The Silence of Socrates: The One and the Many in Plato’s Parmenides
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Parmenides was not a metaphysician (he was a materialist), so there is no such thing as Parmenidean metaphysics. Plato’s Parmenides, however, offers metaphysical insights otherwise overlooked by readers unfamiliar to what St. Thomas Aquinas offers concerning the One and the Many. This article highlights some of these insights and will interest students of St. Thomas. It might also acquaint students of Plato to a more perfect metaphysics, and it could even corrode the beliefs of others who maintain that there is no such thing as metaphysics. The fact that none of the sciences may dispense with the first science is brought heavily to bear upon the reader of the Parmenides, who finds it otherwise impossible to resolve any of the difficulties attendant upon reconciling the One and the Many. The many apparent contradictions between the One and the Many displayed in Plato’s Parmenides really cannot be solved without sound metaphysics, and sound metaphysics cannot proceed unaided by St. Thomas and his inheritors. Go to Thomas to understand Plato’s Parmenides.
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