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Plotino - Tratado 38,27 (VI, 7, 27) — O Bem é, para cada realidade, o que vem antes dela

Enéada VI, 7, 27

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

27. ¿Qué es, por tanto, lo que debe acontecer a un ser para que tenga lo que le conviene? Diremos que una cierta forma. Porque la materia ha de poseer una forma, lo mismo que el alma la virtud, que es para ella una forma. ¿Es esta forma un bien para el ser, dado que resulta algo apropiado para él, a lo que le empuja su deseo? Contestaremos negativamente. Porque lo semejante también es propio de un ser y el hecho de que lo quiera y se regocije con él no permite afirmar que posea su bien. No diremos, pues, que el bien de un ser es lo que es propio de este ser. En algo mejor hemos de pensar que en lo que le es propio; en algo superior ante lo cual ese ser es tan sólo un ser en potencia. Precisamente, por ser un ser potencia tiene necesidad de algo, y necesita de esa cosa que es mejor que él y que constituye por eso mismo su bien.

La materia es la realidad más deficiente de todas y, después de ella, la forma última que le es más próxima. A partir de la materia tiéndese ya hacia lo alto. Si, pues, un ser tiene su bien en sí mismo, con mucha más razón serán su bien, su perfección y su forma y todo lo que es superior a él. La forma que es un bien para sí misma lo será igualmente para él, puesto que le hace bueno. Pero, ¿por qué ha de ser un bien para él? ¿No coincidiremos en decir que por ser lo más propio de él? Indudablemente que no; mas afirmaremos en cambio que ella es una parte del Bien. De ahí que cuanto más puro y mejor sea un ser más inclinación demuestre hacia sí mismo. Es absurdo, por tanto, el inquirir por qué el Bien, siendo como es un bien, lo es justamente para sí mismo. Porque, ¿cómo íbamos a pensar que tendría que salir de su propia naturaleza para encontrarse y que no podría hallar satisfacción consigo mismo? Nos preguntaremos si acaso en cuanto a la realidad absolutamente simple, esa realidad que no supone ya otra cosa, si es su bien la inclinación hacia sí misma.

En el supuesto de que razonemos debidamente, esa ascensión nos lleva hacia un Bien radicado en una cierta naturaleza. No es el deseo el que hace que sea un bien, sino que por ser un bien se le desea y se experimenta placer en su posesión. Algo que nos queda por tratar es si hemos de aspirar al Bien, aun en el caso de que no nos proporcione placer.

Bouillet

XXVII. Que doit posséder chaque être pour avoir ce qui lui convient? — Une forme, répondrons-nous. Il convient à la matière d’avoir une forme ; il convient également à l’âme d’avoir sa forme, qui est la vertu (94). — Cette forme est-elle un bien pour un être par cela seul qu’elle lui est propre? Le désir recherche-t-il ou non ce qui lui est propre? — Non. Ce qui est le semblable d’un être lui est propre ; or, quoiqu’un être recherche et aime son semblable (95), en le possédant il ne possède pas encore le bien. — En admettant qu’une chose soit le bien d’un être, nous n’accorderons donc pas qu’elle lui soit propre? — La détermination de ce qui est propre à un être appartient à l’être supérieur par rapport auquel cet être est en puissance (96). Quand un être est en puissance par rapport à un autre, il en a besoin; or l’être dont il a besoin parce que cet être lui est supérieur est par cela même son bien. La matière est de toutes les choses celle qui est la plus indigente, et la forme qui lui convient est la dernière de toutes ; mais, au-dessus d’elle, on s’élève graduellement. Par conséquent, si un être est bon pour lui-même , à plus forte raison il trouve bon ce qui est sa perfection et sa forme, savoir l’être qui est meilleur que lui parce qu’il a une nature supérieure et qu’il lui donne son bien. — Mais pourquoi ce qu’un être reçoit d’un être supérieur est-il son bien? N’est-ce pas parce que cela lui est éminemment propre? — Non. C’est parce que c’est une portion du bien. Voilà pourquoi les êtres les plus purs et les meilleurs sont ceux qui ont plus d’intimité avec eux-mêmes (97). Il est absurde d’ailleurs de chercher pourquoi ce qui est bon est bon pour lui-même, comme si, par cela même qu’il est bon, il devait sortir de sa nature et ne pas s’aimer lui-même. Cependant, au sujet d’un être simple, on peut demander si un être dans lequel il n’y a pas plusieurs choses différentes entre elles a de l’intimité avec lui-même, est bon pour lui-même.

