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Plotino - Tratado 42,7 (VI, 1, 7) — A relação

Enéada VI, 1, 7

sexta-feira 17 de junho de 2022, por Cardoso de Castro

Igal

7 Pues bien, si no enunciamos nada real, sino que nos engañamos al hablar, entonces ninguna de estas relaciones será real; la relación será algo irreal. Pero si decimos verdad cuando, comparando dos tiempos decimos: «éste es anterior o posterior a este otro», afirmando la distinción entre la anterioridad y los dos tiempos; si lo mismo sucede en el caso de derecho e izquierdo y en el de las magnitudes, afirmando la distinción entre la cuantidad de las magnitudes y su relación por cuanto la una rebasa y la otra es rebasada; si, pues, la relación existe aun sin que nosotros la enunciemos ni pensemos, de manera que esto sea doble de esto otro, que esto tenga y esto otro sea tenido aun antes de que nosotros nos percatemos; si, anteriormente a nosotros, hay cosas cuantitativamente iguales o cualitativamente idénticas entre sí si, en todos los casos en que hablamos de relación, existe una relación recíproca entre los sujetos posterior a éstos, y nosotros la discernimos porque existe realmente; si el conocimiento es relativo a lo conocido (y aquí es donde la realidad de la relación se hace más patente), entonces debemos cesar de inquirir si la relación existe realmente y, limitándonos a señalar que hay relativos en los que la relación persiste mientras los sujetos persistan en su estado, aunque se separen, otros en los que la relación surge cuando se encuentran y otros en los que, aun cuando los sujetos permanezcan, la relación cesa, sea que cese del todo, sea que se altere, como en el caso de «a la derecha» o «cercano» (casos que, principalmente, dieron origen a la idea de la irrealidad de la relación en los relativos), limitándonos, pues, a señalar esto, es menester investigar en qué consiste esa nota idéntica en todos y si es un género y no un accidente, y luego, una vez hallada esa nota idéntica, qué tipo de realidad posee.

Por relativos debemos entender no lo que simplemente se diga de otro, por ejemplo un estado del alma o del cuerpo, o el alma, por ser alma de un cuerpo o por estar en un cuerpo, sino aquello cuya realidad no provenga más que de la relación, realidad que no sea la de los sujetos relativos, sino la expresada como relación. Así, por ejemplo, los correlativos doble y mitad no confieren realidad alguna ni a lo que mide dos codos o, en general, al dos, ni a lo que mide un codo o, general, al uno, sino que, dadas estas cosas, en virtud de su mutua relación, además de ser la una dos y la otra uno, reciben el título aquélla de doble y ésta de mitad. Ambas a una generación, pues, algo derivado y distinto, el doble y la mitad, que nacieron correlativos y cuyo ser no se cifra sino en su correlación, el del doble en virtud de que sobrepasa a la mitad y el de la mitad en virtud de que es sobrepasada. Así que no son el uno anterior y el otro posterior, sino que existen simultáneamente.

—¿Perduran también simultáneamente?

—Según; en el caso de padre e hijo y en casos similares, desaparecido el padre o el hermano, el hijo sigue siendo hijo y el hermano hermano. Prueba de ello, que solemos decir: «Se parece al difunto».

