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Plotino - Tratado 38,18 (VI, 7, 18) — O Intelecto e as formas provêm do Bem

Enéada VI, 7, 18

domingo 27 de março de 2022, por Cardoso de Castro

Capítulos 15-30: O Intelecto e aquilo que está além dele: a natureza do Bem e as dificuldades que surgem ao redor dele.

  • Cap 15: O Intelecto e a vida inteligível não são senão uma imagem do Bem.
  • Cap 16-18: Em qual sentido o inteligível é uma imagem do Bem? Porque o Intelecto e as formas provêm do Bem.
  • Cap 19-20: Em qual sentido o Bem é um objeto de desejo para a alma?
  • Cap 21-23: A alma deseja o Intelecto que é uma imagem do Bem, e é nesta medida que ela tem acesso ao Bem.
  • Cap 24-25, 16: As dificuldades concernindo a definição do Bem como objeto de desejo da alma.
  • Cap 25, 16-18: O Bem não é tal porque é objeto de desejo.
  • Cap 25, 18-32: O Bem é o que se encontra no topo do real.
  • Cap 26: O Bem não é objeto de desejo porque é uma fonte de prazer.
  • Cap 27: O Bem é, para cada realidade, o que vem antes dela; eis o que explica que para o Bem supremo, que nada tem antes dele, não existe qualquer bem.
  • Cap 28: Pode haver um bem para a matéria?
  • Cap 29-30: O Bem procura uma forma de prazer que corresponde à mistura de prazer e inteligência da qual fala Platão no Filebo  .

Míguez

18. ¿Cómo hablar de la forma del Bien en los seres que se dan en la Inteligencia? ¿Poseen esa forma en tanto que ya son una forma o en tanto que son bellos? ¿Cómo explicar esto? Afirmemos que todo lo que proviene del Bien contiene una huella y una impronta suyas, originarias del Bien, cual ocurre con el fuego y con lo dulce que dejan una huella de sí. La vida misma de la Inteligencia es debida al acto del Bien. La Inteligencia existe por El y lo mismo la belleza de las formas e incluso todo lo que posee la forma del Bien, como la vida, la inteligencia y la idea. Mas, ¿qué encontramos de común en todo esto? No basta para la identidad de todas estas cosas el hecho de que provengan del Bien; convendrá que algo común exista en ellas, esto es, que puedan tener su origen en un mismo principio sin ser por ello idénticas, o que el ser que les da la vida se haga diferente en los seres que la reciben. Hay diferencia entre lo que ha sido dado para el cumplimiento del primer acto y lo que ha sido dado a este acto mismo; y la hay también en relación con lo que se añade a este acto. Nada impide que cada una de estas tres cosas tenga la forma del Bien, pero dejando a salvo su alteridad. ¿Bajo qué razón tienen la forma del Bien? Para contestar a esto, habremos de preguntarnos necesariamente: ¿es ya la vida como tal un bien, considerada en su simplicidad y en su primitiva desnudez? ¿O es un bien tan sólo la vida que proviene del Bien, una vida que está determinada por algo diferente de ella? Pero, ¿qué es realmente esta vida? ¿Acaso la vida del Bien? No le pertenece, desde luego, sino que sale de El. Mas, precisamente porque en esta vida hay algo que proviene del Bien y porque es ella al fin la vida esencial y nada indigno puede añadírsele, hemos de decir que la vida es buena considerada como tal vida. Otro tanto deberá decirse de la primera y verdadera Inteligencia, y es claro además que cada idea es buena y tiene la forma del Bien; mejor aún, cada idea posee un determinado bien que resulta común a todos aunque se presente diferente en cada una, y esto explica que se dé un bien de primer orden para una cosa y un bien de segundo orden para la que sigue.

Como ya damos por cierto el que cada ser salido del Bien posee el bien sustancialmente, lo cual justifica su bondad (porque la vida en sí misma no es un bien, sino la vida verdadera que sale del Bien, e igualmente la Inteligencia real), convendrá considerar ahora lo que de idéntico encierran los seres. No cabe duda que existen diferencias entre los seres, y así, cuando se afirma de ellos un mismo atributo, nada impide que se dé en la sustancia de estos mismos seres. Sin embargo, podremos tomarlo aisladamente en el pensamiento al modo como aislamos el atributo animal de los sujetos hombre y caballo, o el atributo cálido del fuego y del agua; esto es, en un caso como atributo primario y en otro como atributo secundario. Y pudiera ocurrir incluso que el bien se diga por homonimía de cada uno de los seres.

