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Plotino - Tratado 52,16 (II, 3, 16) — A alma governa o universo segundo uma razão

Enéada II, 3, 16

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

      

Cap. 16-18: Explicação da fórmula "a alma   governa o universo   segundo uma razão  ".

  • 16, 1-4. É preciso retornar à definição disto que é o vivente.
  • 16, 4-5. em qual sentido a alma governa o universo segundo uma razão?
  • 16, 6-36. Três interpretações a rejeitar:
  • 6-13. A alma produz cada coisa, sem ser responsável das consequências;
  • 13-15. A alma produz cada coisa, e ela é responsável das consequências;
  • 15-36. A alma se preocupa sem cessar em corrigir sua obra.

Cap. 16, 36 - Cap. 18: Solução  .

  • Cap. 16, 36-54. A alma envia as razões e ela cessa em seguida de agir, pois estas são as razões que põem a matéria em movimento   e que a forçam a tender para o melhor.
      

Míguez

16. Pero, ¿qué quieren decir los términos mezclado y no-mezclado, separado   y no separado, cuando el alma   se encuentra unida al cuerpo? ¿Qué es realmente el ser animado? Trataremos de averiguarlo después, pero siguiendo ya otro camino; porque no coinciden las opiniones sobre este punto. Ahora diremos, si acaso, en qué sentido afirmamos que "el alma gobierna el universo   de acuerdo con la razón". ¿Produce el alma directamente cada uno   de los seres, por ejemplo el hombre, el caballo, cualquier otro animal   o una bestia, y antes de nada el fuego y la tierra? Y luego, al ver que estos seres se encuentran y se destruyen unos a otros: ¿presta ayuda a la relación derivada de ellos y a los hechos que de aquí resultan para un tiempo indefinida? ¿Colabora acaso a la serie de los acontecimientos produciendo de nueva los seres animados que ya había al principio, o deja que éstos actúen por su cuenta? ¿O bien decimos que (el alma) es la causa   de estos hechos y que produce consecuencias derivadas de ella? Con la palabra razón damos a entender que cada ser sufre y actúa no por azar  , ni por itria cadena casual de acontecimientos, sino de una manera necesaria. ¿Es ésta la acción de las razones (seminales)? ¿O bien existen estas razones, pero sólo para conocer y sin que nada produzcan? Entonces será el alma, poseedora de las sazones seminales, la que conozca los resultados de todas sus acciones, con lo cual en las mismas circunstancias deberán producirse los mismos efectos. El alma aprehende y prevé dichos efectos, obtiene de ellos las consecuencias necesarias y verifica su enlace. Así, reúne los antecedentes con los consiguientes y forma con éstos de nuevo la serie de los antecedentes, como si partiese siempre de le presente  ; de donde resulta quizá que todo lo que sigue ya siempre a peor, y en este sentido, los hombres de otro tiempo eran distintos de los de ahora porque, en el intermedio, las razones seminales han ido cediendo continuamente a los fenómenos de la materia. El alma observa todo esto y sigue de cerca lo que ella misma hace; ésa es su vida, que le impide apartarse de su obra y descuidar jamás sus propios fines. Tengamos en cuenta que su producción no ha surgido de una vez para que podamos considerarla perfecta; sino que, al contrario, el alma es como un labrador que, luego de haber sembrado y plantado, endereza lo que dañaron los inviernos lluviosos, los fríos continuos o los vientos huracanados.

Si esto parece ilógico, convendrá decir mejor que tanto la destrucción de los seres como las acciones provenientes de su imperfección son conocidas por el alma por estar contenidas en sus razones seminales. Siendo esto así, diremos también que las razones seminales son la causa de ésa imperfección, y ello aunque en su arte y en su razón no se encuentre error o algo que contradiga esta obra o la destruya. Podrá decirse tal vez que para él universo no hay nada contrario a la naturaleza ni tampoco nada malo; pero, con todo, tendrá que admitirse lo peor y lo mejor. Porque, ¿no colabora lo que es peor a la perfección universal   y no conviene, además, que todas las cosas sean buenas? Es claro que todas las cosas contrarias trabajan en común y que el mundo no se concibe sin ellas; lo mismo acontece con cada uno de los seres animados. La razón seminal modela a los seres y les obliga a ser mejores; pero sus defectos permanecen en potencia en las razones y en acto en los seres engendrados. El alma universal no tiene necesidad de producir nada ni de hacer que actúen las razones, aunque la materia produzca una conmoción en todo lo que deriva de las razones, tendiendo a volverlo peor; pero, no obstante, acaba por ser dominada y conducida siempre a lo mejor. De modo que de todas las cosas surge lo que es uno, bien que aquéllas deriven de la materia y de las razones y sean diferentes de lo que eran en las razones.

