What exactly does Europe mean for philosophy today? Putting aside both Eurocentrism and anti-Eurocentrism, Gasche returns to the old name Europe to examine it as a concept or idea in the work of four philosophers from the phemelogical tradition: Husserl, Heidegger, Patocka, and Derrida. Beginning with Husserl, the idea of Europe became central to such issues as rationality, universality, openness to the other, and responsibility. Europe, or The Infinite Task tracks the changes these issues have undergone in phemelogy in order to investigate Europe's continuing potential for critical and enlightened resistance in a world that is progressively becoming dominated by the mo-perspectivism of global market ecomics. Rather than giving up on the idea of Europe as an anachronism, Gasche aims to show that it still has philosophical legs.
Rodolphe Gasche is SUNY Distinguished Professor and Eugenio Donato Professor of Comparative Literature at the State University of New York at Buffalo. His most recent books are Views and Interviews: On Deconstruction in America (2007), and The Honor of Thinking: Critique, Theory, Philosophy (Stanford, 2007).