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Plotino - Tratado 20,6 (I, 3, 6) — As partes da filosofia e a realização da dialética

Enéada I, 3, 6

sábado 26 de março de 2022, por Cardoso de Castro

    

Tradução desde MacKenna

6. A Filosofia tem outras províncias, mas a Dialética é sua parte preciosa: em seu estudo das leis do universo  , a Filosofia recorre à Dialética tanto quanto outros estudos e artes usam a Aritmética, embora, naturalmente, a aliança entre Filosofia e Dialética seja próxima.

E em Moral, também, a Filosofia usa a Dialética: pela Dialética chega à contemplação  , embora origine de si mesma o estado   de moral ou melhor a disciplina da qual o estado de moral se desenvolve.

Nossas faculdades   de raciocínio   empregam os dados da Dialética quase como sua própria possessão pois estão principalmente preocupadas com a Matéria (cujo lugar e valor   a Dialética estabelece).

E enquanto as outras virtudes levam a razão a se aplicar sobre experiências e atos particulares, a virtude da Sabedoria   (i.e., a virtude particularmente induzida pela Dialética) é uma espécie de super-raciocínio bastante próximo ao Universal  ; pois lida com a correspondência e sequência, a escolha   do tempo para ação e inação, a adoção deste curso, a rejeição daquele outro; a Sabedoria e a Dialética têm a tarefa de apresentar todas as coisas como Universais e isentas de matéria para o tratamento pela Compreensão.

Mas podem estas espécies inferiores de virtude existir sem a Dialética e a filosofia?

Sim — mas imperfeitamente, inadequadamente.

E é possível ser um Sábio  , Mestre em Dialética, sem estas virtudes inferiores?

Não aconteceria: a vontade inferior   despontará seja antes ou junto com a superior. E é provável que todos normalmente possuam as virtudes naturais das quais, quando a Sabedoria entra, a virtude perfeita desenvolve. Após as virtudes naturais, então, a Sabedoria e, assim o aperfeiçoamento   da natureza moral. Uma vez que existam as virtudes naturais, ambas as ordens, a natural e a superior, amadurecem lado a lado até sua excelência final: ou a medida que uma avança puxa adiante a outra para a a perfeição.

Mas, sempre, a virtude natural é imperfeita em visão   e poder — e para ambas as ordens de virtude a questão essencial é de que princípios as derivamos.

MacKenna

6. Philosophy has other provinces, but Dialectic is its precious part: in its study of the laws of the universe, Philosophy draws on Dialectic much as other studies and crafts use Arithmetic, though, of course, the alliance between Philosophy and Dialectic is closer.

And in Morals, too, Philosophy uses Dialectic: by Dialectic it comes to contemplation, though it originates of itself the moral state or rather the discipline from which the moral state develops.

Our reasoning faculties employ the data of Dialectic almost as their proper possession for they are mainly concerned about Matter [whose place and worth Dialectic establishes].

And while the other virtues bring the reason to bear upon particular experiences and acts, the virtue of Wisdom [i.e., the virtue peculiarly induced by Dialectic] is a certain super-reasoning much closer to the Universal; for it deals with correspondence and sequence, the choice of time for action and inaction, the adoption of this course, the rejection of that other: Wisdom and Dialectic have the task of presenting all things as Universals and stripped of matter for treatment by the Understanding.

But can these inferior kinds of virtue exist without Dialectic and philosophy?

Yes - but imperfectly, inadequately.

And is it possible to be a Sage, Master in Dialectic, without these lower virtues?

It would not happen  : the lower will spring either before or together with the higher. And it is likely that everyone normally possesses the natural virtues from which, when Wisdom steps in, the perfected virtue develops. After the natural virtues, then, Wisdom and, so the perfecting of the moral nature. Once the natural virtues exist, both orders, the natural and the higher, ripen side by side to their final excellence: or as the one advances it carries forward the other towards perfection.

But, ever, the natural virtue is imperfect in vision and in strength - and to both orders of virtue the essential matter is from what principles we derive them.

