MacKenna: Tratado 12,15 (II,4,15) — A matéria e o ilimitado

15. The further question, therefore, is raised whether boundlessness and indetermination are things lodging in something other than themselves as a sort of attribute and whether Privation [or Negation of quality] is also an attribute residing in some separate substratum.

Now all that is Number and Reason-Principle is outside of boundlessness: these bestow bound and settlement and order in general upon all else: neither anything that has been brought under order nor any Order-Absolute is needed to bring them under order. The thing that has to be brought under order [e.g., Matter] is other than the Ordering Principle which is Limit and Definiteness and Reason-Principle. Therefore, necessarily, the thing to be brought under order and to definiteness must be in itself a thing lacking delimitation.

Now Matter is a thing that is brought under order – like all that shares its nature by participation or by possessing the same principle – therefore, necessarily, Matter is The Undelimited and not merely the recipient of a nonessential quality of Indefiniteness entering as an attribute.

For, first, any attribute to any subject must be a Reason-Principle; and Indefiniteness is not a Reason-Principle.

Secondly, what must a thing be to take Indefiniteness as an attribute? Obviously it must, beforehand, be either Definiteness or a defined thing. But Matter is neither.

Then again Indefiniteness entering as an attribute into the definite must cease to be indefinite: but Indefiniteness has not entered as an attribute into Matter: that is, Matter is essentially Indefiniteness.

The Matter even of the Intellectual Realm is the Indefinite, [the undelimited]; it must be a thing generated by the undefined nature, the illimitable nature, of the Eternal Being, The One illimitableness, however, not possessing native existence There but engendered by The One.

But how can Matter be common to both spheres, be here and be There?

Because even Indefiniteness has two phases.

But what difference can there be between phase and phase of Indefiniteness?

The difference of archetype and image.

So that Matter here [as only an image of Indefiniteness] would be less indefinite?

On the contrary, more indefinite as an Image-thing remote from true being. Indefiniteness is the greater in the less ordered object; the less deep in good, the deeper in evil. The Indeterminate in the Intellectual Realm, where there is truer being, might almost be called merely an Image of Indefiniteness: in this lower Sphere where there is less Being, where there is a refusal of the Authentic, and an adoption of the Image-Kind, Indefiniteness is more authentically indefinite.

But this argument seems to make no difference between the indefinite object and Indefiniteness-essential. Is there none?

In any object in which Reason and Matter co-exist we distinguish between Indeterminateness and the Indeterminate subject: but where Matter stands alone we make them identical, or, better, we would say right out that in that case essential Indeterminateness is not present; for it is a Reason-Principle and could not lodge in the indeterminate object without at once annulling the indeterminateness.

Matter, then, must be described as Indefinite of itself, by its natural opposition to Reason-Principle. Reason is Reason and nothing else; just so Matter, opposed by its indeterminateness to Reason, is Indeterminateness and nothing else.