European Social Thinking and the “Other”

    • Ghent October 2019
    • Presentation speakers
      • Dolores García, Department of Humanities of University CEU-San Pablo, Madrid, Spain


    It is the belief implicit in this paper that the patrimonial European identity can be conceived as an experienced identification with different cultures from which many individuals extract and share feelings of belonging. In the search for the European path ahead, philosophers have been exploring different approaches. The purpose is, firstly, bringing some little-visited approaches (Hanna Arendt, Simone Weil or Maria Zambrano) in a complementary manner and to replace the previous deductive method of modern ideologies with a more inductive bottom-up process that harvests, from their different essential contributions, a better understanding of the “other”. Secondly, it is suggested that the contemporary recognition of Europe should be placed more firmly within this tradition of aspiration for fraternity, putting into goal more in the people that in the institutions of the society that put up the walls of their cognitive closure. This is because, usually, fraternity is not considered as a premise and it could be not only the missing premise but a contribution of European culture. Finally, we consider the important role of critical thinking and philosophy to place the Europeanness in touch with its cultural elements and question historically circumstantial projects of political appropriations of identitarian claims, but my concern is especially, to identify new modes of critical thinking from social philosophy in order to analyze the cultural identity and human resources for the understanding of the persons as active participants in the new global world. Together, these perspectives could provide a mutual reinforcement in which could lay a new commitment of the search for the European path ahead.