The Other Heading / Edition 1

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Overview

Prompted by the unification of Europe in 1992 and by recent events in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union, Jacques Derrida begins this compelling essay on contemporary world politics with the issue of European identity. What, he asks, is Europe? How has Europe traditionally been defined and how is the current world situation changing that definition? Might the prospects of a
New Europe demand not only a new definition of European identity but also a new way of thinking identity itself?

Navigating in and through texts of Marx, Husserl, and especially
Valéry, Derrida seeks a redefinition of European identity that includes respect both for difference and for universal values. The Other Heading appeals eloquently for a sustained effort at thinking through the complexity and the multiple dangers and opportunities of the contemporary world situation without resorting to easy or hasty solutions.

Indiana University Press

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Eminent French thinker Derrida sees the greatest threat facing Europe to be a return to old forms of nationalism, racism, xenophobia and religious fanaticism. Comprised of two recent newspaper articles linked by a preface, this opaque discourse applies deconstructionist theory to the contemporary political scene. Rejecting both the complete unification and the fragmentation of Europe, Derrida calls for a renewal of Enlightenment values and liberal democracy. Yet these values, he argues, cannot by themselves overcome Eurocentric biases and chauvinism. By deconstructing such concepts as public opinion, freedom of the press, responsibility and identity, he attempts to point the way toward a new language for contemplating Europe's destiny. Derrida makes use of texts by Martin Heidegger, Paul Valery and Karl Marx to aid his contemplation of the ferment unsettling Western Europe, as well as the waves of perestroika and democratization sweeping Central and Eastern Europe. (June)
Library Journal
Derrida is a French philosopher and literary theorist who has become famous (some would say notorious) for his pioneering work in the area of deconstruction. It seems a little surprising that such an eminent figure would write something as banal as ``today's Europe,'' but of course in this book, Derrida reflects not so much on Europe as on how Europe is talked about. He writes: ``Something unique is afoot in Europe, in what is still called Europe even if we no longer know very well what or who goes by this name. Indeed, to what concept, to what real individual, to what singular entity should this name be assigned today? Who will draw up its borders?'' While some readers may object to the abstruse character of Derrida's ruminations, others may find this book to be a welcome antidote to all of the fact-filled monographs that are currently being published on the European Community. Although not for everyone, The Other Heading should find an enthusiastic audience among the more philosophically inclined. For academic collections.-- Kent Worcester, Social Science Research Council, New York
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780253316936
  • Publisher: Indiana University Press
  • Publication date: 6/1/1992
  • Series: Studies in Continental Thought
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 196
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.56 (d)

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