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Plotino - Tratado 9,2 (VI, 9, 2) — A unidade é além do ser, do Intelecto e das formas

Enéada VI, 9, 2

sábado 26 de março de 2022, por Cardoso de Castro

Capítulo 2: A unidade é além do ser, do Intelecto e das formas.

  • 1-14. A unidade pode coincidir com o ser e a realidade inteligível?
  • 15-25. A unidade e o ser não são a mesma coisa, pois o ser é multiplicidade.
  • 25-47. A unidade também não pode coincidir com o Intelecto, pois o Intelecto, que compreende as formas e "que é todas as coisas", é multiplicidade.

Tradução desde MacKenna

2. Deve-se dizer, então, que, para cada uma das coisas cuja unidade não é senão aquela de suas partes, sua realidade não é idêntica à unidade, enquanto, no caso disto que é totalmente e de sua realidade, a realidade, isto que é e a unidade são idênticas, de sorte que, se se descobre isto que é, então também se terá descoberto a unidade, pois a realidade ela mesma é idêntica à unidade?

— Neste caso, se a realidade é o intelecto, o intelecto é também a unidade, posto que ele é isto que é primordialmente e que ele é primordialmente uno. Ele dá assim o ser às outras coisas na medida mesma em que lhes dá a unidade. Que se poderia dizer que é a unidade, com efeito, se ela não é estas coisas? Ou bem a unidade é idêntica ao ser — «homem» e «um homem» é com efeito a mesma coisa —, ou bem a unidade é como um número que corresponde à cada coisa, e como se diz «dois» de duas coisas, do mesmo modo se diz «um» de uma só coisa. Logo se o número faz parte das coisas que são, é evidente que a unidade também dele faz parte, e é necessário buscar o que ela é. Mas se, em revanche, o fato de contar não é senão uma atividade da alma que percorre as coisas, neste caso, a unidade não fará parte das coisas reais.

— O argumento não mostraria que, se uma coisa perdesse a unidade, ela não seria absolutamente?

— Logo é preciso ver se a unidade e o ser são idênticos em cada coisa, e se isto que é totalmente é idêntico à unidade. Mas se o ser em cada coisa coincide com a multiplicidade e que, em revanche, é impossível que a unidade seja uma multiplicidade, a unidade e o ser serão diferentes um do outro. Por exemplo, o homem é um animal e é dotado de razão, quer dizer que tem várias partes que estão ligadas na unidade; mas então o homem e a unidade são coisas diferentes, pois um é divisível, a outra indivisível. E certamente, isto que é totalmente, que tem nele mesmo todas as coisas que são, será ainda mais múltiplo e diferente da unidade, não possuindo essa senão por participação. Isto que é possui com efeito vida e intelecto, pois não está certamente morto; eis porque é múltiplo. Mas se é intelecto, neste caso também é necessariamente múltiplo; e o é ainda mais, se compreende as formas. Pois a forma não é una, mas ela é de preferência um número, assim como cada forma que a realidade das formas em seu conjunto, e é neste sentido que ela é una, como o mundo é um. Em resumo, a unidade é o que é primeiro, enquanto o intelecto, as formas, e isto que é não são primeiros. Pois cada forma é composta de vários elementos, e ela lhes é posterior; e estes elementos, das quais cada uma é composta, lhe são com efeito anteriores. Que seja impossível que o intelecto seja o primeiro, isso é evidente também disto que segue: o intelecto consiste necessariamente no ato de pensar, e o intelecto superior é aquele que, sem portar seu olhar sobre as coisas que lhe são exteriores, pensa isto que o precede; com efeito, se voltando para ele mesmo, se volta para o princípio. E se é isto que pensa e isto que é pensado, será duplo e não simples, e não será também não a unidade; em revanche, se porta seu olhar sobre outra coisas, se voltará em todos os casos para isto que lhe é superior e anterior; enfim, se se volta para ele mesmo e para isto que lhe é superior, neste caso também será posterior. Logo é preciso colocar um Intelecto deste gênero, que, por um lado, se aproxima do Bem e do Primeiro em portando sobre ele seu olhar, e que, por outro lado, esteja consigo mesmo, se pensa si mesmo e se pensa si mesmo como sendo todas as coisas. Logo está bem distante de ser a unidade, pois é multiforme. Logo a unidade não será todas as coisas, pois, neste caso, ela não serua mais una; nem ela não será o intelecto, pois, neste caso também, ela seria todas as coisas, posto que o intelecto é todas as coisas, nem ela não será o ser também não, pois o ser é todas as coisas.