Bouillet

[XVI] Qu’y a-t-il de mêlé, qu’y a-t-il de pur dans l’Ame? Quelle partie de l’Ame est séparable, quelle partie ne l’est pas tant que l’âme est dans un corps? Qu’est-ce que l’animal? Voilà ce que nous aurons à examiner plus tard dans une autre discussion;[68] car on n’est point d’accord sur ces points. Pour le moment, expliquons en quel sens nous avons dit plus haut que l’Ame gouverne l’univers par la Raison.[69]

L’Ame universelle forme-t-elle tous les êtres successivement, d’abord l’homme, puis le cheval, puis un autre animal, enfin les bêtes sauvages?[70] Commence-t-elle par produire la terre et le feu; puis, voyant le concours de toutes ces choses qui se détruisent ou s’aident mutuellement, ne considère-t-elle que leur ensemble et leur connexion, sans s’occuper des accidents qui leur arrivent dans la suite? Se borne-t-elle à reproduire les générations précédentes des animaux, et laisse-t-elle ceux-ci exposés aux passions qu’ils se causent les uns aux autres?

Dirons-nous que l’Ame est la cause de ces passions parce qu’elle engendre les êtres qui les produisent?[71]

La raison de chaque individu   contient-elle ses actions et ses passions, de telle sorte que celles-ci ne soient ni accidentelles, ni fortuites, mais nécessaires?[72]

Les raisons les produisent-elles? ou bien les connaissent-elles sans les produire?[73] ou plutôt l’âme, qui contient les raisons génératrices (γεννητικοὶ λόγοι), connaît-elle les effets de toutes ses oeuvres en raisonnant d’après ce principe que le concours des mêmes circonstances doit évidemment amener les mêmes effets? S’il en est ainsi, l’Ame, comprenant ou prévoyant les effets de ses oeuvres, détermine et enchaîne par eux toutes les choses qui doivent arriver; elle considère donc les antécédents et les conséquents, et, d’après ce qui précède, prévoit ce qui doit suivre.[74] C’est [parce que les êtres procèdent ainsi les uns des autres] que les races s’abâtardissent continuellement: par exemple, les hommes dégénèrent parce qu’en s’éloignant continuellement et nécessairement [du type primitif] les raisons [séminales] cèdent aux passions de la matière.[75]

L’Ame considère-t-elle donc toute la suite des faits et passe-t-elle son existence à surveiller les passions qu’éprouveront ses oeuvres? Ne cesse-t-elle jamais de penser à celles-ci, n’y met-elle jamais la dernière main en les réglant une fois pour toutes de manière qu’elles aillent toujours bien?[76] Ressemble-t-elle à un agriculteur qui, au lieu de se borner à semer et à planter, travaille sans cesse à réparer les dommages causés par les pluies, les vents et les tempêtes?

Si cette hypothèse est absurde, il faut admettre que l’âme connaît d’avance, ou même que les raisons [séminales] contiennent les accidents qui arrivent aux êtres engendrés, c’est-à-dire leur destruction et tous les effets de leurs défauts.[77] Dans ce cas, nous sommes obligés de dire que les défauts proviennent des raisons [séminales], quoique les arts et leurs raisons ne contiennent ni erreur, ni défaut, ni destruction d’une oeuvre d’art.[78]

Ici on dira peut-être: Il ne aurait y avoir dans l’univers rien de mauvais ni de contraire à la nature; il faut accorder que même ce qui paraît moins bon a encore son utilité. Quoi? on admettra donc que ce qui est moins bon concourt à la perfection de l’univers, et qu’il ne faut pas que toutes choses soient belles?[79] C’est que les contraires mêmes contribuent à la perfection de l’univers, et que le monde ne saurait exister sans eux; il en est de même dans tous les êtres vivants. La raison [séminale] amène nécessairement et forme ce qui est meilleur; ce qui est moins bon se trouve contenu en puissance dans les raisons, et en acte dans les êtres engendrés. L’Ame (universelle] n’a donc pas besoin de s’en occuper ni de faire agir les raisons: si, en imprimant une secousse[80] aux raisons qui procèdent de principes supérieurs, la matière altère ce qu’elle reçoit, les raisons néanmoins la soumettent à ce qui est meilleur [à la forme]. Toutes les choses forment donc un ensemble harmonieux parce qu’elles proviennent tout à la fois de la matière et des raisons qui les engendrent.[81]

Guthrie

EXACT PSYCHOLOGY AT THE ROOT OF PHILOSOPHY.

