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Plotino - Tratado 34,6 (VI, 6, 6) — O número como existindo em si

Enéada VI, 6, 6

sábado 18 de junho de 2022, por Cardoso de Castro

Míguez

6. Pero si se da fuera de los objetos un uno en sí y una década en sí y si los objetos inteligibles poseen además de su ser característico la condición de unidades, o de diadas, o de tríadas, ¿cuál será la naturaleza de los números y cómo estará constituida? Conviene, claro es, que pensemos su producción de una manera racional.

Hemos de estimar ante todo que la esencia de las formas no toma realidad por el hecho de que un ser que piensa la haya concebido; porque es indudable que con este acto la existencia queda ya dada. Mas, no es por pensar en lo que es la justicia como se origina la justicia; de igual manera que no por pensar en lo que es el movimiento viene a la existencia el movimiento mismo. Porque, de ser así, el pensamiento del objeto sería posterior al objeto pensado y aun habría que considerarlo como anterior si existe por el hecho de que se lo piense. Absurdo parecería que la justicia no fuese otra cosa que su definición, puestos aquí en parangón la justicia y el pensamiento de ella; ya que, el pensar la justicia o el movimiento, ¿qué otra cosa es sino aprehenderlos en su ser o, lo que es igual, por lo menos en esta hipótesis, tomar razón de algo que carece de realidad? Esto último, verdaderamente, parece imposible. Si se arguyese que, en lo que concierne a los seres sin materia, la ciencia es lo mismo que el objeto, sería conveniente comprender esto no como si la ciencia fuese el objeto y otro tanto la razón que lo contempla, sino como si, en sentido inverso, el objeto sin materia fuese un inteligible y un pensamiento; no, desde luego, cual si se tratase de una definición o representación, sino como sí, estando el objeto mismo en lo inteligible, no fuese otra cosa que inteligencia y ciencia. No es ya la ciencia por sí misma, sino el objeto inteligible el que hace que la ciencia pierda su inestabilidad, al convertirla en verdadera ciencia, de ciencia material que era. De hecho, esa ciencia no es ya una imagen del objeto, sino el objeto mismo. No es por tanto el pensamiento del movimiento el que produce el pensamiento; pero, añadamos, de tal modo que se convierte a la vez en movimiento y pensamiento. Porque el movimiento inteligible no es otra cosa que el pensamiento del movimiento, y es además el movimiento en sí por su carácter de movimiento primero.

No hay, desde luego, ningún otro movimiento anterior a éste. Lo llamaremos movimiento esencial porque no se da accidentalmente en ningún sujeto; es acto de un ser que está en acto y se mueve, esto es, que constituye una esencia. Sin embargo, la idea que de él tenemos difiere de la del ser. Así también la justicia no es el pensamiento de la justicia, sino una disposición de la inteligencia, o mejor todavía un acto de ella, porque el rostro de la justicia encierra la verdadera belleza. No la igualan en hermosura ni la estrella de la mañana y, en modo alguno, las cosas sensibles que aquí vemos. Comparémosla a una estatua dotada de inteligencia, que se erige y se muestra por sí misma, y mejor aún que tiene su ser en sí misma.

Bouillet

VI. Mais si, indépendamment des choses elles-mêmes, il y a l’Un en soi et la Décade en soi, et si les intelligibles, indépendamment de ce qu’ils sont par leur essence, sont les uns des unités, les autres des dyades et des triades, quelle est la nature de ces nombres? Comment est-elle constituée? — II faut admettre qu’une certaine raison préside à la génération de ces nombres. Il est donc nécessaire de bien comprendre qu’en général, si les formes intelligibles existent , ce n’est pas parce que le principe pensant a d’abord pensé chacune d’elles, et par sa pensée leur a donné l’existence : car la justice n’est pas née parce que le principe pensant a pensé ce qu’est la justice, ni le mouvement parce que ce principe a pensé ce qu’est le mouvement. Ainsi il fallait que la pensée fût postérieure à la chose pensée, que la pensée de la justice, par exemple, fût postérieure à la justice. D’un autre côté, la pensée est antérieure à la chose qui doit son existence à la pensée, puisque cette chose n’existe que parce qu’elle est pensée. Si donc la justice était identique à une telle pensée, il serait absurde que la justice ne fût rien autre chose que sa définition : car en ce cas, penser la justice ou le mouvement, serait-ce autre chose que concevoir [par une définition] ce qu’est chacun de ces objets? Or cela reviendrait à concevoir la définition d’une chose qui n’existe pas, ce qui est impossible.

Si l’on dit que, dans ce qui est immatériel, la connaissance et la chose connue ne font qu’un (22), il ne faut pas entendre que c’est la connaissance de la chose qui est la chose même, ni que la raison qui contemple un objet est cet objet même, mais plutôt, en sens inverse, que c’est la chose qui, étant sans matière, est purement intelligible et intellectioh : je ne parle pas ici de cette intellection qui n’est qu’une définition ou une intuition de la chose, mais je dis que la chose même, telle qu’elle existe dans le monde intelligible, n’est qu’intelligence et connaissance. Ce n’est pas la connaissance qui s’applique à l’intelligible, c’est la chose elle-même qui fait que la connaissance [que la raison en a] ne demeure pas différente d’elle (comme la connaissance d’un objet matériel demeure différente de cet objet), qu’elle est une connaissance véritable, c’est-à-dire une connaissance qui n’est pas une simple image de la chose connue, mais bien cette chose même (23). Ce n’est donc pas la pensée du mouvement qui a produit le Mouvement en soi, mais le Mouvement en soi qui a produit la pensée, dételle sorte que la pensée se pense comme mouvement et comme pensée. D’un côté, le Mouvement intelligible est pensé par l’Être intelligible ; d’un autre côté, il est Mouvement en soi, parce qu’il est premier (car il n’y a pas de mouvement antérieur à lui) ; il est le Mouvement véritable, parce qu’il n’est point l’accident d’un sujet, mais qu’il est l’acte de l’Être qui se meut et qui possède l’existence actuelle; il est donc essence, bien qu’il se conçoive comme différent de l’Être. De même, la Justice n’est pas la simple pensée de la justice : elle est une certaine disposition de l’Intelligence, ou plutôt elle est un acte d’une nature déterminée. La face de la Justice est plus belle que l’étoile du soir et que celle du matinet que toute beauté visible (24). On peut donc se figurer la Justice comme une statue intellectuelle, qui est sortie d’elle-même et s’est manifestée telle qu’elle est en elle-même, ou plutôt qui subsiste essentiellement en elle-même.

