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Plotino - Tratado 42,27 (VI, 1, 27) — O sujeito e o substrato

Enéada VI, 1, 27

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

Igal

27 Por otra parte, si desean a toda costa mantener al Principio en su puesto de honor, no debieran tomar como principio lo informe, ni lo pasible, ni lo desprovisto de vida e inteligencia, lo oscuro e indeterminado, y por añadidura, adjudicar a esto la sustancia. Porque, por una parte, ellos introducen a Dios por decoro y, por otra, su Dios recibe su ser de la materia y es compuesto y posterior, mejor dicho, es la materia en cierto estado. Además, si la materia es sustrato, forzosamente habrá otra cosa que, actuando en ella y siendo exterior a ella, la constituya en sustrato de las determinaciones que emite de sí sobre ella. Pero si Dios mismo está en la materia, si Dios mismo se ha hecho sustrato junto con la materia, ya no constituirá la materia en sustrato ni será él mismo sustrato junto con la materia. Porque ¿de qué van a ser sustratos, si ya no hay nada que los constituya en sustratos, una vez gastadas todas las cosas en el supuesto sustrato? Porque el sustrato es relativo, no a lo que hay en él, sino a lo que actúa en él como en su objeto. Es más, el sustrato es sustrato con relación a lo que no es sustrato; y si esto es así, con relación a lo externo, con lo que esto externo quedaría al margen. Pero si no necesitan para nada de otra cosa externa, sino que el sustrato mismo, configurándose puede transformarse en todas las cosas, como el que por la pantomima se transforma en todas las cosas, ya no será sustrato, antes bien el sustrato mismo será todas las cosas. Porque como el pantomimo no es sustrato de sus figuras, puesto que las figuras son actos suyos, así tampoco la que ellos suponen materia será sustrato de todas las cosas, si las otras cosas proceden de ella. Mejor dicho, las otras cosas ni siquiera existirán en absoluto, si las otras cosas no son sino materia en cierto estado, como las figuras no son sino el pantomimo en cierto estado. Ahora bien, si las otras cosas no existen, tampoco la materia será sustrato en modo alguno, ni pertenecerá al número de los seres, sino que, no siendo más que materia, por eso mismo no será ni siquiera materia, ya que la materia es algo relativo. Porque lo relativo es relativo a otro y es del mismo género que esto otro. Por ejemplo, lo doble es relativo a la mitad, y no la sustancia a lo doble. Ahora bien, ¿cómo puede un ente ser relativo a un no-ente, como no sea accidentalmente? Pero un ente subsistente —y también la materia, si lo es—, será relativo a un ente. Porque si la materia es potencia de lo que ha de ser, y lo que ha de ser no es sustancia, tampoco la materia misma será sustancia. De donde se les sigue que, acusando a los que sacan sustancias de no-sustancias, ellos mismos sacan de lo que es sustancia lo que no es sustancia. Porque el cosmos, en cuanto cosmos, no es sustancia. Ahora bien, es absurdo que la materia, el sustrato, sí sea sustancia, pero que los cuerpos no sean sustancia en mayor grado, y que el cosmos no sea sustancia en mayor grado que éstos, sino que sea sustancia tan sólo en cuanto parte del sustrato. Y también es absurdo que el animal no reciba del alma su sustancia, sino sólo de la materia, y que el alma sea un estado de la materia y posterior a ella. Entonces, ¿de dónde viene la animación de la materia? ¿De dónde, en absoluto, la existencia del alma? ¿Cómo es que la materia, unas veces, se transforma en cuerpos y, otras, otra parte de ella se transforma en alma? Porque si la forma adviene de otra parte, por el advenimiento de una cualidad a la materia en modo alguno se originará un alma, sino cuerpos inanimados. Pero si hay algo que modela la materia y la convierte en alma, síguese que antes que el alma originada existirá el alma originadora.

