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Plotino - Tratado 12,10 (II, 4, 10) — Como o Intelecto percebe a matéria

Enéada II, 4, 10

terça-feira 7 de junho de 2022, por Cardoso de Castro

      

Míguez

10. Pero, ¿cómo estimar la falta de magnitud en la materia? ¿Y cómo pensar   la materia desprovista de cualidad? ¿Qué pensamiento y qué idea   forjaréis de ella en vuestra mente  ? No sería otra que la misma indeterminación). Porque si lo semejante dice relación a lo semejante, igualmente lo indeterminado   hará referencia a lo indeterminado. Podría hacerse de lo indeterminado una razón determinada, pero la impresión que seguiríamos teniendo sería aún indeterminada. Si todo lo que se conoce se conoce realmente por la razón y por el pensamiento en cuanto a la materia es la razón la que lo dice todo, aunque al querer aprehenderla, como pensamiento no sólo no llega a él sino que lo niega radicalmente, obtendremos de la materia una representación bastarda e ilegítima, forjada sobre lo otro, que no es una realidad verdadera, y conformada también con él.

Ya Platón   formulaba esta hipótesis al afirmar   que la materia es aprehendida por un razonamiento bastardo. ¿En qué consiste, pues, la indeterminación del alma  ? ¿Se trata acaso de una completa ignorancia, de una ausencia de todo conocimiento? No; lo indeterminado es algo de carácter afirmativo. En cuanto al ojo, por ejemplo, la oscuridad es la materia de todo color   visible; y así, el alma se nos ofrece privando a los objetos sensibles de todas aquellas cosas que son en ellos como una luz, sin que pueda precisar todo lo, demás, esto es, se hace en la oscuridad, semejante al ojo que también se vuelve lo mismo que aquellos objetos que ve.

Pero, ¿podemos afirmar que el alma ve? Sí, en la medida en que puede ver la realidad deforme, carente de color, privada de luz, e incluso desprovista de magnitud; porque, si así no fuese, entonces le daría una forma. Más, esta impresión recibida por el alma, ¿no trae consigo el que el alma no piense? Digamos que, cuando el alma no piensa en nada, tampoco llega a afirmar nada, y aun más, no experimenta cosa alguna; ahora bien, cuando piensa en la materia, recibe en sí misma una impronta de lo que no tiene forma. E, igualmente, cuando el alma piensa en objetos que tienen forma y magnitud, los piensa como objetos compuestos; porque son para ella como cosas coloreadas y dotadas en absoluto   de cualidades. Como el alma piensa en el todo piensa también en sus dos componentes: uno   de ellos, el pensamiento o la sensación   de los atributos, resulta desde luego evidente  ; el otro (la percepción), de un sujeto que carece de forma, permanece oscuro, dado que el sujeto no es una forma.

Lo que el alma aprehende en ese todo, compuesto con los atributos, puede desligarlo y separarlo de ellos; y, a su vez, lo que queda, lo piensa de manera oscura porque ya es de por sí oscuro, y, por esta misma oscuridad, lo piensa sin realmente pensarlo. Puesto que la materia no subsiste sin forma, sino que, al contrario, debe disponer de una forma en todas las cosas, el alma, conturbada por su indeterminación, lanza al punto sobre ella la forma de los objetos, cual si temiese quedar fuera de los seres al no elevarse en seguida sobre el no-ser.

Bouillet

X. Comment donc [me direz-vous] concevoir la matière sans quantité? — Comment [répondrai-je] la concevez-vous sans qualité? — Mais par quelle conception, par quelle intuition   peut-on l’atteindre ? Par l’indétermination même de l’âme. Puisque ce qui connaît doit être semblable à ce qui est connu (33), l’indéterminé doit être saisi par l’indéterminé. La raison peut être déterminée par rapport à l’indéterminé; mais le regard qu’elle jette sur lui est indéterminé. Si chaque chose est connue par la raison et par l’intelligence, la raison ici nous dit de la matière ce qu’elle doit nous en dire; en voulant concevoir la matière d’une manière intellectuelle, l’intelligence arrive à un état qui est l’absence d’intelligence (ἄνοια), ou plutôt elle se forme de la matière une image bâtarde, illégitime, provenant de l’autre, qui n’est pas vrai, et composée avec l’autre raison (34). Voilà pourquoi Platon a dit que la matière est perçue par un raisonnement bâtard (λογισμῷ νόθῳ) (35). En quoi consiste l’indétermination de l’âme? Est-ce dans une ignorance absolue, une absence complète de toute connaissance? Non : l’indéterminé de l’âme implique quelque chose de positif [outre quelque chose de négatif]. Comme l’obscurité est pour l’œil la matière de toute couleur invisible, l’âme, en faisant abstraction dans les objets sensibles de toutes les choses qui en sont en quelque sorte la lumière, ne peut déterminer ce qui reste alors, et, de même que l’œil dans les ténèbres [devient semblable aux ténèbres], l’âme devient semblable à ce qu’elle voit. Voit-elle donc alors quelque chose? Oui, sans doute : elle voit quelque chose qui n’a ni figure, ni couleur, ni lumière, ni grandeur même (36). Si cette chose avait une grandeur, l’âme lui prêterait une forme.