Bouillet

VII. Si nous n’énonçons rien de véritable en parlant de ces choses, il n’y a rien de réel dans la relation et cette manière d’être n’a aucun fondement. Mais, si nous énonçons la vérité quand nous disons, en comparant deux instants: Celui-ci est antérieur et celui-là est postérieur, alors nous concevons que l’antérieur et le postérieur sont quelque chose indépendamment des sujets dans lesquels ils se trouvent. Il en est de même du gauche et du droit, ainsi que des grandeurs : nous admettons qu’il y a dans celles-ci, outre la quantité qui leur est propre, une certaine habitude en tant que l’une surpasse et que l’autre est surpassée. Si, sans que nous énoncions ou que nous concevions rien, il est réel que telle chose est le double d’une autre; si l’une possède et l’autre est possédée, lors même que nous n’en saurions rien; si les objets sont égaux avant que nous nous en apercevions ; s’ils sont pareillement identiques sous le rapport de la qualité; enfin si, dans tous les relatifs, il y a une habitude qui soit indépendante des sujets dans lesquels elle se trouve, et dont nous nous bornons à remarquer l’existence [sans la créer] ; s’il en est de même de la relation de la science à ce qui peut être su, relation qui constitue évidemment une habitude réelle; s’il en est ainsi, dis-je, il n’y a plus à chercher si l’habitude [appelée relation] est quelque chose de réel, mais il faut accorder que cette habitude subsiste dans certains sujets aussi longtemps que ces sujets demeurent tels qu’ils étaient, et lors même qu’ils seraient séparés, tandis que, dans d’autres sujets, cette habitude naît quand ils sont rapprochés ; il faut accorder enfin que, dans les sujets mêmes qui demeurent, il en est où cette habitude est anéantie ou altérée (le gauche et le proche, par exemple), ce qui a conduit à croire que dans toutes ces relations il n’y a rien de réel. Ce point étant donc accordé, nous avons à chercher ce qu’il y a de commun dans toutes ces relations, et à examiner si ce qu’il y a de commun en elles constitue un genre et non un accident; puis, quelle réalité possède ce que nous avons trouvé.

Il faut appeler relatif, non ce qui est dit la chose d’une autre chose (36) (telles sont les habitudes de l’âme et du corps, par exemple), ni ce qui appartient à telle chose ou est dans telle chose (comme l’âme, par exemple, est dite l’âme de tel individu, ou est dans tel sujet), mais ce qui tient son existence uniquement de cette habitude [appelée relation]; et, par existence (ὑπόστασις), j’entends ici non l’existence qui est propre aux sujets, mais l’existence qu’on nomme relative (πρός τι) : ainsi, le double, par exemple, fait exister [corrélativement] la moitié, mais il ne fait pas exister l’objet de deux coudées, ni deux en général, ni l’objet d’une coudée, ni un en général ; quand ces objets existent, par suite de leur manière d’être qui consiste en ce que celui-ci est deux et celui-là un, le premier s’appelle double et est tel en effet, et le second moitié. Ces deux objets ont donc fait en même temps et d’eux-mêmes que l’un fût double et l’autre moitié, choses qui ont été engendrées corrélativement, et elles n’ont d’existence que par leur corrélation, en sorte que le double tient son existence de ce qu’il surpasse la moitié, et la moitié tient son existence de ce qu’elle est surpassée par le double; par conséquent, l’une de ces choses n’est pas antérieure, et l’autre postérieure, mais leur existence est simultanée (37). On pourrait examiner encore si les autres choses ont aussi cette simultanéité d’existence ou bien ne l’ont pas, comme cela arrive pour le père et le fils, ainsi que pour les cas semblables. Le père mort,«n effet, le fils existe encore; le frère survit également au frère, puisque souvent nous disons que telle personne ressemble à une autre qui est morte.

Guthrie

WHETHER THESE RELATIONS ARE SUBJECTIVE OR OBJECTIVE.

7. If, when we speak of things, we utter nothing true, then there is nothing real in the relation, and this kind of being has no foundation. But if, when we compare two moments, we say, This one is anterior, and that one is posterior, we speak truly, then we conceive that the anterior and the posterior are something independent of the subjects in which they exist. Likewise with the left and the right, as well as with sizes; we admit that in these, besides the quantity which is suitable to them, there is a certain habituation, as far as the one surpasses and the other is surpassed. If, without our enunciating or conceiving anything, it be real that such a thing is the double of another; if the one possess while the other is possessed, even if we had known nothing about it; if the objects had been equal before we had noticed them; if they be likewise identical in respect of quality; finally if, in all relative things, there be a habituation which is independent of the subjects in which it is found; and if we limit ourselves to noticing its existence (without creating it); if the same circumstances obtain in the relation of knowledge to what can be known, a relation which evidently constitutes a real habituation; if it be so, there is nothing left to do but to ask whether this habituation (named a relation) be something real. We shall have to grant, however, that this habituation subsists in certain subjects as long as these subjects remain such as they were, and even if they were separate; while, in other subjects, this habituation is born only when they are brought together. We shall also have to grant that, in the very subjects that remain, there are "some in which this habituation is annihilated or altered (such as, for example, the left direction, or proximity). This has led people to believe that in all these relations there is nothing real. This point having been granted, we shall have to seek what common element there is in all these relations, and to examine whether what is common to them all constitutes a kind, or an accident; and last, we shall have to consider how far that which we have discovered corresponds to reality.