16. What is the mingled, and what is the pure part of the soul? What part of the soul is separable? What part is not separable so long as the soul is in a body? What is the animal? This subject will have to be studied elsewhere, for there is practically no agreement on the subject. For the present, let us explain in which sense   we above said that the soul governs the universe by Reason.

IS THE UNIVERSAL SOUL CREATIVE, BUT NOT PRESERVATIVE?

Does the universal Soul form all the beings successively, first man, then the horse, then some other animal, and last the wild beasts? Does she begin by producing earth and fire; then, seeing the co-operation of all these things which mutually destroy or assist each other, does she consider only their totality and their connections, without regarding the accidents which occur to them later? Does she limit herself to the reproduction of preceding generations of animals, and does she leave these exposed to the passions with which they inspire each other?

DETERMINISM IMPLIES DEGENERATION OF RACES.

Does the "reason" of each individual contain both his "actions" and "reactions" in a way such that these are neither accidental nor fortuitous, but necessary? Are these produced by the reasons? Or do the reasons know them, without producing them ? Or does the soul, which contains the generative "reasons," know the effects of all her works by reasoning according to the following principle, that the concourse of the same circumstances must evidently produce the same effects? If so, the soul, understanding or foreseeing the effects of her works, by them determines and concatenates all the events that are to happen. She, therefore, considers all the antecedents and consequents, and foresees what is to follow from what precedes. It is (because the beings thus proceed from each other) that the races continually degenerate. For instance, men degenerate because in departing continually and unavoidably (from the primitive type) the "seminal reasons" yield to the "passions" of matter.

THE SOUL DOES NOT CAUSE PASSIONS, WHICH ARISE FROM THE SEMINAL REASONS.

Is the soul the cause of these passions, because she begets the beings that produce them? Does the soul then consider the whole sequence of events, and does she pass her existence watching the "passions" experienced by her works? Does she never cease thinking of the latter, does she never put on them the finishing touch, regulating them so that they should always go well   ? Does she resemble some farmer who, instead of limiting himself to sowing and planting, should ceaselessly labor to repair the damage caused by the rains, the winds, and the storms? Unless this hypothesis   be absurd, it must be admitted that the soul knows in advance, or even that the "seminal reasons" contain accidents which happen to begotten beings, that is, their destruction and all the effects of their faults. [1] In this case, we are obliged to say that the faults are derived from the ("seminal reasons"), although the arts and their reasons contain neither error, fault, nor destruction of a work of art.

THE UNIVERSE IS HARMONY. IN SPITE OF THE FAULTS IN THE DETAILS.

It might here be objected that there could not be in the universe anything bad or contrary to nature; and it must be acknowledged that even what seems less good still has its utility. If this seem to admit that things that are less good contribute to the perfection of the universe, and that there is no necessity that all things be beautiful, it is only because the very contraries contribute to the perfection of the universe, and so the world could not exist without them. It is likewise with all living beings. The "seminal reason" necessarily produces and forms what is better; what is less good is contained in the "potentiality" of the "reasons," and "actualized" in the begotten beings. The (universal) Soul has, therefore, no need to busy herself therewith, nor to cause the "reasons" to become active. For the "reasons" successfully subdue matter to what is better (the forms), even though matter alters what it receives by imparting a shock to the "reasons" that proceed from the higher principles. All things, therefore, form a harmonious totality because they simultaneously proceed from matter, and the "reasons" which beget them.

MacKenna

16. The question arises what phase of the Soul enters into the union for the period of embodiment and what phase remains distinct, what is separable and what necessarily interlinked, and in general what the Living-Being is.

On all this there has been a conflict of teaching: the matter must be examined later on from quite other considerations than occupy us here. For the present let us explain in what sense we have described the All as the expressed idea   of the Governing Soul.

One theory might be that the Soul creates the particular entities in succession - man followed by horse and other animals domestic or wild: fire and earth, though, first of all - that it watches these creations acting upon each other whether to help or to harm, observes, and no more, the tangled web formed of all these strands, and their unfailing sequences; and that it makes no concern of the result beyond securing the reproduction of the primal   living-beings, leaving them for the rest to act upon each other according to their definite natures.