Quand l’âme ne pense rien, n’est-elle pas dans un état identique à ce qu’elle éprouve quand elle pense à la matière? Non : quand l’âme ne pense rien, elle n’affirme rien, elle n’éprouve rien. Quand elle pense à la matière, elle éprouve quelque chose, elle reçoit l’impression de l’informe (τύπος τοῦ ἀμόρφου). Quand elle se représente les objets qui ont une forme et une grandeur, elle les conçoit comme composés ; car elle les voit distingués (37) et déterminés par les qualités qu’ils contiennent. Elle conçoit donc le tout et les deux éléments qui le forment. Elle a ainsi une perception claire, une sensation vive des propriétés inhérentes [à la matière]. Au contraire elle n’a qu’une perception obscure du sujet informe, parce que là il n’y a pas de forme (38). Donc, quand l’âme considère la matière dans le tout, dans le composé, avec les qualités inhérentes à ce composé, elle les sépare, les analyse, et ce que la raison laisse [après cette analyse], l’âme le perçoit vaguement, obscurément, parce que c’est une chose vague, obscure; elle le pense sans le penser réellement. D’un autre côté, comme la matière ne reste pas informe, qu’elle a toujours une forme dans les objets, l’âme lui impose toujours la forme des choses, parce qu’elle supporte avec peine l’indéterminé, parce qu’elle semble craindre de sortir de l’ordre des êtres et de s’arrêter longtemps au non-être.

Guthrie

BY ABSTRACTION, THE SOUL CAN FIND AND DES-CRl&iTHE QUALITY-LESS THING-IN-ITSELF : THIS PROCESS IS CALLED "BASTARD REASONING."

10. (Some objector) might ask how one could conceive of matter without quantity? This might be answered by a retort. How then do you (as you do) manage to conceive of it-without quality? Do you again object, by what conception or intelligence could it be reached ? By the very indétermination of the soul. Since that which knows must be similar to that which is known (as Aristotle21 quotes from Empedocles  ), the indeterminate must be grasped by the indeterminate. Reason, indeed, may be determined in respect to the indeterminate; but the glance which reason directs on the indeterminate itself is indeterminate. If everything were known by reason and by intelligence, reason here tells us about matter what reason rightly should tell us about it. By wishing to conceive of matter in an intellectual manner, intelligence arrives at a state which is the absence of intelligence, or rather, reason forms of matter a "bastard" or "illegitimate" image, which is derived from the other, which is not true, and which is composed of the other (deceptive material called) reason. That is why Plato said that matter is perceived by a "bastard reasoning." In what does the indétermination of the soul consist? In an absolute ignorance, or in a complete absence of all knowledge ? No : the indeterminate condition of the soul implies something positive (besides something negative). As for the eye, darkness is the matter of all invisible color, so the soul, by making abstraction in sense  -objects of all things that somehow are luminous, cannot determine what then remains; and likewise, as the eye, in darkness (becomes assimilated to darkness), the soul becomes assimilated to what she sees. Does she then see anything else? Doubtless, she sees something without figure, without color, without light, or even without magnitude. If this thing had any magnitude, the soul would lend it a form.

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MENTAL BLANK AND IMPRESSION OF THE SHAPELESS.

(An objector might ask) whether there be identity of conditions between the soul’s not thinking, and her experience while thinking of matter? By no means; when the soul is not thinking of anything, she neither asserts anything, nor experiences anything. When she thinks of matter, she experiences something, she receives the impression of the shapeless. When she presents to herself objects that possess shape and magnitude, she conceives of them as composite; for she sees them as distinct (or, colored? ) and determined by qualities they contain. She conceives of both the totality and its two constituent elements. She also has a clear perception, a vivid sensation of properties inherent (in matter). On the contrary, the soul receives only an obscure perception of the shapeless subject, for there is no form there. Therefore, when the soul considers matter in general, in the composite, with the qualities inherent in this composite, she separates them, analyzes them, and what is left (after this analysis  ), the soul perceives it vaguely, and obscurely, because it is something vague and obscure; she thinks it, without really thinking it. On the other hand, as matter does not remain shapeless, as it is always shaped, within objects, the soul always imposes on matter the form of things, because only with difficulty does she support the indeterminate, since she seems to fear to fall out of the order of beings, and to remain long in nonentity.