Maintenant, si ce que nous venons de dire est juste, il s’ensuit que c’est par une élévation graduelle que l’on trouve le bien propre à la nature d’un être, que le désir ne fait pas le bien, mais qu’il naît de sa présence, que ceux qui acquièrent le bien en reçoivent quelque chose, et que le plaisir est ce qui accompagne l’acquisition du bien ; mais, lors même que le plaisir n’accompagnerait pas le bien, celui-ci n’en devrait pas moins être choisi et recherché pour lui-même.

Guthrie

A THING’S GOOD IS ITS FORM; OR, ITS INTIMACY WITH ITSELF.

27. What is the essential of a being’s nature? Form. Matter achieves (recognition) through its form; and a soul’s destiny is realized by the virtue which is its form. Next we may ask whether this form be a good for a being merely because it suits its (nature)? Does desire pursue that which is suitable to it, or not? No: a being is suited by its like; now, though a being seek and love its like, its possession does not imply the possession of its good. Are we then not implying that something is suitable to a being, on the strength of its being the good of that being? The determination of what is suitable to a being belongs to the superior Being of whom the lower being is a potentiality. When a being is the potentiality of some other, the being needs the other; now the Being which it needs because it is superior is, by that very fact, its good. Of all things matter is the most indigent, and the form suitable to it is the last of all; but, above it, one may gradually ascend. Consequently, if a being be good for itself, so much the more will it consider good what is its perfection and form, namely, the being that is better than it, because of a superior nature, and of supplying the good (of the lower being). But why should that which a being receives from a superior Being be its good? Is it not this because it is eminently suited to it? No: It is so merely because it is a portion of the Good. That is why the purest and best Beings are those that have most intimacy with themselves. Besides it is absurd to seek the cause why what is good, is good for itself; as if, by the mere fact of its being good, it should betray its own nature and not love itself. Nevertheless, speaking of simple beings, it might be asked whether a being which does not contain several things different from each other either possesses intimacy with itself, or can be good for itself.

PLEASURE MAY ACCOMPANY THE GOOD, BUT THE GOOD IS INDEPENDENT THEREOF.

Now, if all that has been said be right, it is only a gradual upward analysis that reveals the good that is suitable to the nature of any being. Desire does not constitute the good, but is born from its presence. Those who acquire the good receive something from it. Pleasure accompanies the acquirement of good; but even should pleasure not accompany the good, the good should, none the less be chosen, and sought for its own sake.

MacKenna

27. But what is that whose entry supplies every such need?

Some Idea, we maintain. There is a Form to which Matter aspires: to soul, moral excellence is this Form.

But is this Form a good to the thing as being apt to it, does the striving aim at the apt?

No: the aptest would be the most resemblant to the thing itself, but that, however sought and welcomed, does not suffice for the good: the good must be something more: to be a good to another a thing must have something beyond aptness; that only can be adopted as the good which represents the apt in its better form and is best to what is best in the quester’s self, to that which the quester tends potentially to be.

A thing is potentially that to which its nature looks; this, obviously, it lacks; what it lacks, of its better, is its good. Matter is of all that most in need; its next is the lowest Form; Form at lowest is just one grade higher than Matter. If a thing is a good to itself, much more must its perfection, its Form, its better, be a good to it; this better, good in its own nature, must be good also to the quester whose good it procures.

But why should the Form which makes a thing good be a good to that thing? As being most appropriate?

No: but because it is, itself, a portion of the Good. This is why the least alloyed and nearest to the good are most at peace within themselves.

It is surely out of place to ask why a thing good in its own nature should be a good; we can hardly suppose it dissatisfied with its own goodness so that it must strain outside its essential quality to the good which it effectually is.

There remains the question with regard to the Simplex: where there is utter absence of distinction does this self-aptness constitute the good to that Simplex?

If thus far we have been right, the striving of the lower possesses itself of the good as of a thing resident in a certain Kind, and it is not the striving that constitutes the good but the good that calls out the striving: where the good is attained something is acquired and on this acquisition there follows pleasure. But the thing must be chosen even though no pleasure ensued; it must be desirable for its own sake.