¿Conviene, pues, atribuir el bien a la esencia de los seres? Cada uno de los seres es bueno en su totalidad, pero el bien no se manifiesta en ellos de una misma manera. ¿Cómo resolver la cuestión? Porque si afirmamos ahora que cada uno de los seres posee una parte del bien, tendríamos que negar la indivisibilidad del Bien. Y el Bien es, por lo pronto, una unidad; una unidad que cada ser poseerá a su modo. Dado que el acto primero es un bien, también lo será el límite impuesto a este acto y, naturalmente, la unión de ambos. El acto primero es un bien porque debe su origen al Bien, y lo es el límite por tratarse de un orden que sale del Bien; la unión de ambos por estas mismas razones.

Nada idéntico proviene del Bien, cual ocurre con los actos de una misma persona como la voz, la marcha y muchas otras cosas, todas ellas rectamente ejecutadas. Admitido todo ello para este mundo, en el que dominan el orden y el ritmo; pero, ¿qué acontecerá en el mundo inteligible? Di ríase, por ejemplo, que en este mundo las cosas tienen una belleza exterior, originada por el orden establecido entre cosas que son ya diferentes, pero que en el mundo inteligible las cosas son buenas en sí mismas. Mas, ¿por qué son buenas? No vamos a contentarnos ahora con decir que porque provienen del Bien; pues si este título de proveniencia concede honor a los seres, no basta en cambio para dar razón de su bondad.

Bouillet

XVIII. Sous quel rapport les essences que contient l’Intelligence paraissent-elles avoir la forme du Bien? Est-ce parce que chacune d’elles est une forme, ou parce que chacune est belle, ou bien pour quelque autre raison?—Tout ce qui procède du Bien en porte le caractère ou l’empreinte, ou a du moins quelque chose qui en provient, comme ce qui naît du feu en a un vestige, comme ce qui vient du doux en offre la trace (69). Or ce qui passe du Bien dans l’Intelligence, c’est la vie (car c’est de l’acte du Bien qu’est née la vie, c’est par le Bien qu’existé l’Intelligence, c’est de lui que procède la beauté des idées). Donc toutes ces choses, la Vie, l’Intelligence, l’Idée, porteront la forme du Bien.

Mais qu’y a-t-il de commun en elles? Il ne suffit pas qu’elles procèdent du Bien pour avoir toutes quelque chose d’identique; il faut encore qu’il y ait en elles un caractère commun : car d’un même principe peuvent provenir des choses différentes, ou bien encore une seule et même chose peut devenir différente en passant du principe qui la donne dans les êtres qui la reçoivent (autre chose est en effet ce qui constitue le premier acte, autre chose ce qui est accordé au premier acte); de cette manière, ce qui est dans les choses dont nous parlons est déjà différent. Rien n’empêche que le caractère qui se trouve dans toutes ces choses [dans la Vie, l’Intelligence, l’Idée] ne soit la forme du Bien, mais cette l’orme existe à des degrés divers dans chacune d’elles. Dans laquelle de ces choses la forme du Bien se trouve-t-elle au plus haut degré? — Pour résoudre cette question. il faut d’abord examiner celle-ci : La vie est-elle bonne par cela seul qu’elle est vie, fût-elle la vie pure et simple? Ne doit-on pas plutôt appeler proprement vie la Vie qui provient du Bien, en sorte que procéder du Bien ne soit autre chose qu’être une telle vie? De quelle nature est donc cette Vie? Est-ce la vie du Bien?— La Vie n’appartient pas au Bien : elle en provient seulement. Si la Vie a pour caractère de provenir du Bien et qu’elle soit la Vie véritable, il en résulte que rien de ce qui procède du Bien n’est méprisable, que la Vie doit en tant que vie être regardée comme bonne, qu’il en est de même de l’Intelligence première et véritable, et qu’enfin chaque idée est bonne et porte la forme du Bien. S’il en est ainsi, chacune de ces choses [la Vie, l’Intelligence, l’Idée] possède un bien qui est ou commun, ou diffèrent, ou qui a des degrés divers. Puisque nous avons admis que chacune des choses dont nous parlons a dans son essence un bien, c’est par ce bien qu’elle est bonne. Ainsi, la Vie est un bien, non en tant qu’elle est simplement la Vie, mais en tant qu’elle est la Vie véritable et qu’elle procède du Bien; l’Intelligence est également un bien en tant qu’elle est essentiellement l’Intelligence; il y a donc dans la Vie et l’Intelligence quelque chose d’identique. En effet, quand une seule et même chose est affirmée d’êtres différents, bien qu’elle fasse partie intégrante de leur essence, on peut l’en abstraire par la pensée: c’est ainsi que de l’homme et du cheval on peut abstraire l’animal, de l’eau et du feu la chaleur ; mais ce qui est commun dans ces êtres est un genre, tandis que ce qui est commun dans l’Intelligence et la Vie, c’est une seule et même chose qui se trouve dans l’une au premier degré et dans l’autre au second.

