Justice for Europe

    • EUPE_BRUGES_2019
    • Presentation speakers
      • Valentina Surace, Department of Philosophy , University of Messina, Italy


    The purpose of this proposal is to present the French philosopher of deconstruction Jacques Derrida’s reflections on Europe, demonstrating that deconstruction does not remain enclosed in speculative discourses, but aspires to intervene in the world. I try to unravel the three main threads of his philosophy: (1) The deconstruction of sovereignty. Europe has always been presented in the rhetoric of sovereignty, as if it were invested in a universal mission to govern the world. Derrida hopes for a new shape of Europe, which would follow in the footsteps of the Europe of Enlightenment, when Kant gave the most radical definition of the right of hospitality (The other heading: reflections on today’s Europe and Monolingualism of the Other). This Europe would be different from a Super-State and from the alliance that it currently is, which is governed by the laws of the economic and financial markets. (2) The deconstruction of identity and community, which are ghosts reawakened today as a remedy against the European crisis. Derrida considers all views on European spiritual identity (Husserl, Heidegger) exhausted and thinks that Europe has to safeguard its tradition and rebuild its identity, starting from its essential otherness. This task is related to the current crisis, which is a threat to the bond between Europe and a democracy “to-come” (Specters of Marx), between Europe and a cosmopolitanism “to-come”. (3) The deconstruction of the classical concept of distributive justice, which brings to light the aporia between conditioned and conditioning laws and unconditional justice (Force of Law). In this “time of poverty” in which millions of people are knocking on the doors of Europe, it is our ethical and political responsibility to negotiate between the European imperatives of hospitality and the need for unconditional hospitality in every case.