Europe and Post-Europe in the Philosophical Reflection of Jan Patočka

Phainomena 60 (2007)

Karel Novotný
Charles University, Prague
In the work of Jan Patočka there is an answer to the challenge of the post-European epoch of History. He makes an appeal to a new spirituality which would yield a common, transcendental, deeper ground of humanity. This appeal seems to be ambiguous because this new spirituality is based on the experience of the complete loss of sense which is a condition for the “care of the soul”. Is this the European way of renewing the sense or could it be universalized? If the second option is the case then Patočka’s appeal is still a Eurocentric one. Patočka’s philosophy of History could be defended against this reproach as far as it is first of all a critical debate with our own tradition. Perhaps it is this critical reflection about our way of thinking that could open us to others
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