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Plotino - Tratado 20,5 (I, 3, 5) — Origem e valor da dialética.

Enéada I, 3, 5

sábado 26 de março de 2022, por Cardoso de Castro

Tradução desde Mackenna

5. Mas de onde esta ciência deriva suas próprias leis   iniciais?

O Princípio-Intelectual fornece padrões, o mais certo para qualquer alma que é capaz de aplicá-los. o que mais é necessário, a Dialética reúne para si mesma, combinando e dividindo, até que tenha alcançado a Intelecção perfeita. "Pois", lemos, "é a mais pura (perfeição) da Intelecção e da Sabedoria-Contemplativa". E, sendo o método e ciência mais nobres que existem deve necessariamente lidar com a Existência-Autêntica, a Mais Alta que há: como Sabedoria-Contemplativa (ou conhecimento verdadeiro) lida com o Ser, como Intelecção com o que transcende o Ser.

O que então é a Filosofia?

A Filosofia é o supremo precioso.

É a Dialética, então, o mesmo que a Filosofia?

É a parte preciosa da Filosofia. Não devemos considerá-la como mero instrumento do metafísico: o Dialético não consiste de cruas teorias e regras: lida com veracidades; Existências são, como tal, Matéria para ela, ou pelo menos ela procede metodicamente para Existências, e possui ela mesma, a um passo, das noções e das realidades.

Inverdade e sofisma ela conhece, não diretamente, não por sua própria natureza, mas meramente como algo produzido fora de si mesma, algo que reconhece ser estranho as verdades depositadas em si mesma. A Dialética, quer dizer, não tem conhecimento de proposições — coleções de palavras — mas conhece a verdade,e , neste conhecimento, conhece o que as escolas denominam suas proposições: conhece acima de tudo, a operação da alma, e, em virtude deste conhecimento, conhece, também, o que é afirmado e o que é negado, se a negação é do que é afirmado ou de algo outro, e se as proposições concordam ou diferem; tudo que é submetido a ela, ataca com a objetividade da percepção dos sentidos e deixa precisões insignificantes do processo para o que outra ciência possa se interessar em tais exercícios.

MacKenna

5. But whence does this science derive its own initial laws  ?

The Intellectual-Principle furnishes standards, the most certain for any soul that is able to apply them. What else is necessary, Dialectic puts together for itself, combining and dividing, until it has reached perfect Intellection. "For," we read, "it is the purest [perfection] of Intellection and Contemplative-Wisdom." And, being the noblest method and science that exists it must needs deal with Authentic-Existence, The Highest there is: as Contemplative-Wisdom [or true-knowing] it deals with Being, as Intellection with what transcends Being.

What, then, is Philosophy?

Philosophy is the supremely precious.

Is Dialectic, then, the same as Philosophy?

It is the precious part of Philosophy. We must not think of it as the mere tool of the metaphysician: Dialectic does not consist of bare theories and rules: it deals with verities; Existences are, as it were, Matter to it, or at least it proceeds methodically towards Existences, and possesses itself, at the one step, of the notions and of the realities.

Untruth and sophism it knows, not directly, not of its own nature, but merely as something produced outside itself, something which it recognises to be foreign to the verities laid up in itself; in the falsity presented to it, it perceives a clash with its own canon of truth. Dialectic, that is to say, has no knowledge of propositions - collections of words - but it knows the truth, and, in that knowledge, knows what the schools call their propositions: it knows above all, the operation of the soul, and, by virtue of this knowing, it knows, too, what is affirmed and what is denied, whether the denial is of what was asserted or of something else, and whether propositions agree or differ; all that is submitted to it, it attacks with the directness of sense-perception and it leaves petty precisions of process to what other science may care for such exercises.

Bréhier

5. D’où la dialectique tire-t-elle ses principes ? C’est l’intelligence qui donne des principes évidents, à condition que l’âme puisse les recevoir ; de là, la série de ses opérations ; elle compose, combine et divise, jusqu’à ce qu’elle arrive à l’intelligence complète. La dialectique, dit Platon  , est le plus pur de l’intelligence et de la prudence. Étant la plus précieuse de nos facultés, elle se rapporte par conséquent à l’être et à la réalité la plus précieuse, à savoir la prudence à l’être, et l’intelligence à ce qui est au-delà de l’être. Quoi donc ! la philosophie n’est-elle pas précieuse entre tout ? Oui, mais la dialectique lui est identique, ou du moins en est la partie précieuse ; n’allons pas croire en effet qu’elle est un simple organe du philosophe, qu’elle soit simplement un ensemble de théorèmes et de règles ; elle porte sur des réalités, et sa matière, ce sont les êtres ; mais c’est qu’elle a une méthode pour aller jusqu’aux êtres, et elle possède, en même temps que les théorèmes, les réalités elles-mêmes. Elle ne connaît que par accident l’erreur et le sophisme ; quand un autre les commet, elle les discerne comme une chose qui lui est étrangère ; elle connaît l’erreur par la vérité qui est en elle, lorsqu’on lui présente une affirmation contraire à la règle du vrai. Elle ignore la théorie des propositions (qui sont à elle comme les lettres sont à un mot) ; mais connaissant la vérité, elle sait ce qu’on appelle une proposition et, d’une manière générale, elle connaît les opérations de l’âme ; la proposition affirmative et la négative ; la règle : Si on nie [le conséquent], on pose [le contraire de l’antécédent], et autres règles analogues ; elle sait si des termes sont différents ou identiques, mais elle a toute ces connaissances d’une manière aussi immédiate que la sensation perçoit les choses, et elle laisse à ceux qui ont le goût de cette étude le soin d’en parler avec minutie.

