Amid a devastating economic crisis, two tragic events coming from the outside – the wave of immigration and Islamic terrorism – have radically changed the profile and significance of the space we call Europe. Given a paradigm leap of this sort, philosophical reflection is in a position to exert its creative power more than other types of knowledge. But this can only happen if it is able to go beyond its own lexical boundaries, by turning its gaze outside itself. Here the leading Italian philosopher Roberto Esposito looks at how various strands of German, French, and Italian thought have achieved this outward turn and successfully captured international attention by breaking with the language of early nineteenth-century crisis philosophies. When analyzed from this novel perspective, the great texts of Adorno, Derrida, Foucault, and Deleuze, as well as works by the latest Italian thinkers, are cast in a new light. From the relationship and tension between them, reconstructed here with extraordinary theoretical sensitivity, a form of thought can arise that is equal to the challenges faced by Europe today. This erudite and wide-ranging analysis of European thought in the light of the crises facing the continent today will appeal to students and scholars of philosophy, critical theory, and beyond.
Introduction I. The Crisis Dispositif 1. The Metaphysics of Crisis 2. From the Night 3. Sea and Land Articulation I II. German Philosophy 1. From the Other Shore 2. The Resurgence of the Archaic 3. Outside in the Concept Articulation II III. French Theory 1. Difference and History 2. The Undecidable 3. The Thought of the Outside Articulation III IV. Italian Thought 1. Power and the Immediate 2. An Affirmative Thought 3. Beyond Political Theology Articulation IV V. A Philosophy for Europe 1. A Europe with No People 2. On the Borders of Europe 3. The Two Peoples of Europe Index Notes
“Esposito’s A Philosophy for Europe is a clarion call for the coming into political existence of a European people based neither on a metaphysics of identity nor on one of difference, but rather on one that emerges out of a real political dialectic built on what he calls, with Machiavelli and Vico, civilian power. Across some of his most thoughtful and unsettling readings of German philosophy, French theory, and Italian thought, Esposito urges the reader to find a point of union among interests and values able to give birth to a new European political space. This is Esposito’s most provocative work yet.” Timothy Campbell, Cornell University
Roberto Esposito teaches contemporary philosophy at the Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa.
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