Contemporary Italian philosophy has become recognized internationally as a distinct tradition, often associated with a post-Foucauldian notion of biopolitics and essayistic forms enabling a quick reaction to the affairs of the day yet without compromising the systematic ambitions of philosophical thought. But Emanuele Severino (1929–2020) shows a radically different side of Italian philosophy: unabashedly metaphysical, uncompromisingly Parmenidean, and increasingly recognized as one of the most remarkable and challenging thinkers of the twentieth century — in the words of Italian philosopher Massimo Cacciari, the only alternative to Martin Heidegger.

Over the course of six decades, from La struttura originaria (1958) to Testimoniando il destino (2019), Severino developed a most original and untimely philosophical project, which attempts to think the relationship between nihilism and the tradition of the West, the incontrovertibility of the truth of being, the contradiction of becoming, the eternity of all beings. Severino came to refer to his work as to ‘the language that testifies to destiny’, namely a testimony to the eternal and necessary structure of the appearing and disappearing of the eternal beings — the ‘destiny of necessity’ (Destino della necessità, 1980).

The symposium The Other Side of Italian Thought: Emanuele Severino aims to introduce the principal axes along which Severino’s thought can be unfolded to an international audience. The symposium thus joins an increasing number of international projects of the last few years: the first edited translation into English of one of Severino’s most important works, The Essence of Nihilism (2016, A. Carrera and I. Testoni, eds), the foundation of an international journal dedicated to Severino’s thought, Eternity & Contradiction: Journal of Fundamental Ontology (G. Goggi, ed.), as well as the forthcoming English translations of Severino’s Law and Chance (Legge e caso, 1979) and Beyond Language (Oltre il linguaggio, 1992) (trans. D. Sacco).

In English

14:00 Introduction

14:15-15:15 Part I
Identity and Contradiction

Giulio Goggi: Identity and Eternity of Every Being

Fabio Farotti: The Secret of the World

Marco Vasile: Negation in Severino’s Philosophy

15:30-16:30 Part II
Time and Eternity

Alessandro Carrera: Every Child is a Severino Scholar: The Stubborn Persistence
of the Past and the Contradiction of Being Born in Time

Ines Testoni: Severino’s Eternity Between Death Anxiety and Dying

16:45-17:30 Part III
Law and Chance

Damiano Sacco: Science and Metaphysics

Fabio Scardigli: Determinism and Free Will

17:45-18:30 Part IV
Mind and Metaphysics

Federico Perelda: Severino and Contemporary Analytic Metaphysics

Michelangelo Stanzani Maserati: The Concept of Mind and its Relationship with the Body and Consciousness: A Perspective from Severino’s Indication

19:30 Lectures and Discussion
(in person and online)

Emanuele Severino: The Language that Testifies to Destiny

With Luca Illetterati and Ugo Perone


Alessandro Carrera
Fabio Farotti
Giulio Goggi
Michelangelo Stanzani Maserati
Federico Perelda
Damiano Sacco
Fabio Scardigli
Ines Testoni
Marco Vasile

Organized by

Giulio Goggi, Federico Perelda, Damiano Sacco, and Ines Testoni

In cooperation with FISSPA University of Padua, the Istituto Italiano di Cultura di Berlino and the Italienzentrum of the Freie Universität Berlin

The audience is presumed to consent to a possible recording on the part of the ICI Berlin.
If you would like to attend the event yet might require assistance, please contact Event Management.

KV Severino

Image Credit © Federico Perelda