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Plotino - Tratado 38,37 (VI, 7, 37) — Exame e refutação da doutrina aristotélica de um Intelecto primeiro

Enéada VI, 7, 37

domingo 27 de março de 2022, por Cardoso de Castro

Capítulos 31-42: O Bem está na origem e na fonte da vida, do Intelecto e da alma: eis porque é desprovido de pensar, de conhecimento e de ser.

  • Cap 31: A subida alma para o Bem.
  • Cap 32-33: A alma se dirige para o que é desprovido de forma, pois aí está a fonte de toda beleza e de todo desejo.
  • Cap 34-35: Indo além do Intelecto, a alma realiza a união com ela mesma e reencontra seu princípio.
  • Cap 36: Posição do problema: pode-se dizer que o Bem pensa?
  • Cap 37: Exame e refutação da doutrina aristotélica de um Intelecto primeiro que se pensa ele mesmo.
  • Cap 38-39: A doutrina platônica do ser e do conhecimento.
  • Cap 40-41: A condição do Bem, que é absolutamente um, primeiro e autárcico, o impede de fazer ato de pensamento, pois o ato de pensar supõe o ser do que é pensado e um princípio que suscita o pensamento, o que é incompatível com o estatuto do Bem
  • Cap 42: A hierarquia do real.

Míguez

37. Incluso los que otorgan al Bien el pensamiento no dan por bueno el que piense los seres inferiores que salen el El [1]. Sin embargo, dicen algunos, resulta absurdo que no conozca otras cosas; y aquéllos entonces, al no encontrar nada más estimable que el pensamiento, prestan al Bien el pensamiento de sí mismo. Se imaginan que el Bien tendrá más dignidad por disponer de pensamiento, y aún más, si cabe, por pensarse a sí mismo. ¿Pero no es El acaso quien ennoblece el pensamiento? ¿Qué es, después de todo, lo que le hace estimable: el pensamiento o lo que El mismo es? Si es el pensamiento, ya no parece estimable por sí mismo, o lo es menos que por el pensamiento; y si es el mismo, ya es entonces perfecto antes de pensar y no se perfecciona con el pensamiento.

Si se dice del Bien que conviene que piense, puesto que es acto y no potencia, resultará que es una esencia que piensa siempre, y de ahí que se diga que es un acto. Dos cosas habrá que distinguir en El, la esencia y el pensamiento, con lo que ya no se habla de una realidad simple sino que se le añade otra cosa, al igual que ocurre con la visión en acto, que se añade a los ojos aunque éstos no dejen nunca de ver. O también querrá indicarse que está en acto por aquello de que es acto y pensamiento, pero si es realmente pensamiento, entonces ya no piensa lo mismo que el movimiento no se mueve. Mas, ¿a que viene esto? ¿No decís que los seres inteligibles son esencias y actos. Desde luego, pero afirmamos a la vez que estos seres son múltiples y diferentes, en tanto el Ser Primero es simple. Concedemos la facultad de pensar al ser que proviene de otro y que busca su propia esencia, se busca a sí mismo y busca también al que le ha hecho. Este ser se vuelve para contemplar y conocer y por eso es justo que le tratemos de inteligencia. Pero, ¿y qué decir del ser que no ha sido engendrado y que no tiene nada antes que él, sino que es siempre lo que es? ¿Qué razón podría moverle a pensar? Con razón afirma Platón   que se encuentra por encima de la Inteligencia [2]. El no pensar es lo propio de una inteligencia sin pensamiento, pero de una inteligencia cuya naturaleza lo implique; se dirá de ella que no tiene pensamiento cuando realmente no lo ejercita. Del ser que está carente de inteligencia y que, por tanto, no la ejerce, ¿cómo vamos a afirmar este acto? Sería como si dijésemos que es una privación el hecho de no ejercer la medicina. No asignemos, pues, ningún acto al Bien ya que en nada le aprovecharía. Bastante tiene el Bien con ser El mismo y nada habrá que buscarle fuera de El. Es El quien está por encima de todo y ya le basta, tanto para El como para los demás, el ser lo que es.