Bréhier

[6] La dialectique n’est donc qu’une partie de la philosophie, mais elle en est la partie la plus éminente. En effet, la philosophie a d’autres branches. D’abord, elle étudie la nature [Physique] (11), et pour cela elle emprunte le secours de la dialectique comme les autres arts celui de l’arithmétique, quoique la philosophie doive bien plus à la dialectique. Ensuite, la philosophie traite des moeurs : ici encore, c’est la dialectique qui pose les principes; la Morale n’a plus qu’à en faire naître les bonnes habitudes et à conseiller les exercices qui les engendrent. Il en est de même des vertus rationnelles (12): c’est à la dialectique qu’elles doivent les principes qui semblent leur appartenir en propre; car le plus souvent elles s’occupent des choses matérielles [parce qu’elles modèrent les passions]. Les autres vertus (13) impliquent aussi l’application de la raison aux passions et aux actions qui sont propres à chacune d’elles; seulement la prudence y applique la raison d’une manière supérieure: elle s’occupe plus de l’universel ; elle considère si les vertus s’enchaînent les unes aux autres, s’il faut faire présente–ment une action, ou la différer, ou en choisir une autre (14). Or, c’est la dialectique, c’est la science qu’elle donne, la sagesse, qui fournit à la prudence, sous une forme générale et immatérielle, tous les principes dont celle-ci a besoin.

Ne pourrait-on sans la dialectique; sans la sagesse, posséder même les connaissances inférieures? Elles seraient du moins imparfaites et mutilées. D’un autre côté, bien que le dialecticien, le vrai sage n’ait plus besoin de ces choses inférieures, il ne serait jamais devenu tel sans elles ; elles doivent précéder, et elles s’augmentent avec le progrès qu’on fait dans la dialectique. Il en est de même pour les vertus : on peut posséder d’abord les vertus naturelles, puis s’élever, avec le secours de la sagesse, aux vertus parfaites. La sagesse ne vient donc qu’après les vertus naturelles; alors elle perfectionne les moeurs; ou plutôt, lorsque les vertus naturelles existent déjà, elles s’accroissent et se perfectionnent avec elle. Du reste, celle de ces deux choses qui précède donne à l’autre son complément. En général, avec les vertus naturelles, on n’a qu’une vue [une science] imparfaite et des moeurs également imparfaites, et ce qu’il y a de plus important pour les perfectionner, c’est la connaissance philosophique des principes d’où elles dépendent.

Bouillet

6. Donc la dialectique est une partie de la philosophie, et précieuse entre toutes. La philosophie a d’autres parties ; elle étudie la nature avec l’aide de la dialectique ; et si l’arithmétique aussi et d’autres arts usent de la dialectique, la physique en est bien plus proche et tire bien plus d’elle. La philosophie étudie la morale, en partant encore de la dialectique ; elle y ajoute les bonnes habitudes et les exercices d’où elles proviennent. Les habitudes rationnelles tirent leur caractère propre de cette origine dialectique ; bien qu’elles soient engagées dans la mati  ère, elles gardent beaucoup de la dialectique. Si les autres vertus ne font qu’appliquer le raisonnement à des passions et à des actions qui sont particulières en chacune, la prudence, elle, est une espèce de raisonnement qui vise davantage au général ; elle se demande si la conduite est conséquente, si, dans le cas présent, il faut s’abstenir d’une action ou l’accomplir ou s’il y en a une meilleure ; mais c’est la dialectique et la sagesse qui fournissent à la prudence les règles absolument universelles et sans matière qu’elle utilise.

