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Europe and Eurocentrism

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Forthcoming
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/12/2016
<mark>Journal</mark>Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society
<mark>State</mark>Accepted/In press
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

In this article I explore how philosophical thinking about God, reason,
humanity and history has shaped ideas of Europe, focusing on Hegel. For
Hegel, Europe is the civilization that, by way of Christianity, has
advanced the spirit of freedom which originated in Greece. Hegel is a
Eurocentrist whose work indicates how Eurocentrism as a broader discourse
has shaped received conceptions of Europe. I then distinguish
‘external’ and ‘internal’ ways of approaching ideas of Europe and defend
the former approach, on which Europe’s self-understanding is not a phenomenon
purely internal to Europe, but has always been shaped by
Europe’s relations with non-European cultures. I note Egypt’s influence on
the ancient Greeks and the role of Europe’s colonization of America, and
suggest that European civilization could be rejuvenated by more open
acknowledgement of these relations with others.