Taylor

X. What, therefore, is that which is void of magnitude in matter ? What, also, do you conceive that to be which is in a certain way void of quality ? And what is the intellection and the perception of it by the reasoning power ? Shall we say it is indefiniteness ? For if the similar is perceived by the similar, the indefinite also will be apprehended by the indefinite. Reason, therefore, will become hounded about the indefinite ; but the intuition of it will be indefinite. If, however, every thing is known by reason and intelligence, but here, reason indeed says what it is requisite to say about it, and wishing to become intelligence, is not intelligence, but, as it were, a privation of intellect, — if this be the case, the phantasm of matter will rather be spurious, and not genuine, being composed of an imagination which is not true, and another kind of reason. And perhaps, Plato, looking to this, says, [in the Timams] that matter is apprehended by a spurious reasoning. What, therefore, is the indefiniteness of the soul ? Is it an all-perfect ignorance, such as the absence [of knowledge] ? Or does the indefinite consist in a certain negation in conjunction with a certain affirmation ; and is it like darkness to the eye, obscurity being the matter of every invisible colour ? Thus, therefore, the soul also, taking away whatever in sensibles resembles light, and not being able to bound what remains, is similar to the eye placed in darkness, and then becomes in a certain respect the same with that which, as it were, it sees. Does it therefore see? Perhaps it sees matter as something deformed, and as void of colour, and void of light; and besides this, as not having magnitude, since if it had, it would be invested with form. When, therefore, the soul understands nothing, is she not affected in the same manner as when she sees matter? By no means. For when she understands nothing, she says nothing, or rather, she suffers nothing. But when she beholds matter, she suffers such a passion as when she receives the resemblance of that which is formless; since also when she understands things that have figure and magnitude, she understands them as composites. For she understands them as things diversified, and in short as possessing qualities. Hence, she understands the whole, and at the same time both, and her intellection or sensation of the inherent properties is clear and manifest. But her perception of a formless subject is obscure; for it is not form. When, therefore, in the whole and composite, she receives the subject together with its inherent properties, and analyzes and separates them, then she understands obscurely that which reason leaves, darkly that which is dark, and sees intellectually, not understanding. And since matter itself does not remain formless, but in [sensible] things is invested with form, the soul also immidiately impresses it with the form of things, being pained with the indefinite, as if afraid of being placed out of the order of beings, and not enduring to stop any longer at nonentity.

MacKenna

10. But how can I form the conception of the sizelessness of Matter?

How do you form the concept of any absence of quality? What is the Act of the Intellect, what is the mental approach, in such a case?

The secret is Indetermination.

Likeness knows its like: the indeterminate knows the indeterminate. Around this indefinite a definite conception will be realized, but the way lies through indefiniteness.

All knowledge comes by Reason and the Intellectual Act; in this case Reason conveys information in any account it gives, but the act which aims at being intellectual is, here, not intellection but rather its failure: therefore the representation of Matter must be spurious, unreal, something sprung of the Alien, of the unreal, and bound up with the alien reason.

This is Plato’s meaning where he says that Matter is apprehended by a sort of spurious reasoning.

What, then, is this indetermination in the Soul? Does it amount to an utter absence of Knowledge, as if the Soul or Mind had withdrawn?

No: the indeterminate has some footing in the sphere of affirmation. The eye is aware of darkness as a base capable of receiving any colour not yet seen against it: so the Mind, putting aside all attributes perceptible to sense - all that corresponds to light - comes upon a residuum which it cannot bring under determination: it is thus in the state of the eye which, when directed towards darkness, has become in some way identical with the object of its spurious vision.

There is vision, then, in this approach of the Mind towards Matter?

Some vision, yes; of shapelessness, of colourlessness, of the unlit, and therefore of the sizeless. More than this would mean that the Soul is already bestowing Form.

But is not such a void precisely what the Soul experiences when it has no intellection whatever?

No: in that case it affirms nothing, or rather has no experience: but in knowing Matter, it has an experience, what may be described as the impact of the shapeless; for in its very consciousness of objects that have taken shape and size it knows them as compounds [i.e., as possessing with these forms a formless base] for they appear as things that have accepted colour and other quality.

It knows, therefore, a whole which includes two components; it has a clear Knowledge or perception of the overlie [the Ideas] but only a dim awareness of the underlie, the shapeless which is not an Ideal-Principle.

With what is perceptible to it there is presented something else: what it can directly apprehend it sets on one side as its own; but the something else which Reason rejects, this, the dim, it knows dimly, this, the dark, it knows darkly, this it knows in a sort of non-knowing.

And just as even Matter itself is not stably shapeless but, in things, is always shaped, the Soul also is eager to throw over it the thing-form; for the Soul recoils from the indefinite, dreads, almost, to be outside of reality, does not endure   to linger about Non-Being.