In the 20th century among the greatest philosophers and literates there was an ample, ideal, wide ranging forum on the question of Europe to which, following a run already started by F. Nietzsche, M. Heidegger, E. Husserl, P. Valéry, Ortega y Gasset, Nikolaj Berdjaev, and after the second world war G. Gadamer, J. Habermas, J. Derrida and others offered meaningful contributions. The questions were: What will be of the spirit of Europe? What will be of Europe? Europe: quo vadis?
The aim of this paper is to articulate the meaningful stages of this historical forum through some essays of mentioned philosophers and literates. The first essay is the conference "Europa und die deutsche Philosophie”, delivered by Heidegger in Rome 1936 at the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Institut, the same year of the publication of Husserl’s Krisis. Thereafter, with the purpose of marking a clear discontinuity between the debate of the first half of the century and the second, I comment on Gadamer’s essay “Europa und die oikoumene”, published half a century after the conference of Heidegger, then the Gadamer’s essay "Das Erbe Europas”, 1989, in which Gadamer deduces on the existential condition of Europeans, today. At the end, I analyze Derrida’s pamphlet "L'autre cap suivi de la démocratie ajournie", English version “The Other Heading: Reflection on Today’s Europe”, that opens with the provocative and heretical Derridean gesture: To which concept, to what real individual, to what entity can we confer today the name of Europe?