The Vision of a Future Europe: Infectious or Infected? The Position of Education

  • Marianna Papastephanou


This essay aims to examine the discourse that conceptualizes the educational exchange and the European culture within the framework of a theory of European identity construction. Then, I shall discuss the main positions of this discourse, their concern with the global market and their indifference about political and material inequalities. The following question is posed: which are the innovative proposals that could set in course an ideal of a unified, just and radical Europe? A first approach to it is provided by Habermas' and Derrida's recent publications. Their views constitute the starting point of my intervention in the debate on the educational future of Europe and the inculcation of a European identity in students' consciousness. But my response to the above question challenges the kind of European philosophical discourse that does not rethink the main objectives of the social and political elites of Europe. I suggest that we criticize the dominant position of those elites and that we promote an alternative normativity of equality and justice. In the absence of such a normative condition, the bad side of modernity may continue to prevail and serve the material and symbolic interests of the privileged European classes.