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Plotino - Tratado 42,29 (VI, 1, 29) — Categorias Estoicas: a qualidade

Enéada VI, 1, 29

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

    

Igal

29 Lo cualificado debe ser, para ellos, distinto del sustrato. Y de hecho así lo afirman. De lo contrario, no lo enumerarían como segundo género. Si, pues, es distinto, también debe ser simple; y si simple, no compuesto; y si no compuesto, no debe tener materia en cuanto cualificado; y si no tiene materia, debe ser incorpórea y activa, ya que la materia subyace a lo cualificado para ser afectada por ello. Pero si es compuesto, en primer lugar es absurda la división que contrapone lo simple a lo compuesto, y ello dentro de un mismo género, y luego en una de las dos especies coloca la otra. Es como si, al dividir la ciencia, dijéramos que una especie es la gramática y otra la gramática más otra cosa. Mas si dijeran que lo cualificado no es sino materia cualificada, en primer lugar, las razones estarían, según ellos, inmersas en la materia: no que, al hacerse presentes en la materia formarían un compuesto, sino que, anteriormente al compuesto que forman, constarían de materia y forma. Luego las razones mismas no serían formas ni razones. Mas si dijeran que las razones no son sino materia en cierto estado  , eso equivaldría, evidentemente, a identificar lo cualificado con el estado, con lo que habría que incluirla en el tercer género. Pero si el estado es una habitud distinta de lo cualificado, ¿en qué está la diferencia? Es claro que el estado, incluido en lo cualificado, sería una entidad más real. Aunque si ni siquiera allí es una entidad real, ¿por qué lo cuentan como un género o una especie? La verdad es que el ser   y el no-ser no pueden entrar bajo un mismo género.

Ahora bien, ese estado que sobreviene a la materia ¿en qué consiste? O es ser o es no-ser. Si es ser, es totalmente incorpóreo  ; y si es no-ser, se lo menciona en balde. Existirá sólo la materia, y lo cualificado no será nada. Pero tampoco el estado será nada, ya que éste es no-ser en mayor grado; y el enumerado como cuarto género lo será en mucho mayor grado. Luego sólo la materia será ser. Ahora bien, ¿quién es el que dice esto? No, por cierto, la materia misma. A no ser que sea la materia misma, ya que la inteligencia es materia en cierto estado. Por más que lo de «en cierto estado» es una añadidura vana. Luego es la materia la que dice y comprende esto. Y si hablara sensatamente, sería un milagro cómo entiende y cómo desempeña las funciones del alma   sin tener ni inteligencia ni alma. Pero si habla insensatamente al identificarse con lo que no tiene ni ser ni potencia, ¿a quién hay que atribuir semejante insensatez? A ella misma, si hablara. Pero de hecho, no es ella la que habla, y el que habla, habla abundando en lo que recibe de aquélla, siendo todo él pertenencia de aquélla, no obstante que posee una parte de alma, pero con desconocimiento de sí mismo   y de la potencia que es capaz de hablar con verdad sobre tales temas.35

Bouillet

XXIX. [Qualité.] Puisque les Stoïciens parlent de qualités, les qualités doivent être pour eux autre chose que les sujets; sinon, ils ne les placeraient pas au second rang. Or, pour être autre chose que les sujets, les qualités doivent être simples, par conséquent n’être pas composées, c’est-à-dire ne contenir aucune mati  ère en tant qu’elles sont qualités. Dans ce cas, les qualités doivent être incorporelles et actives : car la matière est pour les Stoïciens un sujet passif. Si les qualités au contraire sont elles-mêmes passives, la division en sujets et qualités est absurde parce qu’elle fait deux espèces des choses simples et des choses composées, puis les réunit en un seul genre; ensuite, elle est vicieuse en ce qu’elle place une des espèces dans l’autre [la matière dans les qualités], comme si l’on divisait la science en deux espèces dont l’une comprit la grammaire, l’autre la grammaire encore et quelque autre chose de plus.

Si les Stoïciens disent que les qualités sont la matière qualifiée (ὕλη   ποιὰ), leurs raisons [séminales], étant matérielles (121), et non simplement unies à la matière, formeront sans doute un composé, mais avant de former ce composé elles seront déjà elles-mêmes composées de matière et de formes : elles ne seront donc elles-mêmes ni raisons ni formes (122).

Si les Stoïciens disent que les raisons ne sont que la matière modifiée (ὕλη πως ἔχουσα), ils admettent alors que les qualités sont des modes et ils devraient les placer dans le quatrième genre [la relation]. Si la relation est autre chose que le mode, en quoi consiste la différence? Est-ce que le mode a ici plus de réalité? Mais si le mode pris en lui-même n’est pas une réalité, pourquoi en faire un genre ou une espèce? car on ne saurait réunir en un seul genre l’être et le non-être? En quoi consiste donc cette modification de la matière? Il faut qu’elle soit être ou non-être. Si elle est être, elle est nécessairement incorporelle. Si elle est non-être, c’est un vain mot et il n’existe que la matière. Dans ce cas la qualité n’est rien de réel, et le mode encore moins. Quant au quatrième genre [la relation], il n’a aucune espèce de réalité. Il n’y a donc que la matière dans ce système.