Guthrie

WHAT IS THE NATURE OF THESE INTELLIGIBLE NUMBERS?

6. But if, independently of the things themselves, there be an One in itself, and a Decad in itself; and if the intelligible entities be unities, pairs, or triads, independently of what they are by their being, what then is the nature of these Numbers? What is their constitution? It must be admitted that a certain Reason presides over the generation of these Numbers. It is therefore necessary clearly to understand that in general, if intelligible forms at all exist, it is not because the thinking principle first thought each of them, and thereby gave them hypostatic existence. Justice, for instance, was not born because the thinking principle thought what justice was; nor movement, because it thought what movement was. Thus thought had to be posterior to the thing thought, and the thought of justice to justice itself. On the other hand, thought is anterior to the thing that owes its existence to thought, since this thing exists only because it is thought. If then justice were identical with such a thought, it would be absurd that justice should be nothing else than its definition; for in this case, the thinking of justice or movement, would amount to a conception of these objects (by a definition). Now this would be tantamount to conceiving the definition of a thing that did not exist, which is impossible.

JUSTICE, LIKE AN INTELLECTUAL STATUE, WAS BORN OF ITSELF.

The statement that in what is immaterial, knowledge and the known thing coincide, must not be understood to mean that it is the knowledge of the thing which is the thing itself, nor that the reason which contemplates an object is this object itself, but rather, conversely, that it is the thing which, existing without matter, is purely intelligible and intellection. I do not here mean the intellection which is neither a definition nor an intuition of a thing; but I say that the thing itself, such as it exists in the intelligible world, is exclusively intelligence and knowledge. It is not (the kind of) knowledge that applies itself to the intelligible, it is the (actual) thing itself which keeps that knowledge (thereof possessed by reason) from remaining different from it, just as the knowledge of a material object remains different from that object; but it is a veritable (kind of) knowledge, that is, a knowledge which is not merely a simple image of the known thing, but really is the thing itself. It is not therefore the thought of the movement which produced movement in itself, but the movement in itself which produced the thought, so that the thought thinks itself as movement, and as thought. On the one hand, intelligible movement is thought by the intelligible Essence; on the other hand, it is movement in itself because it is first—for there is no movement anterior thereto; it is real movement, because it is not the accident of a subject, but because it is the actualization of the essence which moves, and possesses actualized (existence); it is therefore "being," though it be conceived as different from essence.

Justice, for instance, is not the simple thought of justice; it is a certain disposition of Intelligence, or rather it is an actualization of a determinate nature. The face of Justice is more beautiful than the evening or morning stars, and than all visible beauty. Justice may be imagined as an intellectual statue which has issued from itself and which has manifested itself such as it is in itself; or rather, which subsists essentially in itself.

MacKenna

6. Granted, then, that there exist, apart from things, a unity absolute and a decad absolute in other words, that the Intellectual beings, together with their characteristic essence have also their order, Henads, Dyads, Triads, what is the nature of these numerical entities and how does it come into being? We cannot but think that some reason accounts for their origin.

As a beginning, what is the origin of the Ideas in general? It is not that the thinking principle thought of each Idea and by that act of thought procured their several existences; not because Justice and Movement were thus thought did they come to be; that would imply that while the thought is later than the thing - the concept of Justice must be later than Justice itself - yet the thought precedes what, as founded on the thinking, owes its existence to it. Besides, if justice is only a certain definite thought we have the absurdity that Justice is nothing more than a definition of Justice. Thinking of Justice or Movement is but grasping their nature; this would mean grasping the non-existent, an impossibility.

We may be reminded that in immaterial objects the knowledge is identical with the thing; but we must not misapply that statement; it does not say that the knowledge is the thing known, or that the reason surveying the thing is the thing, but that the immaterial thing, being an Intellectual object is also a thought; this does not imply a definition or conception of the object; the thing itself, as belonging to the Intellectual, can be nothing else than Intellect or knowledge. This is not a case of knowledge self-directed; it is that the thing in the Intellectual transmutes the knowledge, which is not fixed like the knowledge of material things; in other words it makes it true knowledge, that is to say no image of the thing but the thing directly.

Thus it is not the conception of movement that brings movement to be; movement absolute produces that conception; it produces itself as at once movement and the concept of movement, for movement as it exists There, bound up with Being, is a concept. It is movement absolute because it is the first movement - there can be none till this exist - and it is the authentic Movement since it is not accidental to something else but is the activity of actual Being in motion. Thus it is a real existent, though the notion of Being is different.

Justice therefore is not the thought of Justice but, as we may put it, a state of the Intellectual-Principle, or rather an activity of it - an appearance so lovely that neither evening nor dawn is so fair, nor anything else in all the realm of sense, an Intellectual manifestation self-rising, self-seen, or, rather, self-being.