The Origin of Europe and the esprit de geometrie

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In searching for the origin of Europe and the cultural region/continent that we call “Europe”, at first glance we have to consider at least a double view: on the one hand the geographical understanding which indicates a region or a continent. On the other a certain form of identity and culture described and defined as European. Rodolphe Gasché taking hint from Husserl’s passage ‘Europe is not to be construed simply as a geographical and political entity’ states that a rigorous engagement with what we understand by “Europe” requires that we acknowledge it as involving ‘something else as well’. With regard to the many bequests of Europe, founded in ancient Greece, in this essay I will attempt to elucidate some essential features of its cultural identity such as science and philosophy, and reflect upon several specific aspects: on the origin of Europe, on its roots and heritage, on the concept of culture, and especially on the foundation of sciences (Geometry), which contains a large part of European spirit and civilization. In particular I will address some European historical moments with reference to Husserl, Heidegger, the concept of Thaumazein… In the second part of the essay, I will shift my interest to Ancient Greece in order to access to the value of the Esprit de géométrie as defined in Proclus on the Commentary on the First Book of Euclid’s.
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