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Plotino - Tratado 42,28 (VI, 1, 28) — O sujeito e o substrato

Enéada VI, 1, 28

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

Igal

28 Pero como son muchos los argumentos que vamos aduciendo en contra de esta teoría, hay que darles fin, no sea que resulte absurdo el polemizar contra un absurdo tan manifiesto, mostrando que dan primacía al no-ser como si fuera el ser por excelencia, esto es, ponen primero lo postrero. La causa de ello es que toman la sensación por guía seguro para el establecimiento de los principios y de las demás cosas. Porque, pensando que los cuerpos son los seres y asustados luego por el cambio de unos en otros, pensaron que lo que hay de permanente bajo los cuerpos es el ser. Es como si uno creyera que el lugar es el ser en mayor grado que los cuerpos, creyendo que el lugar no perece. Aunque ya ellos creen que el lugar es permanente. Pero no debieran confundir el ser con lo que permanece de cualquier modo, sino examinar primero qué atributos deben convenir al ser real, dados los cuales, a ellos les correspondería también el permanecer por siempre. Porque si una sombra permanece constantemente acompañando a un objeto cambiante, no por eso es más real que aquél. Además, el mundo sensible, tomado junto con el sustrato y con multitud de cosas, gracias a esta multitud será, siendo como es el todo, más real que uno solo de sus componentes. Pero si aun el todo no es ser, ¿cómo podrá el sustrato ser fundamento del ser?

Y lo más sorprendente de todo es que, fiándose en cada caso de la sensación, tengan por ser lo que no es captable por la sensación. Porque tampoco tienen razón en atribuir a la materia la resistencia, ya que ésta es una cualidad. Y si responden que ellos captan la materia con la inteligencia, sí que es extraña esta inteligencia que cede a la materia la primacía y atribuye el ser a ella y no a sí misma. Si, pues, la inteligencia no es ser para ellos, ¿cómo puede ser fidedigna cuando habla de realidades más importantes que ella y con las que no está emparentada en modo alguno?

Mas acerca de esta naturaleza y de los sustratos ya hemos hablado suficientemente en otra parte.

Bouillet

XXVIII. L’hypothèse des Stoïciens soulève une foule d’autres objections; mais nous nous arrêtons ici pour ne point paraître absurdes nous-mêmes en combattant une absurdité si évidente. Il suffit que nous ayons montré comment ces philosophes prennent le non-être pour l’être absolu, et donnent le premier rang à ce qui doit occuper le dernier. La cause de leur erreur, c’est qu’ils ont pris la sensation pour guide et n’ont consulté qu’elle pour déterminer les principes et le reste. Persuadés que les corps sont les êtres véritables (117) et ne voulant pas qu’ils se changeassent les uns dans les autres, ils ont cru que ce qui subsiste en eux [au milieu de leurs changements] est l’être véritable, comme on pourrait s’imaginer que le lieu est l’être encore plus que les corps parce qu’il est indestructible. Quoique dans le système des Stoïciens le lieu subsiste aussi sans subir d’altération, ces philosophes ne devaient pas regarder comme l’être ce qui subsiste de quelque manière que ce soit, mais considérer d’abord quels sont les caractères que l’être possède nécessairement et dont la présence le fait subsister sans jamais subir d’altération. Supposez en effet qu’une ombre subsiste toujours en suivant une chose qui change sans cesse, elle n’est pas plus un être réel que la chose qu’elle suit. Le sensible, pris avec les choses multiples, est, en sa qualité de tout, plus être qu’aucune des choses qu’il contient. Si ce sujet, pris dans sa totalité, est non-être, comment peut-il être sujet? Ce qu’il y a de plus étonnant, c’est que, suivant en toutes choses le témoignage de la sensation, les Stoïciens n’aient pas affirmé aussi que l’être peut être perçu par la sensation : car ils n’attribuent pas l’impénétrabilité à la matière, parce que c’est une qualité [et que, selon eux, la matière n’a point de qualité (118)]. S’ils avancent que la matière se perçoit par l’intelligence (119), il n’y a qu’une intelligence dénuée de raison qui puisse se regarder comme inférieure à la matière et lui accorder plutôt qu’à elle-même le privilège de constituer l’être véritable. Puisque dans leur système l’intelligence est non-être, comment peut-elle mériter créance quand elle parle des choses supérieures sans avoir avec elles aucune affinité? Mais nous avons assez longuement traité ailleurs de la nature de la substance (120).

