By Denis Guénoun
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Extra info for About Europe : philosophical hypotheses
The Holy Roman Empire We are now equipped with three figures (of the universal). Two are bound together: church and empire. The third, Europe, follows them. Unsurprisingly, they have a few attributes in common. An unavoidable question then arises: how did we move from the former to the latter? The Europe Crossways 33 question remains, even supposing that the church and the empire are contemporaneous and in accord (the name of this articulation being Rome). 73 My fifth hypothesis intends to answer this question: Europe configures itself facing Islam.
As a matter of fact, neither the name “Europe” nor the adjective “European” appears at any time in this short work, which is worth analyzing. In its ninth thesis, close to the ending, after lengthy considerations about the universal in and for itself, Kant writes: “It seems, at first sight, a strange and even an absurd proposal to suggest the composition of a History according to the idea of how the course of the world must proceed, if it is to be conformable to certain rational laws. ”13 Kant extracts a “guiding thread” [Leitfaden] from this story (Idee, pp.
Pagans. The pagan is first of all a paganus, or peasant. Paganism involves the countryside, because the church is an assembly in a town or city—a polis. These two terms call for yet another remark. The empire has a seat, which is Rome; and the church has its seat in Rome as well. Between these two figures, a community of the place-name, seat, and base takes shape. What is this place? It is the Roman world, that is to say, Romanity as world. But it is also the Mediterranean, the sea between land masses.