Quand la Vie, l’Intelligence et les Idées sont appelées bonnes, est-ce par une simple homonymie? Le Bien constitue-t-il leur essence, ou chacune d’elles est-elle bonne prise dans sa totalité? — Mais le Bien ne saurait constituer l’essence de chacune d’elles.— Sont-elles donc les parties du Bien? — Mais le Bien est indivisible. Quant aux choses qui sont au-dessous de lui, elles sont bonnes pour des raisons diverses. L’acte premier [qui procède du Bien] est bon (70); la détermination qu’il reçoit est également bonne, et l’ensemble de ces deux choses est bon. L’acte est bon parce qu’il procède du Bien; la détermination, parce qu’elle est une perfection émanée du Bien ; le composé de l’acte et de la détermination, parce qu’il est leur ensemble. Toutes ces choses proviennent ainsi d’un seul et même principe, et cependant elles sont différentes. C’est ainsi que [dans un chœur] la voix et la marche procèdent d’une seule et même chose, en tant qu’elles sont bien réglées. Or elles sont bien réglées parce qu’il y a en elles de l’ordre et du rythme. Qu’y a-t-il donc dans les choses dont nous parlons pour qu’elles soient bonnes? — Mais, nous dira-t-on peut-être, si la voix et la marche sont bien réglées, elles le doivent chacune tout entière à un principe extérieur, puisqu’ici l’ordre s’applique à des choses qui diffèrent l’une de l’autre. Au contraire, les choses dont nous parlons sont bonnes chacune en elle-même. — Pourquoi donc sont-elles bonnes? Une suffit pas de dire qu’elles sont bonnes parce qu’elles procèdent du Bien. Sans doute il faut accorder qu’elles sont précieuses dès qu’elles procèdent du Bien, mais la raison demande encore qu’on détermine en quoi consiste leur bonté.

Guthrie

LIFE, INTELLIGENCE, AND IDEA BEAR THE FORM OF THE GOOD.

18. In what respects do the (entities) which are contained by Intelligence seem to bear the form of the Good? Is it because each of them is a form, or because each is beautiful, or perhaps for some other reason? All that proceeds from the Good bears its characteristics or impressions, or at least bears something derived from it, just as that which is derived from the fire bears a trace of the fire, and as that which is derived from sweetness somehow betrays it. Now that, which, in Intelligence, is derived from the Good is life, for life is born from the actualization of the Good, and from Him again is derived the beauty of forms. Therefore all these things, life, intelligence, and idea will bear the form of Good.

THIS FORM OF THE GOOD MAY, HOWEVER, EXIST AT VARYING DEGREES.

But what element is common to them? It does not suffice for them to proceed from the Good to have something identical; they must also have some common characteristic; for a same principle may give rise to different things; or again, one and the same thing may become different while passing from the giving principle into the receivers; for there is a difference between that which constitutes the first actualization, and that which is given thereby. Thus, that which is in the things of which we speak is already different. Nothing hinders the characteristic of all these things (in life, intelligence and idea) from being the form of Good, but this form exists at different degrees in each of them.

INTELLIGENCE AND LIFE ARE ONLY DIFFERENT DEGREES OF THE SAME REALITY.

In which of these things does the form of the Good inhere in the highest degree? The solution of this problem depends on the following one. Is life a good merely as such, even if it were life pure and simple? Should we not rather limit that word “life” to the life which derives from the Good, so that mere proceeding from the Good be a sufficient characterization of life? What is the nature of this life? Is it the life of the Good? No: life does not belong to the Good; it only proceeds therefrom. If the characteristic of life be proceeding from the Good, and if it be real life, evidently the result would be that nothing that proceeds from the Good would deserve scorn, that life as life should be considered good, that the same condition of affairs obtains with the primary and veritable Intelligence, and that finally each form is good and bears the form of Good. In this case, each of these (life, intelligence and idea) possess a good which is either common, or different, or which is of a different degree. Since we have admitted that each of the above-mentioned things contains a good in its being, then it is good chiefly because of this good. Thus life is a good, not in so far as it is merely life, but in so far as it is real life and proceeds from the Good. Intelligence likewise is a good so far as it essentially is intelligence; there is therefore some common element in life and intelligence. Indeed, when one and the same attribute is predicated of different beings, although it form an integral part of their being, it may be abstracted therefrom by thought; thus from “man” and “horse” may be abstracted “animal”; from “water” and “fire,” “heat”; but what is common in these beings is a genus, while what is common in intelligence and life, is one and the same thing which inheres in one in the first degree, and in the other in the second.

