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Plotino - Tratado 43,4 (VI, 2, 4) — Partir da unidade e da multiplicidade dos corpos

Enéada VI, 2, 4

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

      

Igal

4 Si quisiéramos tener una visión de la naturaleza del cuerpo, cómo es la naturaleza del cuerpo mismo en este universo  , ¿no es verdad que, tras observar   en alguno de los cuerpos particulares, por ejemplo en una piedra  , que hay algo que es como su sustrato, algo que es su cuantidad, la magnitud, y algo que es su cualidad, como es el color  , afirmaríamos lo mismo de cualquier otro cuerpo, a saber, que, en la naturaleza del cuerpo, hay algo que es como sustancia, algo que es cuantidad y algo que es cualidad, las tres juntas pero divididas en tres por el pensamiento, y que las tres formaban un solo cuerpo? Y si el movimiento fuera también connatural a la constitución del cuerpo, lo incluiríamos también con los otros, y los cuatro constituirían una sola cosa, y ese cuerpo uno quedaría completo con los cuatro por lo que respecta a su unidad y a su naturaleza.

Pues de la misma manera, puesto que estamos tratando de la Sustancia inteligible y de los géneros y principios de allá, es menester que, prescindiendo del devenir inherente a los cuerpos, de la aprehensión por los sentidos y de las magnitudes, porque de ahí viene el que estén separados y distanciados unos de otros, concibamos una realidad inteligible, un ser verdadero y una unidad mayor. Aquí lo sorprendente es cómo un uno así puede ser uno y múltiple. Porque, en los cuerpos, ya hemos concedido que un mismo cuerpo es uno y múltiple. Es que un mismo cuerpo es infinitamente divisible, y una cosa es su color y otra su figura, puesto que se separan. Pero quien conciba un alma   una, sin extensión, sin magnitud y simplicísima, como aparecer  á a la mente   a primera vista, ¿qué esperanza puede tener de volver a encontrarla a la vez múltiple? Sin embargo, uno creía llegar al final al dividir el animal   en cuerpo y alma, un cuerpo multiforme, sí, compuesto y variado; pero confiaba en que, al dar con el alma simple, ya con ello había finalizado el proceso, una vez llegado al principio. Consideremos, pues, cómo esta alma —pues ha sido puesta a nuestro alcance venida de la «región inteligible», lo mismo que antes el cuerpo venido de la región sensible  —, consideremos cómo eso uno es múltiple y eso múltiple es uno, no un uno compuesto de muchos, sino una naturaleza unimúltiple. Porque por la comprensión y dilucidación de este punto decíamos que quedaría dilucidada la verdad acerca de los géneros que hay en el Ser  .

Bouillet

IV. Si, nous occupant de ce monde sensible, nous voulions déterminer quelle est la nature des corps, ne commencerions-nous pas par en étudier quelque partie, une pierre par exemple? Nous y distinguerions la substance, puis la quantité, comme sa dimension, la qualité, comme sa couleur, et» après avoir retrouvé dans les autres corps ces mêmes éléments, nous dirions que la nature corporelle a pour éléments la substance, la quantité, la qualité, mais que ces trois choses coexistent, et que, bien que la pensée les sépare, toutes les trois ne font qu’un seul et même corps. Et si nous reconnaissions en outre que le mouvement est propre à cette même substance, ne l’ajouterions-ftous pas aux trois éléments déjà reconnus? Ces quatre éléments ne feraient encore qu’un, et le corps, bien qu’un, serait constitué, dans son essence et dans son unité, par la réunion de tous les quatre (8). Il faut procéder de la même manière à l’égard du sujet dont nous traitons ici, c’est-à-dire de la substance intelligible, de ses genres et de ses principes. Seulement il faut, dans cette comparaison, faire abstraction de ce qui est propre aux corps et qu’on nomme génération, des perceptions des sens, enfin de l’étendue. Après avoir établi cette séparation et avoir ainsi distingué des choses essentiellement différentes, nous arriverons à concevoir la substance intelligible, qui possède l’être, l’existence véritable, et l’unité à un plus haut degré encore. A cette vue, on s’étonne que la substance qui est ainsi une puisse être à la fois une et multiple. A l’égard des corps, on s’accorde à reconnaître que la même chose est une et multiple ; le corps peut en effet se diviser à l’infini ; la couleur, la figure, par exemple» sont en lui des propriétés bien différentes l’une de l’autre, puisqu’un bas elles sont séparées; Mais à l’égard de l’âme, si on la conçoit comme une, sans étendue, sans grandeur, absolument simple, ainsi que cela apparaît à la première vue, comment croire que l’âme elle-même puisse après cela se trouver multiple? On devait d’autant plus penser arriver ici à l’unité, qu’après avoir divisé l’animal en corps et en âme et avoir démontré que le corps est multiforme, composé, divers, on pouvait compter trouver au contraire l’âme simple et s’arrêter à cette conclusion, comme au terme de ses recherches. Après avoir ainsi considéré cette âme que nous avons prise comme un échantillon du monde intelligible, de même que le corps représente le monde sensible, examinons comment cette unité peut être multiple; comment le multiple peut à son tour être unité, non un composé formé de parties séparables, mais une seule nature à la fois une et multiple. Car, nous l’avons déjà dit, c’est en partant de ce point et en le démontrant que nous établirons solidement la vérité au sujet des genres de l’être.