Bouillet

[5] Mais d’où cette science tire-t-elle ses propres principes? L’intelligence fournit à l’âme les principes clairs que celle-ci est capable de recevoir. Une fois en possession. de ces principes, la dialectique en ordonne les conséquences; elle compose, elle divise, jusqu’à ce qu’elle soit arrivée à une parfaite intelligence des choses : car, dit Platon  , elle est l’application la plus pure de l’intelligence et de la sagesse (09). S’il en est ainsi, si la dialectique est le plus noble exercice de nos facultés, il faut qu’elle s’occupe de l’être et des objets les plus élevés. Car la sagesse étudie l’être; et l’intelligence, ce qui est encore au-dessus de l’être [l’Un, le Bien]. Mais, nous dira-t-on, qu’est-ce donc que la Philosophie? N’est-ce pas aussi ce qu’il y a de plus éminent? Oui, sans doute. La philosophie se confond-elle donc avec la dialectique? Non, répondrons-nous : la dialectique est la partie la plus élevée de la philosophie. Il ne faut pas croire qu’elle ne soit qu’un instrument pour la philosophie, ni qu’elle ne s’occupe que de pures spéculations et de règles abstraites (10). Elle étudie les choses elles-mêmes, et a pour matière les êtres [réels]. Elle y arrive en suivant une méthode qui lui donne la réalité en même temps que l’idée. Quant à l’erreur et au sophisme, elle ne s’en occupe qu’accidentellement; elle les juge comme choses étrangères à son domaine, produites par un principe qui lui est étranger. Lorsqu’on avance quelque chose de contraire à la règle du vrai, elle reconnaît l’erreur à la lumière des vérités qu’elle porte en elle. Pour les propositions, elle n’en fait pas l’objet de son étude : ce ne sont pour elle que des assemblages de lettres; cependant, sachant le vrai, elle sait aussi ce qu’on appelle proposition, et, en général, elle connaît les opérations de l’âme : elle sait ce que c’est qu’affirmer, nier, ce que c’est que faire des assertions contradictoires ou contraires; elle sait enfin si on avance des choses différentes ou identiques, saisissant le vrai par une intuition instantanée comme l’est celle des sens; mais elle laisse à une autre étude qui se plaît dans ces détails le soin d’en parler avec exactitude.

Guthrie

DIALECTICS IS THE HIGHEST PART OF PHILOSOPHY.

5. Whence does this science derive its proper principles? Intelligence furnishes the soul with the clear principles she is capable of receiving. Having discovered and achieved these principles, dialectics puts their consequences in order. Dialectics composes, and divides, till it has arrived at a perfect intelligence of things; for according to (Plato  ; Sofista), dialectics is the purest application of intelligence and wisdom. In this case, if dialectics be the noblest exercise of our faculties, it must exercise itself with essence and the highest objects. Wisdom studies existence, as intelligence studies that which is still beyond existence (the One, or the Good). But is not philosophy also that which is most eminent ? Surely. But there is no confusion between philosophy and dialectics, because dialectics is the highest part of philosophy. It is not (as Aristotle   thought) merely an instrument for philosophy, nor (as Epicurus   thought) made up of pure speculations and abstract rules. It studies things themselves, and its matter is the (real) beings. It reaches them by following a method which yields reality as well as the idea. Only accidentally does dialectics busy itself with error and sophisms. Dialectics considers them alien to its mission, and as produced by a foreign principle. Whenever anything contrary to the rule of truth is advanced, dialectics recognizes the error by the light of the truths it contains. Dialectics, however, does not care for propositions, which, to it, seem only mere groupings of letters. Nevertheless, because it knows the truth, dialectics also understands propositions, and, in general, the operations of the soul. Dialectics knows what it is to affirm, to deny, and how to make contrary or contradictory assertions. Further, dialectics distinguishes differences from identities, grasping the truth by an intuition that is as instantaneous as is that of the senses; but dialectics leaves to another science, that enjoys those details, the care of treating them with exactness.

Taylor

V. Whence, however, does this science derive its principles ? May we not say that intellect imparts clear principles to the soul that is able to receive them ? Afterwards, the soul compounds the things consequent to these principles, and connects and divides them, till it arrives at a perfect intellect. For, as Plato   says, this science is the purest part of intellect and [intellectual] prudence. It is necessary, therefore, since it is the most honourable habit of those things that are in us, that it should be conversant with being, and the most honourable nature; and that prudence, indeed, should be conversant with being, but intellect with that which is beyond being. What, then, is philosophy? That which is most honourable. Is philosophy, therefore, the same as dialectic ? Or is not dialectic the most honourable part of philosophy ? For it must not be fancied that it is the instrument of the philosopher; since it does not consist of mere theorems and rules, but is conversant with things, and has beings as it were for its subject matter. Nevertheless, it proceeds in a path to beings, possessing things themselves together with theorems. It knows, however, that which is false and sophistical accidentally, something else being the cause of these; and it forms a judgment of them as of that which is foreign, knowing the false by the truths it contains in itself, when it is adduced by any one, because it is contrary to the rule of truth. Propositions, therefore, are not the object of its knowledge ; for these are letters. But, knowing truth, it knows that which is called a proposition. And universally, it knows the motions of the soul, what the soul admits, and what it rejects, and whether it rejects that which it admits, or something else. Likewise, whether different or the same things are adduced; applying itself to them in a way resembling sense.2 But it assigns to another power an accurate discussion of these particulars.