MacKenna

2. It may be suggested that, while in the unities of the partial order the essence and the unity are distinct, yet in collective existence, in Real Being, they are identical, so that when we have grasped Being we hold unity; Real Being would coincide with Unity. Thus, taking the Intellectual-Principle as Essential Being, that principle and the Unity Absolute would be at once Primal Being and Pure Unity, purveying, accordingly, to the rest of things something of Being and something, in proportion, of the unity which is itself.

There is nothing with which the unity would be more plausibly identified than with Being; either it is Being as a given man is man or it will correspond to the Number which rules in the realm of the particular; it will be a number applying to a certain unique thing as the number two applies to others.

Now if Number is a thing among things, then clearly so this unity must be; we would have to discover what thing of things it is. If Number is not a thing but an operation of the mind moving out to reckon, then the unity will not be a thing.

We found that anything losing unity loses its being; we are therefore obliged to enquire whether the unity in particulars is identical with the being, and unity absolute identical with collective being.

Now the being of the particular is a manifold; unity cannot be a manifold; there must therefore be a distinction between Being and Unity. Thus a man is at once a reasoning living being and a total of parts; his variety is held together by his unity; man therefore and unity are different - man a thing of parts against unity partless. Much more must Collective Being, as container of all existence, be a manifold and therefore distinct from the unity in which it is but participant.

Again, Collective Being contains life and intelligence - it is no dead thing - and so, once more, is a manifold.

If Being is identical with Intellectual-Principle, even at that it is a manifold; all the more so when count is taken of the Ideal Forms in it; for the Idea, particular or collective, is, after all, a numerable agglomeration whose unity is that of a kosmos.

Above all, unity is The First: but Intellectual-Principle, Ideas and Being, cannot be so; for any member of the realm of Forms is an aggregation, a compound, and therefore - since components must precede their compound - is a later.

Other considerations also go to show that the Intellectual-Principle cannot be the First. Intellect must be above the Intellectual Act: at least in its higher phase, that not concerned with the outer universe, it must be intent upon its Prior; its introversion is a conversion upon the Principle.

Considered as at once Thinker and Object of its Thought, it is dual, not simplex, not The Unity: considered as looking beyond itself, it must look to a better, to a prior: looking simultaneously upon itself and upon its Transcendent, it is, once more, not a First.

There is no other way of stating Intellectual-Principle than as that which, holding itself in the presence of The Good and First and looking towards That, is self-present also, self-knowing and Knowing itself as All-Being: thus manifold, it is far from being The Unity.

In sum: The Unity cannot be the total of beings, for so its oneness is annulled; it cannot be the Intellectual-Principle, for so it would be that total which the Intellectual-Principle is; nor is it Being, for Being is the manifold of things.

Bouillet

[2] Mais [dira-t-on], dans chacun des êtres particuliers qui 538 sont uns, l’essence n’est-elle pas identique à l’unité (03) ? Dans toute essence et tout être l’essence et l’être ne sont-ils pas identiques à l’unité, de telle sorte qu’en trouvant l’être on trouve aussi l’unité? L’essence en soi n’est-elle pas l’unité en soi, de telle sorte que, si l’essence est intelligence, l’unité soit aussi intelligence, intelligence qui, étant l’être au premier degré, soit aussi l’unité au premier degré, et qui, donnant l’être aux autres choses, leur donne également l’unité? Que peut être l’unité, en effet, en dehors de l’être et de l’essence? L’être est identique à l’unité (car homme et un homme signifient la même chose (04)), ou bien l’unité est le nombre de chaque chose prise à part, et, de même qu’on dit deux d’un objet qui est joint à un autre, on dit un d’un objet qui est seul.

Si le nombre l’ait partie des êtres, évidemment l’unité aussi en fait partie, et il faut chercher quelle espèce d’être elle est. Si l’unité n’est qu’une notion imaginée par l’âme pour nombrer, l’unité n’a pas d’existence réelle (05). Nous avons dit cependant plus haut que chaque chose, en perdant l’unité, perd aussi l’existence. Il faut donc voir si l’être et l’unité sont identiques, soit considérés dans chaque chose, soit pris absolument.

