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Plotino - Tratado 42,3 (VI, 1, 3) — A realidade

Enéada VI, 1, 3

quinta-feira 16 de junho de 2022, por Cardoso de Castro

Igal

3 ¿Será preciso, entonces, hablar de una sola categoría en la que agrupemos juntamente la sustancia inteligible, la materia, la forma y el compuesto de ambas, en el sentido en que cabe hablar de un solo linaje de los Heráclidas, no como predicado común a todos, sino porque todos descienden de un solo antepasado? Porque la sustancia inteligible es sustancia en sentido primario, las demás, en sentido secundario y en menor grado.

—Pero, entonces, ¿qué impide que todas las cosas constituyan una sola categoría, puesto que todas las otras cosas de las que se predica el ser derivan también de la sustancia?

—Pero es que aquellas otras cosas son afecciones de la sustancia, mientras que las sustancias derivan de otro modo: por consecución.

—Pero, aun así, todavía no nos es posible basamos en la sustancia ni captar su característica más importante desde donde captar las demás sustancias. Con todo, concedamos que todas las llamadas «sustancias» pertenecen a un mismo género puesto que convienen en una nota común distinta de los demás géneros. Según eso, ¿qué quiere decir esto mismo de que la sustancia es una «quididad» y un «esto» y lo de que «subyace» y no sobreyace ni está en otro como en un sujeto ni es lo que es por ser de otro, como la blancura es cualidad de un cuerpo, y la cuantidad es algo de la sustancia, y el tiempo es algo del movimiento y el movimiento es algo del móvil? La sustancia segunda, empero, se predica de otro.

—Sí, pero lo de que «se predica de otro» se dice aquí en un sentido distinto, o sea, como género constitutivo y constitutivo a modo de parte y como la «quididad» de aquel otro, mientras que la blancura se predica de otro porque está en otro.

—Pero éstas llamaríamos propiedades relativas a otro, y por eso cabe aunar y llamar sustancias a aquellas cosas, pero no se puede hablar de un solo género ni aclarar con ello todavía el concepto y la naturaleza de la sustancia.

Quede, pues, aquí bien asentado esto y pasemos a la naturaleza de la cuantidad.

Bouillet

III. Peut-on admettre que la substance soit une catégorie qui embrasse à la fois la substance intelligible, la matière, la forme et l’ensemble de la forme et de la matière, au même titre qu’on dit que la race des Héraclides forme un genre, non que tous ses membres aient un caractère commun, mais parce qu’ils sortent tous d’une même souche (14)? Alors, le premier degré appartiendra à cette substance [dont provient tout le reste], et le second degré aux autres choses qui sont moins substances. Qui empêche donc que toutes choses forment une seule catégorie, puisque toutes les autres choses dont on dit : elles subsistent, doivent cette propriété à la substance? — Dira-t-on que les autres choses sont des modifications (πάθη)(15), et que les substances sont subordonnées les unes aux autres d’une manière différente ? Mais, dans ce cas, nous ne pouvons pas encore nous arrêter à la substance et déterminer sa propriété fondamentale afin d’en déduire les autres substances. Les substances seront donc ainsi congénères, elles auront quelque chose qui sera en dehors des autres genres (16). Que signifient alors ces expressions : essence (quiddité,τό τι), forme déterminée (eccéité, τὸ τόδε), être un sujet, n’être pas un sujet, n’être dans aucun sujet, n’être attribué à aucune autre chose (17) (quand on dit : la blancheur est une qualité du corps, la quantité est quelque chose de la substance, le temps est quelque chose du mouvement, et le mouvement est quelque chose du mobile), puisque la substance seconde est attribuée à une autre chose (18)? — Mais, nous répondra-t-on, la substance seconde est attribuée à la substance première dans un autre sens [que la qualité à la substance], comme genre, comme constituant une partie, comme étant ainsi l’essence du sujet, tandis que la blancheur est attribuée à une autre chose en ce sens qu’elle est dans un sujet (19). On dira donc que ces choses ont des propriétés qui les distinguent des autres, on les rassemblera par conséquent en une unité et on les appellera substances; cependant, on ne saurait en faire un genre, ni définir ainsi la notion et la nature de la substance.

Mais, en voici assez sur ce sujet. Passons à la quantité.

Guthrie

3. Can we assert that "being" is a category that embraces simultaneously intelligible being, matter, form, and the concretion of form and matter, on the same justification that one may say that the race of the Heraclidae form a kind, not because all its members possess a common characteristic, but because they are all descended from a common ancestry? In such case, the first degree thereof will belong to this being (from which all the rest is derived), and the second degree to the other things which are less beings. What then hinders that all things form a single category, since all other things of which one may say, "they subsist," owe this property to "being?"

Might it then be said that the other things are affections (or, modifications), and that the beings are (hierarchically) subordinated to each other in a different manner? In this case, however, we could not stop at (the conception of) "being," and determine its fundamental property so as to deduce from it other beings. Beings would thus be of the same kind, but then would possess something which would be outside of the other beings. Thus the secondary substance would be attributed to something else, and leave no meaning to "whatness" (quiddity or quality), "determinate form" (thatness), "being a subject," "not being a subject," "being in no subject," and "being attributed to nothing else," (as, when one says, whiteness is a quality of the body, quantity is something of substance, time is something of movement, and movement is something of mobility), since the secondary "being" is attributed to something else. Another objection would be, that the secondary being is attributed to the primary Being, in another sense (than quality is to being), as "a kind," as "constituting a part," as "being thus the essence of the subject," while whiteness would be attributed to something else in this sense that it is in a subject. Our answer would be that these things have properties which distinguish them from the others; they will consequently be gathered into a unity, and be called beings. Nevertheless, no kind could be made up out of them, nor thus arrive at a definition of the notion and nature of being. Enough about this; let us pass to quantity.

MacKenna

3. But perhaps we should rather speak of some single category, embracing Intellectual Substance, Matter, Form, and the Composite of Matter and Form. One might refer to the family of the Heraclids as a unity in the sense, not of a common element in all its members, but of a common origin: similarly, Intellectual Substance would be Substance in the first degree, the others being substances by derivation and in a lower degree.

But what is the objection to including everything in a single category, all else of which existence is predicated being derived from that one thing, Existence or Substance? Because, granted that things be no more than modifications of Substance, there is a distinct grading of substances themselves. Moreover, the single category does not put us in a position to build on Substance, or to grasp it in its very truth as the plausible source of the other substances.

Supposing we grant that all things known as substances are homogeneous as possessing something denied to the other genera, what precisely is this something, this individuality, this subject which is never a predicate, this thing not present in any thing as in a subject, this thing which does not owe its essential character to any other thing, as a quality takes character from a body and a quantity from a substance, as time is related to motion and motion to the moved?

The Second Substance is, it is true, a predicate. But predication in this case signifies a different relation from that just considered; it reveals the genus inherent in the subject and the subject’s essential character, whereas whiteness is predicated of a thing in the sense of being present in the thing.

The properties adduced may indeed be allowed to distinguish Substance from the other Existents. They afford a means of grouping substances together and calling them by a common name. They do not however establish the unity of a genus, and they do not bring to light the concept and the nature of Substance.

These considerations are sufficient for our purpose: let us now proceed to investigate the nature of Quantity.