Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy

Volume 11, Issue 1, Fall 2006

William Franke
Pages 141-171

Praising the Unsayable
An Apophatic Defense of Metaphysics on the Basis of the Neoplatonic Parmenides Commentaries

This essay represents a contribution to rewriting the history metaphysics in terms of what philosophy never said, nor could say. It works from the Neoplatonic commentary tradition on Plato’s Parmenides as the matrix for a distinctively apophatic thinking that takes the truth of metaphysical doctrines as something other than anything that can be logically articulated. The hymn is taken to epitomize the kind of discourse that arises in the wake of apophatic negation and witnesses to what the Logos cannot say. The essay contends that metaphysics as a discourse of the unspeakable may prove more viable than any purely logical system could.