Guthrie

THE FAULT OF THE STOICS IS TO HAVE TAKEN SENSATION AS GUIDE.

28. The Stoic theory raises numberless further objections; but we halt here lest we ourselves incur ridicule in combating so evident an absurdity. It suffices if we have demonstrated that these philosophers mistake non-essence for absolute essence; (putting the cart before the horse), they assign the First rank to what should occupy the last. The cause of their error is that they have chosen sensation as guide, and have consulted nothing else in determining both their principles, and consequences. Being persuaded that the bodies are genuine essences, and refusing to believe that they transform themselves into each other, they believed that what subsisted in them (in the midst of their changes) is the real essence, just as one might imagine that place, because it is indestructible, is more essential than (metabolic) bodies. Although in the system of the Stoics place remain unaltered, these philosophers should not have regarded as essence that which subsists in any manner soever; they should, first, have considered what are the characteristics necessarily possessed by essence, the presence of which (characteristics) makes it subsist without undergoing any alteration. Let us indeed suppose that a shadow would continuously subsist by following something which changes continuously; the shadow, however, would not be no more real than the object it follows. The sense-world, taken together with its multiple objects, is more of an essence than the things it contains, merely because it is their totality. Now if this subject, taken in its totality, be non-essence, how could it be a subject? The most surprising thing, however, is that the (Stoics), in all things following the testimony of sensation, should not also have affirmed that essence can be perceived by sensation; for, to matter, they do not attribute impenetrability, because it is a quality (and because, according to them, matter has no quality). If they insist that matter is perceived by intelligence, it could only be an irrational intelligence which would consider itself inferior to matter, and attribute to it, rather than to itself, the privilege of constituting genuine essence. Since in their system intelligence is non-essence, how could any credibility attach to that intelligence when it speaks of things superior to it, and with which it possesses no affinity? But we have said enough of the nature of these subjects, elsewhere.

MacKenna

28. Many as are the objections to this theory, we pass on for fear of the ridicule we might incur by arguing against a position itself so manifestly ridiculous. We may be content with pointing out that it assigns the primacy to the Non-existent and treats it as the very summit of Existence: in short, it places the last thing first. The reason for this procedure lies in the acceptance of sense-perception as a trustworthy guide to first-principles and to all other entities.

This philosophy began by identifying the Real with body; then, viewing with apprehension the transmutations of bodies, decided that Reality was that which is permanent beneath the superficial changes - which is much as if one regarded space as having more title to Reality than the bodies within it, on the principle that space does not perish with them. They found a permanent in space, but it was a fault to take mere permanence as in itself a sufficient definition of the Real; the right method would have been to consider what properties must characterize Reality, by the presence of which properties it has also that of unfailing permanence. Thus if a shadow had permanence, accompanying an object through every change, that would not make it more real than the object itself. The sensible universe, as including the Substrate and a multitude of attributes, will thus have more claim to be Reality entire than has any one of its component entities (such as Matter): and if the sensible were in very truth the whole of Reality, Matter, the mere base and not the total, could not be that whole.

Most surprising of all is that, while they make sense-perception their guarantee of everything, they hold that the Real cannot be grasped by sensation; - for they have no right to assign to Matter even so much as resistance, since resistance is a quality. If however they profess to grasp Reality by Intellect, is it not a strange Intellect which ranks Matter above itself, giving Reality to Matter and not to itself? And as their "Intellect" has, thus, no Real-Existence, how can it be trustworthy when it speaks of things higher than itself, things to which it has no affinity whatever?

But an adequate treatment of this entity [Matter] and of substrates will be found elsewhere.