Si l’être de chaque chose est pluralité, l’unité ne pouvant être pluralité, l’unité et l’être sont deux choses différentes. Or l’homme, étant animal et raisonnable, renferme une pluralité d’éléments dont l’unité est le lien. L’homme et l’unité sont donc deux choses différentes : l’homme est divisible, l’unité est indivisible. En outre, l’Être universel,renfermant en lui tous les êtres, est encore plus multiple ; il diffère 539 donc de l’unité; néanmoins il possède l’unité par participation. L’Être possède la vie et l’intelligence (car on ne peut le regarder comme privé de la vie); il est donc multiple. Enfin, si l’Être est Intelligence, il est également multiple sous ce rapport, et il l’est bien plus encore s’il contient les formes (εἴδη) : car l’idée (ἰδέα) n’est pas véritablement une; c’est plutôt un nombre (06), aussi bien l’idée individuelle que l’idée générale; elle n’est une que comme le monde est un.

En outre, l’Un en soi est ce qui est premier ; mais l’Intelligence, les formes et l’Être ne sont pas choses premières. Chaque forme est multiple et composée, par conséquent, c’est une chose postérieure : car les parties sont antérieures au composé qu’elles constituent. Que l’Intelligence ne soit pas ce qui est premier, on le voit par les faits suivants : exister pour l’Intelligence, c’est nécessairement penser, et l’Intelligence la meilleure, celle qui ne contemple pas les objets extérieurs, doit penser ce qui est au-dessus d’elle : car, en se tournant vers elle-même, elle se tourne vers son principe. D’un côté, si l’Intelligence est à la fois la chose pensante et la chose pensée, elle implique dualité, elle n’est pas simple, elle n’est pas l’Un. D’un autre côté, si l’Intelligence contemple un objet autre qu’elle, ce ne peut être qu’un objet meilleur qu’elle et placé au-dessus d’elle. Enfin, si tout à la fois l’Intelligence se contemple elle-même et contemple ce qui est meilleur qu’elle, de cette manière elle est encore au second rang. Il faut donc admettre que l’Intelligence qui a une telle nature jouit de la présence du Bien, du Premier, et qu’elle le contemple; mais qu’elle est en même temps présente à elle-même, et qu’elle se pense comme étant toutes choses. Or, renfermant une telle diversité, elle est bien éloignée d’être l’Un.

Ainsi, l’Un n’est point toutes choses : car de cette manière 540 il ne serait plus l’Un ; il n’est point non plus l’Intelligence : car alors il serait encore toutes choses, puisque l’Intelligence est toutes choses. Il n’est point non plus l’Être, puisque l’Être aussi est toutes choses.

Guthrie

BEING AND ESSENCE IDENTICAL WITH UNITY.

2. (Aristotle  ) suggests that in each of the individual beings which are one, being is identical with unity. Are not being and essence identical with unity, in every being and in every essence, in a manner such that on discovering essence, unity also is discovered? Is not being in itself unity in itself, so that if being be intelligence, unity also must be intelligence, as intelligence which, being essence in the highest degree, is also unity in the first degree, and which, imparting essence to other things, also imparts unity to them? What indeed could unity be, apart from essence and being? As “man,” and “a man” are equivalent, essence must be identical with unity; or, unity is the number of everything considered individually; and as one object joined to another is spoken of as two, so an object alone is referred to as one.

UNITY IS NOT A NUMBERING DEVICE, BUT IS IDENTICAL WITH EXISTENCE.

If number belongs to the class of beings, evidently the latter must include unity also; and we shall have to discover what kind of a being it is. If unity be no more than a numbering device invented by the soul, then unity would possess no real existence. But we have above observed that each object, on losing unity, loses existence also. We are therefore compelled to investigate whether essence and unity be identical either when considered in themselves, or in each individual object.

EVEN UNIVERSAL ESSENCE CONTAINS MANIFOLDNESS.

If the essence of each thing be manifoldness, and as unity cannot be manifoldness, unity must differ from essence. Now man, being both animal and rational, contains a manifoldness of elements of which unity is the bond. There is therefore a difference between man and unity; man is divisible, while unity is indivisible. Besides, universal Essence, containing all essences, is still more manifold. Therefore it differs from unity; though it does possess unity by participation. Essence possesses life and intelligence, for it cannot be considered lifeless; it must therefore be manifold. Besides, if essence be intelligence, it must in this respect also be manifold, and must be much more so if it contain forms; for the idea is not genuinely one. Both as individual and general it is rather a number; it is one only as the world is one.

BESIDES, ABSOLUTE UNITY IS THE FIRST, WHICH INTELLIGENCE IS NOT.

