20 Jan 2022

The Other Side of Italian Thought

Emanuele Severino
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).


ICI Berlin
(Click for further documentation)


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

In English

First published on:
Rights: © ICI Berlin
Cite as: The Other Side of Italian Thought: Emanuele Severino, symposium, ICI Berlin, 20 January 2022 <>