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Plotino - Tratado 44,8 (VI, 3, 8) — A realidade sensível não é senão uma sombra da realidade inteligível

Enéada VI, 3, 8

sábado 18 de junho de 2022, por Cardoso de Castro

Igal

8 Pero es preciso abandonar esta división en elementos, sobre todo tratándose de la sustancia sensible, que debe ser percibida por la sensación más que por la razón, y dejar de tener en cuenta de qué elementos consta —pues éstos no son sustancias o no, al menos, sustancias sensibles— abarcando, en cambio, en un solo género la nota común a la piedra, a la tierra, al agua y a las plantas, en cuanto sensibles, y animales resultantes de aquellas. Y así, ni la materia ni la forma quedará soslayada, porque la sustancia sensible contiene materia y forma. El fuego, la tierra y sus intermedios son, en efecto, materia y forma, y los cuerpos compuestos son ya varias sustancias aunadas. Lo común a todos ellos es aquello por lo que son distintos de las demás cosas: que son sujetos de las demás cosas, que no están en un sujeto y que no son de otro. Todos los caracteres enumerados convienen a esta sustancia.

—Pero si la sustancia sensible no existe sin magnitud ni sin cualidad, ¿cómo separaremos ya los accidentes de la sustancia? Porque si separamos éstos —la magnitud, la figura, el color, sequedad y humedad— ¿con qué identificaremos la sustancia misma? Porque las sustancias sensibles están dotadas de cualidad. Pero ¿qué es eso a lo que advienen los accidentes que hacen que de ser meramente sustancia pase a ser sustancia dotada de cualidad? Y así, no todo el fuego será sustancia; lo será algo de él, o sea, una parte de él. Y esto ¿qué puede ser?

—La materia. Pero, entonces, la sustancia sensible es un conglomerado de cualidades y materia: todas estas cosas juntas, compactadas en una sola materia, son sustancia; pero cada una, tomada por separado, será la una cualidad y la otra cuantidad, o bien una serie de cualidades. Y así, lo que por su ausencia no permita todavía a la sustancia ser una realidad completa, será una parte de dicha sustancia, mientras que lo que sobrevenga a la sustancia ya originada ocupa un puesto propio, sin quedar oculto en la mezcla constitutiva de dicha sustancia. Y no quiero decir esto, que cada componente es sustancia cuando está allá con los otros formando parte integrante de una sola masa de magnitud y cualidad determinadas, pero que, en caso contrario, cuando no forma parte integrante, es cualidad, antes bien, quiero decir que ni aun en el primer caso es sustancia. Es sustancia el conjunto resultante de todos sus componentes. Y no hay que llevar a mal el que formemos la sustancia sensible de componentes que no son sustancias. Y es que ni siquiera el conjunto es sustancia verdadera, sino remedo de la verdadera, de la que sin los accesorios anejos a aquella posee su Ser; las demás se originan de ella, ya que ella era Ser en el verdadero sentido. Acá, en cambio, el sustrato es infecundo e incapaz de ser ente, porque tampoco se originan de él las demás cosas. Es una sombra y, sobre esta sombra, pintura y apariencias.

Bouillet

VIII. Du reste, il n’est point nécessaire de diviser le composé en forme et en matière maintenant que nous parlons de la substance sensible, substance qu’il faut percevoir par les sens plutôt que par la raison. Il n’est point non plus nécessaire d’ajouter de quoi cette substance est composée : car les éléments qui la composent ne sont pas des substances, ou du moins ne sont pas des substances sensibles. Ce qu’il faut faire ici, c’est d’embrasser dans un seul genre ce qui est commun à la pierre, à la terre, à l’eau et aux choses qui en sont composées, savoir, aux plantes et aux animaux en tant qu’ils sont sensibles. De cette manière, nous considérerons à la fois la forme et la matière : car la substance sensible les contient toutes deux; c’est ainsi que le feu, la terre et leurs intermédiaires sont à la fois matière et forme; quant aux composés, ils contiennent plusieurs’substances unies ensemble. Quel est donc le caractère commun de toutes ces substances, ce qui les sépare des autres choses? C’est qu’elles servent de sujets aux autres choses, qu’elles ne sont pas contenues dans un sujet, n’appartiennent pas à une autre chose (36) ; en un mot, tous les caractères que nous avons énumérés ci-dessus conviennent à la substance sensible.

Mais, si la substance sensible n’existe pas sans grandeur ni qualité, comment en séparerons-nous les accidents? Si nous ôtons la grandeur, la figure, la couleur, la sécheresse et l’humidité, en quoi ferons-nous consister la substance sensible? Car les substances sensibles sont qualifiées. — II y a quelque chose à quoi se rapportent les qualités qui font de la simple substance une substance qualifiée : ainsi, ce n’est pas le feu tout entier qui est substance, c’est quelque chose du feu, une de ses parties; or quelle est cette partie si ce n’est la matière? La substance sensible consiste donc dans la réunion des qualités et de la matière, et il faut dire que l’ensemble de toutes ces choses confondues dans une seule matière constitue la substance. Chaque chose prise séparément sera qualité, ou quantité, etc., mais la chose dont l’absence rend une substance incomplète est une partie de cette substance. Quant à la chose qui s’ajoute à la substance déjà complète, elle a sa place propre [elle est un accident (37)], et elle n’est pas confondue dans le mélange qui constitue la substance. Je ne dis pas que telle chose prise avec les autres est une substance lorsqu’elle complète une masse de telle grandeur et de telle qualité, et qu’elle n’est plus qu’une qualité lorsqu’elle ne complète pas cette masse ; je dis que même ici-bas toute chose n’est pas substance, et que l’ensemble qui embrasse tout est seul substance. Et qu’on ne vienne pas se plaindre de ce que nous composons la substance de non-substances : car l’ensemble même n’est pas une véritable substance [ou essence], mais offre seulement l’image de l’essence véritable, laquelle possède l’être indépendamment de tout ce qui se rapporte à elle et produit elle-même les autres choses parce qu’elle possède l’existence véritable. Ici-bas, le substratum ne possède l’être qu’incomplètement et est stérile, bien loin de produire les autres choses: il n’est qu’une ombre, et sur cette ombre se projettent des images qui n’ont que l’apparence [au lieu de l’existence réelle] (38).

