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Severino and Derrida: some remarks on the parricide as logocentrism

Paul Livingston, in his Logic of Being, starts out reminding us of the battle of gods and giants at stake in Plato's Sophist according to Heidegger. To the association of being with ousia is connected the very psycho-logic of permanence underneath changing appearances. Reading the Sophist with Severino makes one hint at a connection between the parricide (the introduction of nothingness as a possible object of thought - and consideration) and the link between being and ousia. And, as a consequence, of the origin of the metaphysics of presence in the gesture that introduced nothingness to (Greek) thought.

Severino's Parmenides holds that whatever is is permanent. Appearances, to be sure, come and go, but nothing is lost, degenerated or annihilated. Being remains, but it is shown only partially always, it depends on what is exposed and nothing is fully exposed at once - because time passes only in order to make appearances come about. Think about it as a book with bits that are read but everything cannot be read at once. It is as if the reader goes through it - at her leisure - but the read bits and the ones not read are still there, in the text. What appears as present to the reader is an effect of the text - but nothing is lost, there is no nothing, things are kept in the text, albeit the order of time impressed by the reader (that could be an order unrelated to the order of the text) is makes what is present fade. 

Ousiai would be like the notes that a reader takes to summarize the text - an aide-memoire. These other text is present in full and the forgetting of what has been read (the annihilation of what has been read) is remedied by something that is placed in safety: something that remains even when everything falls into nothingness. The thought of ousia and its urgency is a consequence of the parricide that dissolves the underlying text, the permanence of everything irrespective of the appearances. The parricide is logocentric in the sense that it exorcises from being anything that has a graphematic structure. On the contrary, being is then considered to be self-standing presences (ousiai) that are like the aide-memoire, like what is really meant by the graphematic structure. Presence is like the reading without text, like the summary that is fully present as a vouloir-dire underneath the text that remains under the many layers of interpretation - a self-standing, logocentric presence.


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