Bouillet

XXXVII. Ceux qui ont attribué la pensée au Premier principe ne lui ont pas attribué du moins la pensée des choses qui lui sont inférieures ou qui procèdent de lui (131); cependant quelques-uns ont prétendu qu’il est absurde de croire que Dieu ne connaisse pas les autres choses. Quant aux premiers, ne trouvant rien de plus grand que le Bien, ils lui ont attribué la pensée de soi-même (132), comme si celle-ci pouvait ajoutera sa majesté, comme si penser valait mieux pour lui qu’être ce qu’il est, comme si ce n’était pas le Bien lui-même qui donne à l’Intelligence sa majesté. De qui donc le Bien tiendra-t-il-sa grandeur? Sera-ce de la pensée, sera-ce de lui-même? S’il la tient de la pensée (133), il n’est pas grand par lui-même, ou du moins il n’est plus souverainement grand. S’il tient sa grandeur de lui-même, il est parfait antérieurement à la pensée, et ce n’est pas la pensée qui le rend parfait. Doit-il penser parce qu’il est acte et non simple puissance (134)? S’il est une essence qui pense toujours et que ce soit là ce qu’on entend par acte (135), on attribue au Bien deux choses à la fois, l’essence et la pensée; au lieu de le reconnaître pour un principe simple, on lui ajoute quelque chose d’étranger, comme on ajoute aux yeux la vue en acte (136), en admettant même qu’ils voient toujours.—Dieu, dit-on, est en acte, en ce sens qu’il est acte et pensée (137). — Mais, étant la pensée même, il ne doit pas penser, comme le mouvement même ne doit pas se mouvoir (138). — Cependant ne dites-vous pas vous-mêmes que Dieu est essence et acte? — Selon nous, l’essence et l’acte sont choses multiples et différentes, tandis que le Premier est simple. C’est seulement au principe qui procède du Premier qu’il appartient de penser, de saisir son essence, de se saisir lui-même, ainsi que Celui qui l’a fait ; c’est en se tournant vers lui dans la contemplation et en le connaissant qu’il arrive à mériter vraiment le nom d’Intelligence. Quant au Principe qui n’a pas été engendré, qui n’a rien au-dessus de lui, qui est éternellement ce qu’il est, quelle raison pourrait-il avoir de penser ?

C’est pourquoi Platon   dit avec raison que le Bien est au-dessus de l’Intelligence (139). L’intelligence qui ne penserait pas cesserait d’être intelligente : carie principe dont la nature est dépenser cesse nécessairement d’être intelligent s’il ne pense pas. Mais au Principe qui n’a point de fonction on ne peut assigner une fonction, et venir ensuite, parce qu’il ne la remplit pas, l’accuser de ne rien faire; ce serait comme si on lui reprochait de ne pas posséder l’art de guérir. Or, on ne doit assigner au Premier aucune fonction, parce qu’il n’y en a aucune qui lui convienne. Il suffit, et il n’y a rien à chercher hors de Celui qui est au-dessus de tout : car, en étant ce qu’il est, il se suffit à lui-même et à tout le reste.

Guthrie

GOD BEING ABOVE THOUGHT IGNORES EVERYTHING.

