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Plotino - Tratado 12,2 (II, 4, 2) — Objeções contra a matéria inteligível

quinta-feira 2 de junho de 2022, por Cardoso de Castro



2. Hemos de precisar ante todo si esta especie de materia existe, y, en este caso, qué es y como es. Si la realidad material es algo indefinido e informe, puesto que en los seres superiores de allí no se da lo indefinido y lo informe es claro que allí no hay materia. Digamos, además, que cada ser (inteligible) es simple y que, por tanto, no tiene necesidad de materia; pues el ser que consta de materia y de otra cosa es un (ser) compuesto. E, igualmente, las cosas que han sido engendradas y que pasan de un estado a otro, tienen necesidad de la materia, por lo cual se ha pensado en una materia de las cosas sensibles; en cambio, las cosas que no han sido engendradas no tienen necesidad de la materia. Porque, ¿de dónde provendría y qué fundamento podríamos encontrarle, si hubiese sido engendrada? , ¿a quien la atribuiríamos? Y si es eterna, contaríamos entonces con varios principios que se encuentran de manera fortuita. Por otra parte, si la forma se añade a la materia, nos da un compuesto que es un cuerpo; de modo que, en realidad, habría allí un cuerpo.


II. Examinons d’abord si cette mati  ère [des essences intelligibles] existe, comment elle existe et ce qu’elle est.

Si l’essence de la matière est quelque chose d’indéterminé (ἀόριστον), d’informe (ἄμορφον), et si dans les êtres intelligibles, qui sont parfaits, il ne doit y avoir rien d’indéterminé ni d’informe, il semble qu’il ne saurait y avoir de matière dans le monde intelligible. Chaque essence, y étant simple, ne saurait avoir besoin de la matière, qui, en s’unissant avec une autre chose, constitue un composé. La matière est nécessaire dans les êtres qui sont engendrés, qui font naître une chose d’une autre : car ce sont de tels êtres qui ont conduit à la conception de la matière (08).

  •  Mais, dira-t-on, dans les êtres qui ne sont pas engendrés, la matière semble inutile. D’où aurait-elle pu venir et passer dans les essences intelligibles ? Si elle a été engendrée, elle l’a été par un principe ; si elle est éternelle, il y aura plusieurs principes ; alors les êtres qui occupent le premier rang seront contingents. Enfin si [dans ces êtres] la forme vient se joindre à la matière, leur union constituera un corps, en sorte que les intelligibles seront corporels.
  • Guthrie


    2. Let us first examine whether this (latter intelligible) matter exists, how it exists, and what it is. If (the nature) of matter be something indeterminate, and shapeless, and if in the perfect (intelligible beings) there must not be anything indeterminate or shapeless, it seems as if there could not be any matter in the intelligible world. As every (being) is simple, it could not have any need of matter which, by uniting with something else, constitutes something composite. Matter is necessary in begotten beings, which make one thing arise out of another; for it is such beings that have led to the conception of matter (as thought Aristotle  ). It may however be objected that in unbegotten beings matter would seem useless. Whence could it have originated to enter in (among intelligible beings), and remain there? If it were begotten, it must have been so by some principle; if it be eternal, it must have had several principles; in which case the beings that occupy the first rank would seem to be contingent. Further, if (in those beings) form come to join matter, their union will constitute a body, so that the intelligible (entities) will be corporeal.


    II. Hence we must enquire concerning this intelligible matter, whether it is, what it is, and after what manner it subsists. If, therefore, it is necessary that matter should be something indefinite and formless, but in intelligibles as being the most excellent natures, there is nothing indefinite and without form, matter will not be there. If, also, every thing in the intelligible world is simple, it will not be in want of matter, in order that from it and something else, that which is a composite may be produced. To generated natures, indeed, and to such as make some things from others, matter is necessary, in which also the matter of sensibles is conceived to subsist; but it is not necessary to things which are not generated. Whence, also, does matter proceed, and how does it subsist among intelligibles ? For if it was generated, it was generated by something ; but if it is eternal, there are many principles; and first natures will have a casual subsistence. If, likewise, form should accede, the composite will be a body, so that body will be there.


    2. We are obliged, therefore, at the start, both to establish the existence of this other Kind and to examine its nature and the mode of its Being.

    Now if Matter must characteristically be undetermined, void of shape, while in that sphere of the Highest there can be nothing that lacks determination, nothing shapeless, there can be no Matter there. Further, if all that order is simplex, there can be no need of Matter, whose function is to join with some other element to form a compound: it will be found of necessity in things of derived existence and shifting nature - the signs which lead us to the notion of Matter - but it is unnecessary to the primal.

    And again, where could it have come from? whence did it take its being? If it is derived, it has a source: if it is eternal, then the Primal-Principles are more numerous than we thought, the Firsts are a meeting-ground. Lastly, if that Matter has been entered by Idea, the union constitutes a body; and, so, there is Body in the Supreme.

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