Sunday, January 23, 2011

Ficino's translation of Plotinus on Numbers

see also Bradshaw on Plotinus' concept of energeia

Ficino's Plotinus Ennead 6.6.1 De numeris

Quaerendum videtur in primis, numquid multitudo
sit discessus distantiaque ab uno, ideoque infinitas ipsa
extremus sit ab unitate discessus, propterea quod haec sit
innumerabilis multitudo, atque ob hoc ipsum infinitas
malum sit, nosque mali simus, quando multitudo sumus.
Tunc enim quodlibet multum fit, quando, non potens
penes idem in se ipso manere, diffunditur, et extenditur
jam dispersum : et quando in ipsa diffusione prorsus uno
privatur, fit multitudo, ubi deest, quod partem aliam cum
alia uniat. Sin autem adsit (quidam conciliator), tunc,
quod fusum est, permanendo fit magnitudo. Sed quidnam
est in magnitudine mali? Profecto, si persentiret, pateret
in ea malum. Sentiret enim res illa, se a se ipsa jam pro-
cul abiise. Unumquodquoe sane non aliud expetit, sed se
ipsum. Progressus autem ad externa factus vel vanus est,
vel certe coactus. Praecipue vero est unumquodque, non
quando fit multum, aut magnum, sed quando sui ipsius
exsistit : sui vero ipsius est, quando solum sibimet annuit
[s. ad se vergit]. Quod autem appetit sic fieri magnum,
ignorat, quid re vera sit magnum, festinatque, quo non
expedit, sed extra prorumpit. Ad se autem vergere, est
intus assidue permanere : testatur id praecipue, quod elli-
citur magnitudine. Si enim extra protrabitur, adeo ut
unaquaeque partium ipsius exsistat, singulae quidem partes
erunt, sed non ipsum proprie, quod ab initio. Sin vero
ipsum, opportet partes omnes ad unum verti, adeo ut illud
exsistat, quando quoquo modo unum est, non quando ma-
gnum: quam ob rem propter ipsam magnitudinem, et
quantum est in ea, a se ipso disperditur. Quatenus autem
habet unum, habet quoque se ipsum: verumtamen uni-
versum magnum est et pulchrum : sed idcirco pulchrum
est, quoniam non est permissum ad infinitatem prorsus
effugere, sed est unitate comprehensum. Jam vero pul-
chrum est non magnitudine quidem ipsa, sed potius pulchri-
tudine : atqui idcirco indiguit pulchritudine, quia factum
est magnum. Quandoquidem, si hoc foret ab ipsa pulchri-
tudine distitutum, quatenus magnum est, quod indiget orna-
mento. Haque quod magnum est, si a pulchritudine
secernatur, magis est inornatum magisque turpe.

Google Translate:

We must ask in the first place it seems, did the multitude of
distantiaque is a departure from one, and therefore an infinite number of very
is the last departure from the unity, because this is
An innumerable multitude, and for the very fact an infinite number of
evil is upon us we may be evil, when we are the multitude.
For then, much is made of any kind, when, unable to
to remain the same in the hands of himself poured forth, and extends
now scattered: and when the diffusion in the very one at all
is deprived of, it becomes the multitude, wherein is wanting, with another part of that other unite. But if there is (some promoter), then,
that is poured, is made to remain greatness. But what
is in the magnitude of the evil? Indeed, if the persentiret, should be open
evil in it. For he perceived that thing, now to itself from the very-
abiise worship. Unumquodquoe seeks, indeed, nothing else, but
him. It is vain to foreign and progress was made or,
or at least compelled. In particular, each one is, however, not
when it is made much, or to be great, but only when its own
exists, but his is his, to them He granted only when the
[S. side lies to himself]. But the fact that desires thus become great,
knowing what is in truth the great, yet festinatque which he did not
it is expedient, but without breaks out. That he himself would lead to, is
constantly to remain within: that testifies in particular, that the Ellis-
is said greatness. For if protrabitur outside, so that each of the parties turns up, the individual parts will be, but not very properly, that from the beginning. But if the him, all the parts of opportet turned to one, so much so that it may be turns up, when one is in any way, not when ma-kingdom: for which cause because of the magnitude, and insofar as it is in it, himself perish. As the has one, has also himself: but yet, to one-verse is a great and beautiful, but beautiful therefore is, since it is not permitted at all the infinity of to escape, but it is the unity of the whole extent. Now, however, dust-chrum, the is not by quantity, but rather beautiful-size: in need and therefore beauty, because it came to pass is great. Since, if this would be by the beauty size deserter with expulsion, insofar as it is a great thing, which needs to furnish the chin. Haque is a great thing that, if a beauty be separated, it is more and more unadorned it is disgraceful.

6. In considering Relation we must enquire whether it possesses the community of a genus, or whether it may on other grounds be treated as a unity. Above all, has Relation- for example, that of right and left, double and half- any actuality? Has it, perhaps, actuality in some cases only, as for instance in what is termed "posterior" but not in what is termed "prior"? Or is its actuality in no case conceivable? What meaning, then, are we to attach to double and half and all other cases of less and more; to habit and disposition, reclining, sitting, standing; to father, son, master, slave; to like, unlike, equal, unequal; to active and passive, measure and measured; or again to knowledge and sensation, as related respectively to the knowable and the sensible? Knowledge, indeed, may be supposed to entail in relation to the known object some actual entity corresponding to that object's Ideal Form, and similarly with sensation as related to the sense-object. The active will perform some constant function in relation to the passive, as will the measure in relation to the measured. But what will emerge from the relation of like to like? Nothing will emerge. Likeness is the inherence of qualitative identity; its entire content is the quality present in the two objects. From equality, similarly, nothing emerges. The relation merely presupposes the existence of a quantitative identity;- is nothing but our judgement comparing objects essentially independent and concluding, "This and that have the same magnitude, the same quality; this has produced that; this is superior to that." Again, what meaning can sitting and standing have apart from sitter and stander? The term "habit" either implies a having, in which case it signifies possession, or else it arises from something had, and so denotes quality; and similarly with disposition. What then in these instances can be the meaning of correlatives apart from our conception of their juxtaposition? "Greater" may refer to very different magnitudes; "different" to all sorts of objects: the comparison is ours; it does not lie in the things themselves. Right and left, before and behind, would seem to belong less to the category of Relation than to that of Situation. Right means "situated at one point," left means "situated at another." But the right and left are in our conception, nothing of them in the things themselves. Before and after are merely two times; the relation is again of our making.
Ennead 6.6. in the MacKenna translation

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