By Denis Guénoun

The idea of the common used to be born within the lands we now name Europe, but it's exactly the common that's Europe's undoing. All eu politics is stuck in a rigidity: to say a ecu id is to be open to multiplicity, yet this very openness may possibly dissolve Europe as such. This booklet displays on Europe and its altering barriers over the span of twenty centuries. a piece of philosophy, it continuously attracts on concrete occasions. From historical Greece and Rome, to Christianity, to the Reformation, to the nationwide revolutions of the 20 th century, what we this day name "Europe" has been a succession of initiatives within the identify of ecclesia or neighborhood. Empire, Church, and european: all were developed unlike an Oriental "other." The stakes of Europe, then, are as a lot metaphysical as political. Redefining a sequence of key thoughts similar to global, position, transportation, and the typical, this e-book sheds gentle on Europe as method via attractive with the main major philosophical debates at the topic, together with the paintings of Marx, Husserl, Heidegger, Patocka, and Nancy.

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The first posits that the movement of expansion of the universal was born in Europe—by virtue of the fact that this movement was born in Greece, and that Greece is in Europe. Against this double supposition, which amiably presents itself as self-evident, it requires once more to be asserted that Europe, like all things on this earth, has to be thought of in terms of constitution, process, and development—of history. Any eternity, even recently formed, is a mirage—a fetish. It is not thanks to a matter-of-fact distribution of land (of continents) on the surface of the planet that there is a “Europe” or even “some” Europe, nor is Europe the innocent name of one among several dispositions that are fortuitously continental.

She is dreaming: this story or history (of Europe) comes out of an Asian dream. The dream is filled with “strife” between two land areas, “both in the shape of women” (p. 189) but whose names in the text are remarkable: “Asia, and the farther shore [antiperēn]” (p. 189; emphasis added). Here again we have the two areas facing one another [qui s’af-frontent]. But the land facing Asia has no name—not yet. Moschus is specific: of these two women, “one had the guise of a stranger, the other of a lady of that land, and closer still she clung about her maiden, and kept saying how ‘she was her mother, and herself had nursed Europa’” (p.

Moreover, there are words available in German to designate this: Kontinent, Festland, E ­ rdteil. All these words are related to the earth: its firmness (Fest-land ), division (Erd-teil), or containment, precisely, retaining and containing it in its continentality (Kontinent). Kant speaks of a “part of the world”—the earth is not the world: the world—at least in its concept—includes extraterrestrial realities: The part that has to be played by man is, therefore, a very artificial one. , Weltgebäude].

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