Guthrie

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MATTER AND FORM DUE TO THAT OF INTELLIGIBLE ENTITIES FROM WHICH THEY DEPEND.

8. Besides, it is not necessary to divide the combination in form and matter, now that we speak of sense-being, a “being” which has to be perceived by the senses, rather than by reason. Neither is it necessary to add of what this being is composed; for the elements which compose it are not beings, or at least not sense-beings. What has to be done here is to embrace in a single genus what is common to stone, to earth, to water, and to the things compounded of them; namely, to plants and animals so far as they respond to sensation. In this way, we shall consider both form and matter; for sense-being contains them both. Thus fire, earth, and their intermediaries are both matter and form; as to the combinations, they contain several beings united together. What then is the common characteristic of all these beings, which separates them from other things? They serve as subjects to other things, and are not contained in one subject, and do not belong to something else; in short, all the characteristics we have enumerated above suit sense-being.

SENSE-BEING CONSISTS IN THE REUNION OF QUALITIES AND MATTER.

But how shall we separate the accidents from sense-being, if it have no existence without dimension or quality? Of what will sense-being consist, if we remove from it dimension, figure (or outward appearance), color, dryness, and humidity? For sense-beings are qualified. The qualities which change simple into qualified “being” refer to something. Thus, it is not the entire fire which is being, but something of the fire, one of its parts. Now what is this part, if it be not matter? Sense-being, therefore, consists in the reunion of quality and matter; and being is constituted by the totality of these things blended in a single matter. Each thing taken separately will be quality or quantity, and so forth; but the thing whose absence makes “being” incomplete is a part of that being. As to the thing which is added to already complete being, it has its own place; and it is not lost in the blending which constitutes “being.” I do not say that such a thing, taken with others, is a being when it completes a matter of some particular size and quality, and that it is no more than a quality when it does not complete this mass; I say that even here below not everything is “being,” and that only the totality which embraces everything is “being.” Let none complain that we are constituting “being” as of that which is not being; for even the totality is not a veritable “being.” (Here this word is used in both sensual and intelligible senses, as a pun), and only offers the image of the veritable (Being), which possesses essence independently of all that refers to it, and itself produces the other things because it possesses veritable (Existence). Here below the substrate possesses essence only incompletely, and, far from producing other things, is sterile; it is only an adumbration, and onto this adumbration are reflected images which have only the appearance (instead of real existence.)

MacKenna

8. The division into elements must, in short, be abandoned, especially in regard to Sensible Substance, known necessarily by sense rather than by reason. We must no longer look for help in constituent parts, since such parts will not be substances, or at any rate not sensible substances.

Our plan must be to apprehend what is constant in stone, earth, water and the entities which they compose - the vegetal and animal forms, considered purely as sensibles - and to confine this constant within a single genus. Neither Matter nor Form will thus be overlooked, for Sensible Substance comports them; fire and earth and the two intermediaries consist of Matter and Form, while composite things are actually many substances in one. They all, moreover, have that common property which distinguishes them from other things: serving as subjects to these others, they are never themselves present in a subject nor predicated of any other thing. Similarly, all the characteristics which we have ascribed to Substance find a place in this classification.

But Sensible Substance is never found apart from magnitude and quality: how then do we proceed to separate these accidents? If we subtract them - magnitude, figure, colour, dryness, moistness - what is there left to be regarded as Substance itself? All the substances under consideration are, of course, qualified.

There is, however, something in relation to which whatever turns Substance into qualified Substance is accidental: thus, the whole of fire is not Substance, but only a part of it - if the term "part" be allowed.

What then can this "part" be? Matter may be suggested. But are we actually to maintain that the particular sensible substance consists of a conglomeration of qualities and Matter, while Sensible Substance as a whole is merely the sum of these coagulations in the uniform Matter, each one separately forming a quale or a quantum or else a thing of many qualities? Is it true to say that everything whose absence leaves subsistence incomplete is a part of the particular substance, while all that is accidental to the substance already existent takes independent rank and is not submerged in the mixture which constitutes this so-called substance?

I decline to allow that whatever combines in this way with anything else is Substance if it helps to produce a single mass having quantity and quality, whereas taken by itself and divorced from this complementary function it is a quality: not everything which composes the amalgam is Substance, but only the amalgam as a whole.

And let no one take exception on the ground that we produce Sensible Substance from non-substances. The whole amalgam itself is not True Substance; it is merely an imitation of that True Substance which has Being apart from its concomitants, these indeed being derived from it as the possessor of True Being. In the lower realm the case is different: the underlying ground is sterile, and from its inability to produce fails to attain to the status of Being; it remains a shadow, and on this shadow is traced a sketch - the world of Appearance.