IS THE WORD GOOD A COMMON LABEL OR A COMMON QUALITY?

Is it by a mere play on words that life, intelligence and ideas are called good? Does the good constitute their being, or is each good taken in its totality? Good could not constitute the being of each of them. Are they then parts of the Good? The Good, however, is indivisible. The things that are beneath it are good for different reasons. The primary actualization (that proceeds from the Good) is good; likewise, the determination it receives is good, and the totality of both things is good. The actualization is good because it proceeds from the Good; the determination, because it is a perfection that has emanated from the Good; and the combination of actualization and determination because it is their totality. All these things thus are derived from one and the same principle, but nevertheless they are different. Thus (in a choric ballet) the voice and the step proceed from one and the same person, in that they are all perfectly regulated. Now they are well regulated because they contain order and rhythm. What then is the content in the above-mentioned things that would make them good? But perhaps it may be objected that if the voice and step are well regulated, each one of them entirely owes it to some external principle, since the order is here applied to the things that differ from each other. On the contrary, the things of which we speak are each of them good in itself. And why are they good? It does not suffice to say that they are good because they proceed from the Good. Doubtless we shall have to grant that they are precious from the moment that they proceed from the Good, but reason demands that we shall determine that of which their goodness consists.

MacKenna

18. But in what way is the content of Intellectual-Principle participant in good? Is it because each member of it is an Idea or because of their beauty or how?

Anything coming from The Good carries the image and type belonging to that original or deriving from it, as anything going back to warmth or sweetness carries the memory of those originals: Life entered into Intellectual-Principle from The Supreme, for its origin is in the Activity streaming Thence; Intellectual-Principle springs from the Supreme, and with it the beauty of the Ideas; at once all these, Life, Intellectual-Principle, Idea, must inevitably have goodness.

But what is the common element in them? Derivation from the First is not enough to procure identical quality; there must be some element held in common by the things derived: one source may produce many differing things as also one outgoing thing may take difference in various recipients: what enters into the First Act is different from what that Act transmits and there is difference, again, in the effect here. Nonetheless every item may be good in a degree of its own. To what, then, is the highest degree due?

But first we must ask whether Life is a good, bare Life, or only the Life streaming Thence, very different from the Life known here? Once more, then, what constitutes the goodness of Life?

The Life of The Good, or rather not its Life but that given forth from it.

But if in that higher Life there must be something from That, something which is the Authentic Life, we must admit that since nothing worthless can come Thence Life in itself is good; so too we must admit, in the case of Authentic Intellectual-Principle, that its Life because good derives from that First; thus it becomes clear that every Idea is good and informed by the Good. The Ideas must have something of good, whether as a common property or as a distinct attribution or as held in some distinct measure.

Thus it is established that the particular Idea contains in its essence something of good and thereby becomes a good thing; for Life we found to be good not in the bare being but in its derivation from the Authentic, the Supreme whence it sprung: and the same is true of Intellectual-Principle: we are forced therefore admit a certain identity.

When, with all their differences, things may be affirmed to have a measure of identity, the matter of the identity may very well be established in their very essence and yet be mentally abstracted; thus life in man or horse yields the notion of animal; from water or fire we may get that of warmth; the first case is a definition of Kind, the other two cite qualities, primary and secondary respectively. Both or one part of Intellect, then, would be called by the one term good.

Is The Good, then, inherent in the Ideas essentially? Each of them is good but the goodness is not that of the Unity-Good. How, then, is it present?

By the mode of parts.

But The Good is without parts?

No doubt The Good is a unity; but here it has become particularized. The First Activity is good and anything determined in accord with it is good as also is any resultant. There is the good that is good by origin in The First, the good that is in an ordered system derived from that earlier, and the good that is in the actualization [in the thing participant]. Derived, then, not identical - like the speech and walk and other characteristics of one man, each playing its due part.

Here, it is obvious, goodness depends upon order, rhythm, but what equivalent exists There?

We might answer that in the case of the sense-order, too, the good is imposed since the ordering is of things different from the Orderer but that There the very things are good.

But why are they thus good in themselves? We cannot be content with the conviction of their goodness on the ground of their origin in that realm: we do not deny that things deriving Thence are good, but our subject demands that we discover the mode by which they come to possess that goodness.