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Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy

Volume 23, Issue 2, Spring 2019

Pieter d’Hoine
Pages 461-470
DOI: 10.5840/epoche2019327141

Proclus and Self-Predication

In Proclus, like in Plato, we find statements about the Forms that at least appear to allow self-predication of Forms. In his discussion of the Parmenides’s Third Man Argument (TMA), however, Proclus argues that Forms and their participants are not synonymous, which means that the property that the Form causes in its participants cannot be predicated of the Form itself. In this paper, I try to show how such seemingly self-predicative statements about the Forms are to be understood in the context of Proclus’ metaphysics. I will argue that, in Proclus, statements such as ‘(only) the Form of Large is truly Large’ should be considered what I will call ‘causal predications’. Causal predication does not attribute any property to a subject, but only concerns the subject’s causal efficacy in relation to that property.