Nothingness and ineffability


  • Marco Simionato



The present work deals with the contemporary debate about the question of nothingness, especially focusing on Emanuele Severino’s solution (1981) to the related aporia. After an overview of the main accounts of nothingness (§1), I argue that they seem to have difficulties to dispel the classic aporia of nothingness (§2). Then I recall the account of nothingness by Emanuele Severino (1981; 2013) and the solution he proposed to the puzzle of nothingness (§3). Despite the criticism against it (§4), I argue that the solution by Severino could still be the most promising if we revamped his account within the question of ineffability and the so‐called “apophaticism” (§5). To this end, first I compare Severino’s solution with Chien‐Hsing Ho’s solution (2006) to the so‐called paradox of ineffability (§6). Secondly (§7), I underpin Severino’s account of nothingness by appealing to the notion of conceptual ineffability by Shaw (2013) and the relation of entailment between an ineffable insight and the effable consequences such an insight might generate, as suggested by Kukla (2005). The outcome is a revamped account of nothingness that could reply to some of the main objections against the solution by Severino (§8), whilst leaving some questions open (§9).