37. They who attributed thought to the First Principle have at least not attributed to Him the thought of things that are inferior to Him, or which proceed from Him. Nevertheless some of them claimed that it was absurd to believe that the divinity ignored other things. As to the former, finding nothing greater than the Good, they attributed to (the divinity) the thought of Himself, as if this could add to His majesty, as if even for Him, thinking were more than being what He is, and it were not the Good Himself which communicates His sublimity to intelligence. But from whom then will the Good derive His greatness? Would it come from thought, or from Himself? If He derive it from thought, He is not great by himself; or at least, He is no more sovereignly great. If it be from Himself that He derives His greatness, He is perfectly anterior to thought, and it is not thought that renders Him perfect. Is He forced to think because He is actualization, and not merely potentiality? If He is a being that ever thinks, and if this be the meaning of actualization, we would be attributing to the Good two things simultaneously: “being” and thought; instead of conceiving of Him as a simple Principle, something foreign is added to Him, as to eyes is added the actualization of sight, even admitting that they see continually. (The divinity) is in actualization, in the sense that He is both actualization and thought, is He not? No, for being thought itself, He must not be thinking, as movement itself does not move. But do not you yourselves say that (the divinity) is both being and actualization? We think that being and actualization are multiple and different things, whilst the First is simple. To the principle that proceeds from the First alone belongs thought, a certain seeking out of its being, of itself, and of its origin. It deserves the name of intelligence only by turning towards (the First) in contemplation, and in knowing Him. As to the unbegotten Principle, who has nothing above Him, who is eternally what He is, what reason might He have to think?

THE FIRST PRINCIPLE HAS NO FUNCTION.

That is why Plato   rightly says that the Good is above Intelligence. To speak of an “unthinking” intelligence would be a self-contradiction; for the principle whose nature it is to think necessarily ceases to be intelligent if it does not think. But no function can be assigned to a principle that has none, and we cannot blame it for idleness because it does not fulfil some function; this would be as silly as to reproach it for not possessing the art of healing. To the first Principle then should be assigned no function, because there is none that would suit Him. He is (self) sufficient, and there is nothing outside of Him who is above all; for, in being what He is, He suffices Himself and everything else.

MacKennna

37. Those ascribing Intellection to the First have not supposed him to know the lesser, the emanant - though, indeed, some have thought it impossible that he should not know everything. But those denying his knowing of the lesser have still attributed self-knowing to him, because they find nothing nobler; we are to suppose that so he is the more august, as if Intellection were something nobler than his own manner of being not something whose value derives from him.

But we ask in what must his grandeur lie, in his Intellection or in himself. If in the Intellection, he has no worth or the less worth; if in himself, he is perfect before the Intellection, not perfected by it. We may be told that he must have Intellection because he is an Act, not a potentiality. Now if this means that he is an essence eternally intellective, he is represented as a duality - essence and Intellective Act - he ceases to be a simplex; an external has been added: it is just as the eyes are not the same as their sight, though the two are inseparable. If on the other hand by this actualization it is meant that he is Act and Intellection, then as being Intellection he does not exercise it, just as movement is not itself in motion.

But do not we ourselves assert that the Beings There are essence and Act?

The Beings, yes, but they are to us manifold and differentiated: the First we make a simplex; to us Intellection begins with the emanant in its seeking of its essence, of itself, of its author; bent inward for this vision and having a present thing to know, there is every reason why it should be a principle of Intellection; but that which, never coming into being, has no prior but is ever what it is, how could that have motive to Intellection? As Plato   rightly says, it is above Intellect.

An Intelligence not exercising Intellection would be unintelligent; where the nature demands knowing, not to know is to fail of intelligence; but where there is no function, why import one and declare a defect because it is not performed? We might as well complain because the Supreme does not act as a physician. He has no task, we hold, because nothing can present itself to him to be done; he is sufficient; he need seek nothing beyond himself, he who is over all; to himself and to all he suffices by simply being what he is.


[1Es conocida la tesis aristotélica que supone a Dios pensamiento del pensamiento, noesis noeseos. En Metafísica, XII, 7, se dice que el pensamiento en sí es el pensamiento de lo que es en sí mejor, y el pensamiento por excelencia es el pensamiento de lo que es bien por excelencia.

[2Dice Sócrates en La República, 509b: el Bien no es la esencia, sino algo que está por encima de ella en cuanto a preeminencia y poder.