Another view makes the soul answerable for all that thus comes about, since its first creations have set up the entire enchainment.

No doubt the Reason-Principle [conveyed by the Soul] covers all the action and experience of this realm: nothing happens, even here, by any form of haphazard; all follows a necessary order.

Is everything, then, to be attributed to the act of the Reason-Principles?

To their existence, no doubt, but not to their effective action; they exist and they know; or better, the Soul, which contains the engendering Reason-Principle, knows the results of all it has brought to pass. For whensoever similar factors meet and act in relation to each other, similar consequences must inevitably ensue: the Soul adopting or foreplanning the given conditions accomplishes the due outcome and links all into a total.

All, then, is antecedent and resultant, each sequent becoming in turn an antecedent once it has taken its place among things. And perhaps this is a cause of progressive deterioration: men, for instance, are not as they were of old; by dint of interval and of the inevitable law, the Reason-Principles have ceded something to the characteristics of the Matter.

But:

The Soul watches the ceaselessly changing universe and follows all the fate of all its works: this is its life, and it knows no respite from this care, but is ever labouring to bring about perfection, planning to lead all to an unending state of excellence - like a farmer, first sowing and planting and then constantly setting to rights where rainstorms and long frosts and high gales have played havoc.

If such a conception of Soul be rejected as untenable, we are obliged to think that the Reason-Principles themselves foreknew or even contained the ruin and all the consequences of flaw.

But then we would be imputing the creation of evil to the Reason-Principles, though the arts and their guiding principle do not include blundering, do not cover the inartistic, the destruction of the work of art.

And here it will be objected that in All there is nothing contrary to nature, nothing evil.

Still, by the side of the better there exists also what is less good.

Well, perhaps even the less good has its contributory value in the All. Perhaps there is no need that everything be good. Contraries may co-operate; and without opposites there could be no ordered Universe: all living beings of the partial realm include contraries. The better elements are compelled into existence and moulded to their function by the Reason-Principle directly; the less good are potentially present in the Reason-Principles, actually present in the phenomena themselves; the Soul’s power had reached its limit, and failed to bring the Reason-Principles into complete actuality since, amid the clash of these antecedent Principles, Matter had already from its own stock produced the less good.

Yet, with all this, Matter is continuously overruled towards the better; so that out of the total of things - modified by Soul on the one hand and by Matter on the other hand, and on neither hand as sound as in the Reason-Principles - there is, in the end, a Unity.


[1Plotinos is here harking back to his very earliest writing, 1.6, where, before his monistic adventure with Porphyry, he had, under the Numenian influence of Amelius, constructed his system out of a combination of the doctrines of Plato (about the ideas), Aristotle (the distinctions of form and matter and of potentiality and actualization), and the Stoic (the "reasons," "seminal reasons," action and passions, and "hexis," or "habit," the inorganic informing principle). Of these, Numenius seems to have lacked the Aristotelian doctrines, although he left Plato’s single triple-functioned soul for Aristotle’s combination of souls of various degrees (fr. 53). Piotinos. therefore, seems to have distinguished in every object two elements, matter and form (II. 4.1; II. 5.2). Matter inheres potentially in all beings (II. 5.3, 4) and therefore is non-being, ugliness, and evil (i. 6.6). Form is the actualization (K. Steinhart’s Mclemata Plotiniana, p. 31: II. 5.2) ; that is, the essence and power (VI. 4.9), which are inseparable. Form alone possesses real existence, beauty and goodness. Form has four degrees: idea, reason, nature and habit; which degrees are the same as those of thought and life (Porphyry, Principles 12, 13. 14). The idea is distinguished into ’idea" or intelligible Form, or "eidos," principle of human intellectual life. Reason is 1. divine (theios logos, i. 6, 2; the reason that comes from the universal Soul, IV. 3.10), 2, human (principle of the rational life, see Ficinus on II. 6.2); 3, the seminal or generative reason (principle of the life of sensation, which imparts to the body the sense-form, "morphe," II. 3.12-end; Bouillet. i. 365). Now reasons reside in the soul (II. 4.12), and are simultaneously essences and powers (VI. 4.9), and as powers produce the nature, and as essences, the habits. Now nature ("physis") is the principle of the vegetative life, and habit, "hexis," Numenius. fr. 55, see II. 4.16. is the principle of unity of inorganic things.