Plotinus, Enneads

LCL 443: 280-281

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Plotinus: Ennead IV. 5.


1. Ἐπεὶ δὲ ὑπερεθέμεθα σκέψασθαι, εἰ μηδενὸς ὄντος μεταξὺ ἔστιν ὁρᾶν οἷον ἀέρος ἢ ἄλλου τινὸς τοῦ λεγομένου διαφανοῦς σώματος, νῦν σκεπτέον. ὅτι μὲν οὖν διὰ σώματός τινος δεῖ τὸ ὁρᾶν καὶ 5ὅλως τὸ αἰσθάνεσθαι γίνεσθαι, εἴρηται· ἄνευ μὲν γὰρ σώματος πάντη ἐν τῷ νοητῷ τὴν ψυχὴν εἶναι. τοῦ δὲ αἰσθάνεσθαι ὄντος ἀντιλήψεως οὐ νοητῶν, ἀλλὰ αἰσθητῶν μόνον, δεῖ πως τὴν ψυχὴν συναφῆ γενομένην τοῖς αἰσθητοῖς διὰ τῶν προσομοίων κοινωνίαν τινὰ πρὸς αὐτὰ γνώσεως ἢ παθήματος 10ποιεῖσθαι. διὸ καὶ δι᾿ ὀργάνων σωματικῶν ἡ γνῶσις· διὰ γὰρ τούτων οἷον συμφυῶν ἢ συνεχῶν ὄντων οἷον εἰς ἕν πως πρὸς αὐτὰ τὰ αἰσθητὰ ἰέναι, ὁμοπαθείας τινὸς οὕτω πρὸς αὐτὰ γινομένης. εἰ οὖν δεῖ συναφήν τινα πρὸς τὰ γινωσκόμενα γίνεσθαι, 15περὶ μὲν τῶν ὅσα ἁφῇ τινι γινώσκεται, τί ἄν τις ζητοῖ; περὶ δὲ τῆς ὁράσεως—εἰ δὲ καὶ περὶ τῆς ἀκοῆς, ὕστερον—ἀλλὰ περὶ τοῦ ὁρᾶν, εἰ δεῖ τι


On Difficulties About The Soul III

IV. 5. On Difficulties About the Soul III, or on Sight

1. Since we undertook1 to investigate whether it is possible to see without any medium, like air or some other body of the kind called transparent, we must now carry out the investigation. Now we have said that seeing, and in general sense-perception, must take place by means of some body; for without body the soul is wholly in the intelligible world. Since sense-perception is an apprehension, not of intelligible objects, but of sense-objects alone, the soul must somehow be connected with sense-objects through things which are very much like them and establish a sort of communion of knowledge or affection with them. This is why this knowledge comes through bodily organs; for through these, which are in a way naturally united to or continuous with sense-objects, the soul must somehow in some way come to a unity with the sense-objects themselves, and so a sort of common affection with them must arise. If then there must be a connection with the objects which are being known, why should one investigate all the things which are known by some kind of touch? But about seeing—we shall discuss later if we also ought to include hearing—but about sight, we must enquire whether there must be

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.plotinus-enneas.1969