Reason-Principles of the parents, male and female: this seems to do away with a definite Reason-Principle for each of the offspring: one of the parents - the male let us say - is the source; and the offspring is determined not by Reason-Principles differing from child to child but by one only, the father’s or that of the father’s father.

No: a distinct Reason-Principle may be the determinant for the child since the parent contains all: they would become effective at different times.

And so of the differences among children of the same parents: it is a matter of varying dominance: either the offspring - whether it so appears or not - has been mainly determined by, now, the male, now, the female or, while each principle has given itself entire and lies there within, yet it effectively moulds one portion of the bodily substance rather than another.

And how [by the theory of a divine archetype of each individual] are the differences caused by place to be explained?

Is the differentiating element to be found in the varying resistance of the material of the body?

No: if this were so, all men with the exception of one only would be untrue to nature.

Difference everywhere is a good, and so there must be differing archetypes, though only to evil could be attribute any power in Matter to thwart nature by overmastering the perfect Reason-Principles, hidden but given, all.

Still, admitting the diversity of the Reason-principles, why need there by as many as there are men born in each Period, once it is granted that different beings may take external manifestation under the presence of the same principles?

Under the presence of all; agreed: but with the dominance of the very same? That is still open to question.

May we not take it that there may be identical reproduction from one Period to another but not in the same Period?