What is the Meaning of Europe? Public Debate, 9 May 2014, Watershed, Bristol
Europe, The Very Idea (conference May 2014) - "The Brave Struggle: On the Possibility of a Post-European Community" Dr. Francesco Tava
One cannot escape today the refrain that Europe is in crisis: economic, social, political and environmental. Yet there is no consensus on what defines this crisis. Even the meaning of the subject, "Europe", is a matter of contention. It would seem that there is a neglected existential-political dimension of the crisis concerning Europe's identity, task, role in the world, and even whether it exists in the relevant sense. In response this project aims to investigate the idea of Europe as a philosophical concept and project.
Welcome to the virtual home of the post-europe project. The project is dedicated to philosophical and political reflection on the concept of Europe in the age of globalisation, on-going financial crisis, and the decline in the geopolitical power of European nation states. From a slightly more concrete perspective, the project is interested in how political institutions and forces in Europe, and specifically the institutions of the European Union, can and should relate to the idea of Europe and also respond to the current global (and local) political situation in a way that best protects the interests of the 'citizens of Europe' - whatever that may mean in a post-European context (it may be something quite different than normally conceived). The project is interested in examining concepts of democracy, solidarity, sovereignty, justice, dissidence and political power in this light.
The first philosophical axis of the project is the philosophy of Jan Patočka (in the photo) and specifically his concepts of 'care for the soul', 'post-europe' and 'post-european humanity'. We will be exploring what these concepts mean and what role and place there is for 'Europe' in a 'post-European' world.
Here is a quote from the man himself that gives a good idea of the starting point:
It is clear today […] Europe has come to an end. She controlled the world politically, on the basis of the monopoly of her power, and that power was of techno-scientific origin. All this was Europe […] And this reality, this enormous power, definitely wrecked itself in the span of thirty years, in two wars, after which nothing remained, nothing of her power that had ruled the world. She destroyed herself through her own powers. Naturally, she harnessed the entire world into this, just as she made the whole world hers before that, in a very crude and material way. She forced it to completely engage in those horrendous enterprises. The result is, of course, that here are its inheritors, and these inheritors will never allow Europe to be what it once was. What led us into this state? What brought Europe here? The answer is simple: her disunited and enormous power. (Jan Patočka, Plato and Europe, p. 9)
You can follow the development of the project on the post-europe blog and by keeping up to date with publications and working papers associated with the project.
If you have questions about the project please feel free to contact me (Darian Meacham) using the form below. If you have a comment about a post on the blog, please comment there and don't email me, thanks!
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