Emanuele Severino and the Principle of Non-Contradiction


  • Graham Priest Pensa MultiMedia Editore


Emanuele Severino’s philosophy is one of great breadth and profundity – and one that has been largely closed to those, such as myself, who cannot read Italian. Here, I aim to examine only one small part of it, though a part which is clearly central. Severino’s thought revolves around the Neo-Parmenidean claim that there is no change; and so, in particular, if something exists it has always existed and will always exist. As he puts it, ‘if Being were to become, it would not be – before its birth and after its corruption. Thus, all being is immutable: neither issuing from nor returning to nothingness, Being is eternal’ (p. 86)1. He infers this as a corollary of the Principle of Non-Contradiction (PNC). My interest here is not with change, but with the PNC itself, and in particular, Severino’s defence of it.