Besides, Unity in itself is the first of all; but intelligence, forms and essence are not primary. Every form is manifold and composite, and consequently must be something posterior; for parts are prior to the composite they constitute. Nor is intelligence primary, as appears from the following considerations. For intelligence existence is necessarily thought and the best intelligence which does not contemplate exterior objects, must think what is above it; for, on turning towards itself, it turns towards its principle. On the one hand, if intelligence be both thinker and thought, it implies duality, and is not simple or unitary. On the other hand, if intelligence contemplate some object other than itself, this might be nothing more than some object better than itself, placed above it. Even if intelligence contemplate itself simultaneously with what is better than it, even so intelligence is only of secondary rank. We may indeed admit that the intelligence which has such a nature enjoys the presence of the Good, of the First, and that intelligence contemplates the First; but nevertheless at the same time intelligence is present to itself, and thinks itself as being all things. Containing such a diversity, intelligence is far from unity.

UNITY AS ABOVE ALL THINGS, INTELLIGENCE AND ESSENCE.

Thus Unity is not all things, for if so, it would no longer be unity. Nor is it Intelligence, for since intelligence is all things, unity too would be all things. Nor is it essence, since essence also is all things.

Taylor

II. Shall we say, therefore, that in each of the things which subsist according to a part, the essence of it and the one are not the same? In true being indeed, and true essence, essence, being, and the one, are the same. So that he who discovers being in these, will also discover the one, and will find that essence itself is the one itself. Thus, for instance, if essence is intellect, the one also is here intellect, viz., an intellect which is primarily being, and primarily one. And when it imparts existence to other things, thus, and so far as it imparts this, it also imparts the one. For what else besides intellect and being, can the one of these be said to be ? For either the one is the same with being, as a man is the same thing as one man; or it is as a certain number of each thing, as when you speak of a certain two. And thus the one is asserted of a certain thing alone. If, therefore, number pertains to beings, it is evident that the one also pertains to them: and what it is must be investigated. But if the one is nothing more than the energy of the soul attempting to number, the one will have no existence in things themselves. Reason however has said, that whatever loses the one, loses entirely at the same time its existence. It is necessary, therefore, to consider whether each thing that has a being, and each thing that is one are the same, and whether in short, being and the one are the same. If, however, the being of each thing is multitude, but it is impossible for the one to be multitude, each of these will he different from the other. Man, therefore, is an animal, is rational, and has many parts, and this multitude is hound together by unity. Hence, man is one thing, and unity another; since the former is partible, but the latter impartible. Moreover, being which ranks as a whole, and contains all beings in itself, will rather be many beings [than one], and will be different from the one. But by assumption and participation, it will possess the one. Being, likewise, has life and intellect: for it is not deprived of life. Hence, being is many things. If also it is intellect, it is thus again necessary that it should be multitudinous ; and this in a still greater degree, if it comprehends in itself forms or ideas. For idea is not unity, but is rather number. And this is true both of each idea, and of that which is all ideas collectively. Idea, likewise, is in such a manner one, as the world is one. In short, the one is the first of things, but intellect, forms, and being are not the first. For each form consists of many things, and is a composite, and posterior. For those things from which each form consists have a priority of subsistence. But that it is not possible that intellect can be the first of things is evident from the following considerations. It is necessary that intellect should consist in intellectual perception; and that the most excellent intellect, and which does not look to what is external to, should intellectually perceive that which is prior to itself. For being converted to itself, it is [at the same time] converted to the principle of itself And if indeed it is both intellective and intelligible, it will be twofold and not simple, and therefore not the one. But if it looks to something different from itself, it will entirely look to that which is more excellent than, and prior to itself. If, however, it both looks to itself, and to that which is better than itself, it will thus also be secondary. And it is requisite to admit that such an intellect as this present indeed with the good, and with that which is first, and that it beholds it. It likewise associates with, and intellectually perceives itself, and knows that it is itself all things. By no means, therefore, since it is thus various, is it the one. Neither, therefore, will the one be all things; [1] since if it were, it would no longer be the one. Nor is it intellect. For thus it would be all things; intellect being all things. Nor is it being. For being likewise is all things.


[1It is well observed by Damascius in his MS. treatise Peri archon, that neither the one nor all things accords in reality with the nature of the one. For these are opposed to each other, and distribute our conceptions. For if we look to the simple and the one, we destroy its immensely great perfection: and if we conceive all things subsisting together, we abolish the one and the simple. But this is because we are divided, and look to divided peculiarities. In short, so far as it is the one, it is exempt from all things, and is without any multitude; but so far as it is the principle of all things, it is all things prior to all.