This article discusses the Idea of Europe as it is developed within the phenomenological tradition by Edmund Husserl, Jacques Derrida and Jan Patočka. It shows how Derrida and Patočka try to preserve the main elements of European culture, mainly rationality and openness–in Patočka’s terms ‘the care for the soul’–while at the same time avoiding Eurocentrism. According to Patočka, the care for the soul has been lost in modernity and needs to be restored in a revival of the idea of Europe in post-European times. In line with Derrida and Patočka, it is argued that in today’s post-European world a dissemination of the ethical idea of Europe is going on that leads beyond the name of ‘Europe,’ searching for new singular articulations, for which a renewal of the old notion of ‘care’ is a good candidate.
- Care for the soul