A Discussion of Rodolphe Gasché's Europe, or The Infinite Task

Abstract
One of the challenges facing Continental Philosophy is how to maintain its identity as “Continental” (and thus as “European”) while avoiding the dangers of Euro-centrism. This challenge calls for many approaches, but one entry point is through the question of Europe—can we think a European identity that is pluralistic and radically open to its others, a Europe that is not Euro-centric? Rodolphe Gasché, in his recently published Europe, or the Infinite Task: A Study of a Philosophical Concept (Stanford 2009), articulates just such a concept of Europe, providing careful studies of Husserl, Heidegger, Patočka, and Derrida, as well as his own insights. In spring of 2009, the Department of Philosophy at DePaul University invited Prof. Gasché for a discussion of Europe, or the Infinite Task. Peg Birmingham and Franklin Perkins presented papers engaging and responding to the book, and Rodolphe Gasché subsequently offered his response. The three essays are published together here, with slight revisions but retaining their original character as a dialogue. We hope that the lively debate they express will serve to stimulate further discussion of the relationships among philosophy, Europe, and openness to others
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