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O Bem e o Uno

quinta-feira 24 de março de 2022

II. 9. 1
(Armstrong   selection and translation)

[The names One and Good refer to the same transcendent First Principle, which we cannot really label and define, but must speak of as best we can. It is primary, transcendent, and indescribable because of its absolute simplicity. On it depend Nous and Soul, and there is no room for any other Principles besides these.]

Now it has been made clear to us that the nature of the Good is simple and primary (for everything which is not primary is not simple either), and contains nothing in itself, but is a unity: the same nature belongs to what we call the One. It is not something else, and then as a result of that One, nor is the Good something else and then as a result Good. When we speak of the One and when we speak of the Good we must think and speak of It as one and the same Nature, not applying any predicates to It, but explaining It to ourselves as best we can. We call It the First because It is the simplest, and the Self-Sufficing because It is not a compound (which would make It dependent on its constituent parts); we speak of It as That which is in nothing else, because everything which is in something else is derived from something else. If then It is neither derived from nor in something else, nor any sort of compound, there cannot be anything above It. We need not then go looking for other Principles. We set This first, then Nous, the primal Intelligence, then Soul after Nous. This is the order according to the nature of things. We must not assume more or fewer than these in the intelligible realm.