The Nature of Predication in Parmenides
Maki, Nicholas Clark
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Among the many difficulties with which Parmenides of Elea has left us is that of finding a way to reconcile the two accounts of reality given by his Goddess. First, she delivers a sustained argument for ontological monism, but then quickly turns away from it to describe the opinions of mortals, which she reminds us has no share of the truth which was attributed to her first account. On the one hand, monism utterly compromises both individuation and change, while Parmenides claims that mortal opinions, on the other hand, are mistaken and ultimately end in contradiction. I argue that the key to unifying Parmenides' poem lies in understanding the important role that predication plays in defining and distinguishing these two accounts of reality. I conclude that the application of predicates to what-is turns mortal thinkers away from the path of Being, which itself cannot bear any description.