By Denis Guénoun
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Extra resources for About Europe : philosophical hypotheses
The face-to-face is set up through the gaze toward the other and the gaze of the other. At play in the face-to-face is the movement of the specular constitution of identity, its becoming-visible: its double formation in the image of the other before oneself, and in the image of oneself as an other. 75 To say that Europe configures itself facing Islam is to say that the movement constituting Europe as a figure (as return to itself, self-image, and identity) is carried out vis-à-vis the otherness of Islam, and that the relationship Europe-Islam (and back again, Europe-Islam-Europe), the specular formation of mirrored images, is the primordial relation of identity, constituting Europeanism;76 and that Europe thus takes Islam to be its most essential other.
This tale is going to draw her out of her sleep and out of her virginity. She is dreaming: this story or history (of Europe) comes out of an Asian dream. The dream is filled with “strife” between two land areas, “both in the shape of women” (p. 189) but whose names in the text are remarkable: “Asia, and the farther shore [antiperēn]” (p. 189; emphasis added). Here again we have the two areas facing one another [qui s’af-frontent]. But the land facing Asia has no name—not yet. Moschus is specific: of these two women, “one had the guise of a stranger, the other of a lady of that land, and closer still she clung about her maiden, and kept saying how ‘she was her mother, and herself had nursed Europa’” (p.
Politics is always the affair or coming-here of a we. 71 By contrast the world is what presents itself—there—as a spectacle. The world is the system of images of the world, whereas politics is us. That is why theater suits the era (or eras) of the assembly. 72 4. 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?
About Europe : philosophical hypotheses by Denis Guénoun