Est-il possible que ces vertus inférieures existent sans la dialectique et la sagesse ? Oui, sans doute, mais elles sont imparfaites et défectueuses. Est-il possible, sans ces vertus, d’être un sage et un dialecticien ? C’est impossible ; car elles grandissent avant la sagesse ou bien en même temps qu’elle. Peut-être arrive-t-il qu’on possède les dispositions naturelles à la vertu, qui deviennent des vertus parfaites, lorsque la sagesse s’y joint ; en ce cas, la sagesse serait postérieure à ces penchants naturels, et elle viendrait après eux pour perfectionner notre moralité. Ou bien, si l’on a des dispositions naturelles à la vertu, ces dispositions et la sagesse se développent et arrivent à leur terme en même temps ; c’est que, alors, la sagesse prend ces dispositions pour les perfectionner ; car, d’une manière générale, la disposition naturelle à la vertu n’est qu’une vue imparfaite du bien et une moralité incomplète ; et le plus souvent la sagesse et la vertu débutent par cette disposition naturelle.

Guthrie

THE VARIOUS BRANCHES OF PHILOSOPHY CROWNED BY DIALECTICS.

6. Dialectics, therefore, is only one part of philosophy, but the most important. Indeed, philosophy has other branches. First, it studies nature (in physics), therein employing dialectics, as the other arts employ arithmetic, though philosophy owes far more to dialectics. Then philosophy treats of morals, and here again it is dialectics that ascertains the principles; ethics limits itself to building good habits thereon, and to propose the exercises that shall produce those good habits. The (Aristotelian) rational virtues also owe to dialectics the principles which seem to be their characteristics; for they chiefly deal with material things (because they moderate the passions). The other virtues (Eneada-I, 2, 3 ss.) also imply the application of reason to the passions and actions which are characteristic of each of them. However, prudence applies reason to them in a superior manner. Prudence deals rather with the universal, considering whether the virtues concatenate, and whether an action should be done now, or be deferred, or be superseded by another (as thought Aristotle  ; Etica-A-Nicomaco). Now it is dialectics, or its resultant science of wisdom which, under a general and immaterial form, furnishes prudence with all the principles it needs.

WITHOUT DIALECTICS LOWER KNOWLEDGE WOULD BE IMPERFECT.

Could the lower knowledge not be possessed without dialectics or wisdom? They would, at least, be imperfect and mutilated. On the other hand, though the dialectician, that is, the true sage, no longer need these inferior things, he never would have become such without them; they must precede, and they increase with the progress made in dialectics. Virtues are in the same case. The possessor of natural virtues may, with the assistance of wisdom, rise to perfect virtues. Wisdom, therefore, only follows natural virtues. Then wisdom perfects the morals. Rather, the already existing natural virtues increase and grow perfect along with wisdom. Whichever of these two things precedes, complements the other. Natural virtues, however, yield only imperfect views and morals; and the best way to perfect them, is philosophic knowledge of the principles from which they depend.

Taylor

VI. This, therefore, is an honourable part; since philosophy has also other parts. For it speculates about nature, receiving assistance from dialectic, in the same manner as the other arts use arithmetic. Philosophy, however, proximately derives assistance from dialectic. And, in a similar manner, it speculates about manners, surveying them through dialectic, but adding habits, and the exercises from which habits proceed. The rational virtues also have habits, and what are now as peculiarities, which they derive from thence. And the other virtues, indeed, have their reasonings in peculiar passions and actions ; but prudence is a certain ratiocination, and is conversant with that which is more universal. For it considers whether it is proper now to abstain or hereafter, or in short, whether another thing is better. Dialectic, however, and wisdom, introduce all things to the use of prudence, universally and immaterially. But whether is it possible to know3 inferior concerns without dialectic and wisdom’t Or may they be known in a different and defective way r It is possible, however, for a man to be thus wise and skilled in dialectic without a knowledge of these. Or this will not be the case, but they will coalesce, either previously, or together. And perhaps some ouc may have certain physical virtues, from which, when wisdom is possessed, the perfect virtues will be obtained. Wisdom, therefore, is posterior   to the physical virtues, but afterwards it perfects the manners; or rather, the physical virtues existing, both are co-increased, and mutually perfected. Or, one of them being previously assumed, the one will perfect the other. For, in short, physical virtue has an imperfect eye, and imperfect manners; and the principles of both are, for the most part, derived from those things which we possess.