RELATIONS ARE SIMULTANEOUS EXISTENCES.

We should call relative not what is said absolutely of another thing, such as, for instance, the habits of the soul and the body; nor what belongs to such a thing, nor what is in such a thing (as for instance the soul is said to be the soul of such an individual, or to be in such a subject), but what wholly derives its existence from this habit (called relation). By "hypostatic existence" I here mean not the existence which is proper to subjects, but the existence which is called relative; as, for instance, the double causes the (correlative) existence of the half; while it does not cause the existence of the two foot object, nor of two in general, nor the one foot object, nor one in general. The manner of existence of these objects consists in that this one is two, and that one one. As a result of this, when these objects exist, the first is called double, and is such in reality; and the second is half. These two objects have therefore simultaneously and spontaneously effected that the one was double, and the other half. They have been correlatively begotten. Their only existence lies in their correlation, so that the existence of the double lies in its surpassing the half, and the half derives its existence from its being surpassed by the double. Consequently these two objects are not, the one anterior, and the other posterior, but simultaneous. We might also examine whether or not other things do w not also possess this simultaneity of existence, as happens with father and son, and other similar cases. The son continues to exist, indeed, even after the death of the father; brother also survives brother, since we often say that some one person resembles some other deceased person.

MacKenna

7. Now if we do not mean anything by Relation but are victims of words, none of the relations mentioned can exist: Relation will be a notion void of content.

Suppose however that we do possess ourselves of objective truth when in comparing two points of time we pronounce one prior, or posterior, to the other, that priority does entail something distinct from the objects to which it refers; admit an objective truth behind the relation of left and right: does this apply also to magnitudes, and is the relation exhibiting excess and deficiency also something distinct from the quantities involved?

Now one thing is double of another quite apart from our speech or thought; one thing possesses and another is possessed before we notice the fact; equals do not await our comparison but - and this applies to Quality as well as Quantity - rest upon an identity existing between the objects compared: in all the conditions in which we assert Relation the mutual relation exists over and above the objects; we perceive it as already existent; our knowledge is directed upon a thing, there to be known - a clear testimony to the reality of Relation.

In these circumstances we can no longer put the question of its existence. We have simply to distinguish: sometimes the relation subsists while the objects remain unaltered and even apart; sometimes it depends upon their combination; sometimes, while they remain unchanged, the relation utterly ceases, or, as happens with right and near, becomes different. These are the facts which chiefly account for the notion that Relation has no reality in such circumstances.

Our task, thus, is to give full value to this elusive character of Relation, and, then to enquire what there is that is constant in all these particular cases and whether this constant is generic or accidental; and having found this constant, we must discover what sort of actuality it possesses.

It need hardly be said that we are not to affirm Relation where one thing is simply an attribute of another, as a habit is an attribute of a soul or of a body; it is not Relation when a soul belongs to this individual or dwells in that body. Relation enters only when the actuality of the relationships is derived from no other source than Relation itself; the actuality must be, not that which is characteristic of the substances in question, but that which is specifically called relative. Thus double with its correlative, half gives actuality neither to two yards’ length or the number two, nor to one yard’s length or the number one; what happens is that, when these quantities are viewed in their relation, they are found to be not merely two and one respectively, but to produce the assertion and to exhibit the fact of standing one to the other in the condition of double and half. Out of the objects in a certain conjunction this condition of being double and half has issued as something distinct from either; double and half have emerged as correlatives, and their being is precisely this of mutual dependence; the double exists by its superiority over the half, and the half by its inferiority; there is no priority to distinguish double from half; they arise simultaneously.

It is another question whether they endure simultaneously. Take the case of father and son, and such relationships; the father dies, but the other is still his son, and so with brothers. Moreover, we see likeness where one of the like people is dead.