Patočka, the meaning of the post-European spirit and its direction

Philippe Merlier


The Europe that was born from Plato's "care for the soul" can today no longer be recognized; it has been replaced by the self-management of the economic EU. How can we now come back to a Europe concerned about its soul, the others, and the world, reinventing itself as a new nation? Jan Patočka's thoughts on post-Europe can show us the way.

Starting from some clarifications on the definitely European initial meaning that Patočka detects in Socrates' "care for the soul", the purpose of this article is to examine what in this European spirit can be saved in the post-European age, and to what extent a "European nation" can still make sense. This analysis leads us, building on the visionary texts written in the seventies by Patočka, to rethink the possibilities of a reformation of European reason, and a métanoïa of Post-Europe. 


Jan Patočka, care of the soul, reason, Europe, Post-Europe

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