Academic journal article The Review of Metaphysics

Monist: April 2009, Vol. 92, No.2

Academic journal article The Review of Metaphysics

Monist: April 2009, Vol. 92, No.2

Article excerpt

The Legacy of the Enlightenment and the Exemplarity of the EU Model, SEBASTIANO MAFFETTONE

Rally Round the European Flag? YVES HERSANT

The various symbols that the European Union has given itself in order to make the European idea tangible are very telling about the ideology of identity, especially the flag, with its "circle of twelve golden mullets on an azure field." The article argues not only that such an emblem conveys an imperfectly European message, but also that it is misleading as a marker of identity: even more than the national flags--it obeys a static conception, instead of inviting the citizens to consider identity as a dynamic, structuring process, which is constructed in the midst of difference from oneself and in relation to others. It remains hard to rally around it because it fails to express something that philosophers as different as Leszek Kolakowski and Jacques Derrida considered a fundamental paradox; namely, that the cultural identity of Europe resides precisely in the absence of a fully-formed identity. …

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