Bouillet

XXVII. Les Stoïciens auraient dû, plaçant d’ailleurs au rang suprême le principe de tout, ne pas reconnaître pour principe et ne pas regarder comme essence ce qui est informe, passif, dénué de vie et d’intelligence, ténébreux 196 et indéfini [la matière]. Ils introduisent Dieu dans l’univers en vue de la beauté, mais leur Dieu tient lui-même son existence de la matière ; il est composé et postérieur [à la matière], ou plutôt il n’est que la matière modifiée (114). Par conséquent, si la matière est le sujet, il est nécessaire qu’il y ait en dehors d’elle un autre principe qui, en agissant sur elle, fasse d’elle le sujet des qualités qu’il lui donne (115). Si ce principe résidait dans la matière et était lui-même sujet, s’il était enfin contemporain de la matière, il ne saurait faire de la matière un sujet. Il est tout à fait impossible qu’il constitue un sujet concurremment avec la matière : car à quoi ce principe et la matière serviraient-ils de sujet, puisqu’il n’y aurait plus de principe qui fit d’eux un sujet une fois que toutes choses auraient été absorbées dans ce sujet? Ce qui est sujet est nécessairement le sujet de quelque chose, non de ce qu’il a en lui-même, mais de ce dont il subit l’action ; or, il subit l’action de ce qui n’est pas soi-même sujet, par conséquent de ce qui est hors de lui. Ce point a donc été oublié par les Stoïciens. D’un autre côté, si la matière et le principe actif n’ont besoin de rien d’extérieur, si le sujet qu’ils constituent peut devenir lui-même toutes choses en prenant diverses formes, comme un danseur se donne à lui-même toutes les attitudes possibles, ce sujet ne sera plus véritablement sujet, il sera toutes choses. De même que le danseur n’est pas le sujet des attitudes (car elles sont ses actes), de même la matière des Stoïciens ne sera plus le sujet de toutes choses si toutes choses proviennent d’elle; ou plutôt les Autres choses n’existeront plus réellement, elles ne seront que la matière modifiée, comme les attitudes ne sont que le danseur modifié. Or, si les autres choses n’existent plus réellement, la matière n’est plus sujet; elle n’est plus la matière des êtres, elle est seulement matière. Elle ne sera même plus matière, parce que ce qui est matière est la matière de quelque chose ; mais ce qui se rapporte à une autre chose est du même genre que cette chose, comme la moitié appartient au même genre que le double et n’est pas la substance du double. Comment donc le non-être se rapporte-t-il à l’être si ce n’est par accident? Mais l’être absolu et la matière même se rapportent à l’être en qualité d’être. En effet, si ce qui doit être est simple puissance, par conséquent n’est pas essence, la matière ne saurait être essence (116).

Il résulte de là que les Stoïciens, qui reprochent à d’autres philosophes de faire des essences avec des non-essences, font eux-mêmes une non-essence avec une essence. En effet le monde, en tant que monde, n’est pas essence [dans le système des Stoïciens]. Certes, c’est avancer une chose déraisonnable que de soutenir que la matière, qui est sujet, est cependant essence, et que les corps ne sont pas plus essence que la matière; mais il est plus déraisonnable encore de prétendre que le monde n’est pas essence par lui-même, mais seulement par une de ses parties [par la matière], que l’être animé ne doit pas son essence à l’âme, mais seulement à la matière, enfin que l’âme n’est qu’une modification de la matière, une chose postérieure. De qui donc la matière a-t-elle reçu l’animation? D’où vient la substance de l’âme? Comment la matière reçoit-elle la forme? Car, puisque la matière devient les corps, l’âme est autre chose qu’elle. Si la forme provenait d’autre chose que de l’âme, la qualité en s’unissant à la matière ne produirait point l’âme, mais des corps inanimés. Si quelque chose façonne la matière et crée l’âme, il y aura alors avant l’âme créée une âme créatrice.

Guthrie

THE STOIC GOD IS ONLY MODIFIED MATTER.

27. The Stoics did well, indeed, to assign the principle of everything to the first rank; but they should not have recognized as principle, and accepted as "being" what was shapeless, passive, devoid of life and intelligence, dark, and indefinite. Because of the universe’s beauty, they are forced to introduce within it a divinity; but the latter derives His very essence from matter; He is composite and posterior (to matter) ; rather, He is no more than "modified matter." Consequently, if matter be the subject, there must necessarily be outside of it some other principle which, acting upon matter, makes of it the subject of the qualities which He imparts thereto. If this principle resided in matter, and Himself were the subject; if, in other words, He were contemporaneous with matter, He could not reduce matter to the state of a subject. Now it is entirely impossible (for this principle) to constitute a subject concurrently with matter; for in such a case both would have to serve as subject to something higher; and what could it be, since there could be no further principle to make a subject of them, if all things had already been absorbed into this (concurrent) subject? A subject is necessarily subject to something; not to what it has in itself, but to that whose action it undergoes. Now, it undergoes the action of that which itself is not subject by itself; consequently, of that which is outside of itself. This point has evidently been overlooked by the Stoics.

IF EVERYTHING BE DERIVED FROM MATTER, MATTER CAN NO LONGER BE THEIR SUBJECT.