Mais qui nous apprend qu’il en est ainsi? Certes ce n’est pas la matière elle-même, à moins qu’étant modifiée elle ne constitue l’intelligence; mais cette modification n’est qu’une vaine addition: c’est donc la matière qui perçoit ces choses et les énonce. Si l’on suppose qu’elle dit des choses sensées, il y a lieu de se demander comment elle pense et remplit les fonctions de l’âme, quoiqu’elle n’ait ni âme ni intelligence. Si elle dit une chose insensée, en affirmant qu’elle est ce qu’elle n’est point et ce qu’elle ne saurait être, à qui faut-il attribuer cette assertion insensée? Certes on ne saurait l’attribuer qu’à la matière, si elle pouvait parler. Mais elle ne parle point, et celui qui tient un pareil langage ne le tient que parce qu’il a beaucoup emprunté à la matière, qu’il en est devenu l’esclave, quoiqu’il ait une âme; c’est qu’il s’ignore lui-même aussi bien qu’il ignore la nature de la faculté qui peut dire la vérité sur ce sujet.

Guthrie

2. QUALITY.

QUALITIES ARE INCORPOREAL.

29. Since the Stoics speak of qualities, they must consider these as distinct from subjects; otherwise, they would not assign them to the second rank. Now, to be anything else than the subjects, qualities must be simple, and consequently, not composite; that is, they must not, in so far as they are qualities, contain any matter. In this case, the qualities must be incorporeal and active; for, according to the Stoics, matter is a passive subject. If, on the contrary, the qualities themselves be passive, the division into subjects and qualities is absurd, because it would classify separately simple and composite things, and then reunite them into one single classification. Further, it is faulty in that it locates one of the species in another (matter in the qualities), as if science were divided into two kinds, of which one would comprise grammar, and the other grammar with something additional.

«SEMINAL REASONS,» AS QUALIFIED MATTER. WOULD BE COMPOSITE; AND SECONDARY.

If the Stoics say that the qualities are «qualified matter,» then their («seminal) reasons» being not merely united to nature, but (fully) material, will no doubt form a composite; but before forming this composite they themselves will already be composed of matter and forms; they themselves will therefore be neither reasons nor forms.

THE FOUR STOIC CATEGORIES EVAPORATE. LEAVING MATTER ALONE AS BASIS.

If the (Stoics) say that the «reasons» are only modified matter, they then admit that qualities are modes, and the (Stoics) should locate the reasons in the fourth category, of relation. If however relation be something different from modality, in what does that difference consist? Is it that modality here possesses greater reality? But if modality, taken in itself, be not a reality, why then make of it a category? Surely it would be impossible to gather in a single category both essence and non-essence. In what then does this modification of matter consist? It must be either essence or non-essence. If it be essence, it is necessarily incorporeal. If it be non-essence, it is nothing but a word, and matter alone exists. In this case, quality is nothing real, and modality still less. As to the fourth category, relation, absolutely no reality whatever will inhere in it. This Stoic system, therefore, contains nothing else but matter.

THE CULT OF MATTER IMPLIES IGNORING SOUL AND INTELLIGENCE.

But on whose authority do we learn this? Surely, not on that of matter itself, unless that, because of its modification, it becomes intelligence; but this (alleged) modification is but a meaningless addition; it must therefore be matter which perceives these things, and expresses them. If we should ask whether matter utter sensible   things, we might indeed ask ourselves how matter thinks and fulfils the functions of the soul, although matter lacks both soul and intelligence. If, on the contrary, matter utter something nonsensical, insisting that it is what it is not, and what it could not be, to whom should this silly utterance be ascribed? Surely only to matter, if it could speak. But matter does not speak; and he who speaks thus does so only because he has borrowed much from matter, that he has become its slave, though he have a soul. The fact is that he is ignorant of himself, as well   as of the nature of the faculty which can divulge the truth about this subject (intelligence).

MacKenna

29. Qualities must be for this school distinct from Substrates. This in fact they acknowledge by counting them as the second category. If then they form a distinct category, they must be simplex  ; that is to say they are not composite; that is to say that as qualities, pure and simple, they are devoid of Matter: hence they are bodiless and active, since Matter is their substrate - a relation of passivity.

If however they hold Qualities to be composite, that is a strange classification which first contrasts simple and composite qualities, then proceeds to include them in one genus, and finally includes one of the two species [simple] in the other [composite]; it is like dividing knowledge into two species, the first comprising grammatical knowledge, the second made up of grammatical and other knowledge.

Again, if they identify Qualities with qualifications of Matter, then in the first place even their Seminal Principles [Logoi  ] will be material and will not have to reside in Matter to produce a composite, but prior to the composite thus produced they will themselves be composed of Matter and Form: in other words, they will not be Forms or Principles. Further, if they maintain that the Seminal Principles are nothing but Matter in a certain state, they evidently identify Qualities with States, and should accordingly classify them in their fourth genus. If this is a state of some peculiar kind, what precisely is its differentia? Clearly the state by its association with Matter receives an accession of Reality: yet if that means that when divorced from Matter it is not a Reality, how can State be treated as a single genus or species? Certainly one genus cannot embrace the Existent and the Non-existent.

And what is this state implanted in Matter? It is either real, or unreal: if real, absolutely bodiless: if unreal, it is introduced to no purpose; Matter is all there is; Quality therefore is nothing. The same is true of State, for that is even more unreal; the alleged Fourth Category more so.

Matter then is the sole Reality. But how do we come to know this? Certainly not from Matter itself. How, then? From Intellect? But Intellect is merely a state of Matter, and even the «state» is an empty qualification. We are left after all with Matter alone competent to make these assertions, to fathom these problems. And if its assertions were intelligent, we must wonder how it thinks and performs the functions of Soul without possessing either Intellect or Soul. If, then, it were to make foolish assertions, affirming itself to be what it is not and cannot be, to what should we ascribe this folly? Doubtless to Matter, if it was in truth Matter that spoke. But Matter does not speak; anyone who says that it does proclaims the predominance of Matter in himself; he may have a soul, but he is utterly devoid of Intellect, and lives in ignorance of himself and of the faculty alone capable of uttering the truth in these things.