Guthrie

THE GENERA OF ESSENCE WILL BE DETERMINED BY AN EXAMINATION OF THE PROBLEM OF THE ONE AND MANY.

4. If, on occupying ourselves with this sense-world, we wished to determine the nature of bodies, would we not begin by studying some part thereof, such as a stone? We could then distinguish therein substance, quantity — such as dimension — and quality, such as color; and after having discovered these same elements in other bodies, we could say that the elements of the corporeal nature are being, quantity, and quality; but that these three coexist; and that, though thought distinguish them, all three form but one and the same body. If, besides, we were to recognize that movement is proper to this same organization, would we not add it to the three elements already distinguished? These four elements, however, would form but a single one, and the body, though one, would, in its nature, be the reunion of all four. We shall have to take the same course with our present subject, intelligible Being, and its genera and principles. Only, in this comparison, we shall have to make abstraction of all that is peculiar to bodies, such as generation, sense-perception, and extension. After having established this separation, and having thus distinguished essentially different things, we shall arrive at the conception of a certain intelligible existence, which possesses real essence, and unity in a still higher degree. [From this standpoint, one might be surprised how the (substance which is thus) one can be both one and many. In respect to bodies, it is generally recognized that the same thing is both one and many; the body can indeed be divided infinitely; color and appearance, for instance, are therein very differing properties, since they are separated here below. But in respect to the soul, if she be conceived as one, without extent, dimension and absolutely simple, as it appears at first sight, how could we, after that, believe that the soul were manifold? We should have here expected to reach unity, all the more as, after having divided the animal in body and soul, and after having demonstrated that the body is multiform, composite and diverse, one might well  , on the contrary, have expected to find the soul simple; and to have accepted this conclusion as final, as the end of our researches. We would thus have taken the soul as a sample of the intelligible world, just as the body represents the sense-world. Having thus considered this soul, let us examine how this unity can be manifold; how, in its turn, the manifold can be unity; not indeed a composite formed of separable parts, but a single nature simultaneously one and manifold. For, as we have already said, it is only by starting from this point and demonstrating it, that we will establish solidly the truth about the genera of essence.

MacKenna

4. If we had to ascertain the nature of body and the place it holds in the universe, surely we should take some sample of body, say stone, and examine into what constituents it may be divided. There would be what we think of as the substrate of stone, its quantity - in this case, a magnitude; its quality - for example, the colour of stone. As with stone, so with every other body: we should see that in this thing, body, there are three distinguishable characteristics - the pseudo-substance, the quantity, the quality - though they all make one and are only logically trisected, the three being found   to constitute the unit thing, body. If motion were equally inherent in its constitution, we should include this as well, and the four would form a unity, the single body depending upon them all for its unity and characteristic nature.

The same method must be applied in examining the Intellectual Substance and the genera and first-principles of the Intellectual sphere.

But we must begin by subtracting what is peculiar to body, its coming-to-be, its sensible nature, its magnitude - that is to say, the characteristics which produce isolation and mutual separation. It is an Intellectual Being we have to consider, an Authentic Existent, possessed of a unity surpassing that of any sensible thing.

Now the wonder comes how a unity of this type can be many as well as one. In the case of body it was easy to concede unity-with-plurality; the one body is divisible to infinity; its colour is a different thing from its shape, since in fact they are separated. But if we take Soul, single, continuous, without extension, of the highest simplicity - as the first effort of the mind   makes manifest - how can we expect to find multiplicity here too? We believed that the division of the living being into body and soul was final: body indeed was manifold, composite, diversified; but in soul we imagined we had found a simplex  , and boldly made a halt, supposing that we had come to the limit of our course.

Let us examine this soul, presented to us from the Intellectual realm as body from the Sensible. How is its unity a plurality? How is its plurality a unity? Clearly its unity is not that of a composite formed from diverse elements, but that of a single nature comprising a plurality.

This problem attacked and solved, the truth about the genera comprised in Being will thereby, as we asserted, be elucidated also.