On the other hand, if matter and the active principle need nothing exterior, if the subject that they constitute can itself become all things by assuming different forms, as a dancer, who can assume all possible attitudes, this subject would no longer be a subject, but He will be all things. Just as the dancer is not the subject of the attitudes (for they are his actualizations), likewise the "matter" of the Stoics will no longer be the subject of all things, if all things proceed from matter; or rather, the other things will no longer really exist, they will be nothing but "modified matter," just as the attitudes are nothing but the "modified dancer." Now if the other things no longer really exist, matter is no longer a subject; it is no longer the matter of the essences, but is matter exclusively. It will no longer even be matter, because what is matter must be matter of something; but that which refers to something else belongs to the same classification as that thing, just as half belongs to the same classification as the double, and is not the being of the double. But how could non-essence, except by accident, refer to essence? But the absolute Essence and matter itself refer to essence by virtue of being essence. Now if that which is to be is a simple potentiality, it cannot constitute "being," which consequently matter could not be.

THE MONISM OF THE STOICS BREAKS DOWN. JUST LIKE DUALISM.

Consequently, the Stoics, who reproach other philosophers (such as Plato  ) for making up beings out of non-beings, themselves make up a non-being out of a being. Indeed (in the system of the Stoics), the world, such as it is, is not being. It is certainly unreasonable to insist that matter, which is a subject, should nevertheless be "being," and that bodies should not, any more than matter be "being"; but it is still more unreasonable to insist that the world is "being," not by itself, but only by one of its parts (namely, matter); that the organism does not owe its being to the soul, but only to matter; and last, that the soul is only a modification of matter, and is something posterior to others. From whom then did matter receive animation ? Whence comes the hypostatic existence of the soul? How does matter receive form? For, since matter becomes the bodies, the soul is something else than matter. If the form came from something else than the soul, quality, on uniting to matter, would produce not the soul, but inanimate bodies. If something fashion matter and create the soul, the created soul would have to be preceded by a "creating soul."

MacKenna

27. On other grounds also, it is indefensible not to have reserved the high place for the true first-principle of things but to have set up in its stead the formless, passive and lifeless, the irrational, dark and indeterminate, and to have made this the source of Being. In this theory God is introduced merely for the sake of appearance: deriving existence from Matter he is a composite, a derivative, or, worse, a mere state of Matter.

Another consideration is that, if Matter is a substrate, there must be something outside it, which, acting on it and distinct from it, makes it the substrate of what is poured into it. But if God is lodged in Matter and by being involved in Matter is himself no more than a substrate, he will no longer make Matter a substrate nor be himself a substrate in conjunction with Matter. For of what will they be substrates, when that which could make them substrates is eliminated? This so-called substrate turns out to have swallowed up all that is; but a substrate must be relative, and relative not to its content but to something which acts upon it as upon a datum.

Again, the substrate comports a relation to that which is not substrate; hence, to something external to it: there must, then, be something apart from the substrate. If nothing distinct and external is considered necessary, but the substrate itself can become everything and adopt every character, like the versatile dancer in the pantomime, it ceases to be a substrate: it is, essentially, everything. The mime is not a substrate of the characters he puts on; these are in fact the realisation of his own personality: similarly, if the Matter with which this theory presents us comports in its own being all the realities, it is no longer the substrate of all: on the contrary, the other things can have no reality whatever, if they are no more than states of Matter in the sense that the poses of the mime are states through which he passes.

Then, those other things not existing, Matter will not be a substrate, nor will it have a place among the Existents; it will be Matter bare, and for that reason not even Matter, since Matter is a relative. The relative is relative to something else: it must, further, be homogeneous with that something else: double is relative to half, but not Substance to double.

How then can an Existent be relative to a Non-existent, except accidentally? But the True-Existent, or Matter, is related (to what emerges from it) as Existent to Non-Existent. For if potentiality is that which holds the promise of existence and that promise does not constitute Reality, the potentiality cannot be a Reality. In sum, these very teachers who deprecate the production of Realities from Nonrealities, themselves produce Non-reality from Reality; for to them the universe as such is not a Reality.

But is it not a paradox that, while Matter, the Substrate, is to them an existence, bodies should not have more claim to existence, the universe yet more, and not merely a claim grounded on the reality of one of its parts?

It is no less paradoxical that the living form should owe existence not to its soul but to its Matter only, the soul being but an affection of Matter and posterior to it. From what source then did Matter receive ensoulment? Whence, in short, is soul’s entity derived? How does it occur that Matter sometimes turns into bodies, while another part of it turns into Soul? Even supposing that Form might come to it from elsewhere, that accession of Quality to Matter would account not for Soul, but simply for organized body soulless. If, on the contrary, there is something which both moulds Matter and produces Soul, then prior to the produced there must be Soul the producer.