Download About Europe : philosophical hypotheses by Denis Guénoun PDF

By Denis Guénoun

The proposal of the common was once born within the lands we now name Europe, but it really is exactly the common that's Europe's undoing. All ecu politics is stuck in a rigidity: to claim a ecu identification is to be open to multiplicity, yet this very openness may dissolve Europe as such. This booklet displays on Europe and its altering obstacles over the span of twenty centuries. a piece of philosophy, it continuously attracts on concrete occasions. From old Greece and Rome, to Christianity, to the Reformation, to the nationwide revolutions of the 20th century, what we this day name "Europe" has been a succession of tasks 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 ideas akin to global, position, transportation, and the typical, this ebook sheds mild on Europe as method via enticing with the main major philosophical debates at the topic, together with the paintings of Marx, Husserl, Heidegger, Patocka, and Nancy.

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Sovereignty (of the world) and assembly (of the people) are thus formed as rival and separate regimes. But either one can exist only in their coupling, produced by the division of a single body. Each one—like the tiny beings in Plato’s allegory—dreams of returning to oneness and repairing origins. Church and empire are twinned but inverse productions: sovereignty without assembly, assembly without power. Church and empire will not leave each other alone; they will not stop being rivals and trying to annex each other, with each pope wanting to be sovereign and each emperor dreaming of being pope.

It constitutes itself before the world as that which doubles it and goes beyond it. It duplicates the world, borders it, is coupled to it, never blending, never a part of it. Present to the (secular) world or withdrawn from it (by its rule), the church covers it, and overlaps with it in its duality and difference. The name of this paradoxical extension over the entire face of the world, the attribute of this relaunched rewinding universality is ­Catholic. The Roman Catholic Church: the universal turned back toward itself, given figure—as assembly.

It is a word from before the empire—in the precise Roman sense that is going to concern us. Every name partakes of an anteriority—an etymon, metaphor, or borrowing. Every naming is a renaming. Thus barbarism, which stood for a mode of exteriority from before the empire, comes to designate what remains, when the empire—the project of universal sovereignty— turns around and is given its figure. The second name is that of the church. This one too is a term designating the universal as a figure. Within what regime?

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