Author meets critic: Simon Glendinning and A Philosophical History

Simon Glendinning, author of Europe: A Philosophical History, 2 vols 2021, in conversation with Christian Benne and Sabrina Ebbersmeyer. Chair: Bjarke Mørkøre Stigel Hansen

Europe’s history has been extensively studied in terms of its political, economic, religious history, literary and cultural history. Could there be a distinctly philosophical history of Europe? Not a history of philosophy in Europe, but a history of Europe that focuses on what, in its history and identity, ties it to philosophy?

In his two volumes of Europe: A Philosophical History, Simon Glendinning takes up this question, telling the story of Europe’s history as a philosophical history. In volume 1, The Promise of Modernity, Glendinning examines the conception of Europe that links it to ideas of rational Enlightenment and modernity. In volume 2, Beyond Modernity, Glendinning discusses Europe’s modern promise of universal peace, freedom and well-being for all humanity in the wake of two world wars of European origin.

Simon Glendinning is Head of the European Institute, London School of Economics and Political Science and Professor in European Philosophy. His work is largely concerned with the phenomenological tradition in philosophy, the divide between ‘analytic’ and ‘continental’ philosophy, deconstruction, and the turn from European Philosophy towards the Philosophy of Europe.

Christian Benne is Professor of European Literature and Intellectual History and co-leader of the research group “Thinking the European Republic of Letters” at CEMES.

Sabrina Ebbersmeyer is Associate Professor in Philosophy and co-leader of the research group “Thinking the European Republic of Letters” at CEMES.

Bjarke Mørkøre Stigel Hansen is Postdoc at the collaborative research project “Epistemological Aspects of ‘Dialogue’: Exploring the Potential of the Second-Person Perspective”, School of Culture and Society, Aarhus University