Parmenides' poem presents a riddle in its simultaneous rejection of the way of nonbeing and of the "mortal" way of seeking truth in contingent being and its subsequent account of contingent being in the so-called Way of Opinion. This paper argues that we can best interpret the status of the Way of Opinion (and of the Proem), and of the beings that they recount, by accepting the reality of contingent being and seeing a link between necessary and contingent being, a link that is itself necessary because it lies at the heart of what it means to be. We can make the best sense of Parmenides' poem as a whole by seeing the cosmos of contingent beings as the self-manifestation of necessary being, and the misunderstanding of "mortals" not in their acceptance of the reality of contingent beings but in their failure to grasp the distinction and the connection between the modes of being.


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pp. 421-454
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