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Orientalizing America: Habermas And The Changing Discourse Of Europe

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Chapter Summary

In this chapter, the author starts by making the neo-Durkheimian argument that discourses of Europe, like any other political discourse, regulate social perceptions and evaluations by typifying social relationships and institutions in terms of the sacred and the profane. Illustrating this argument, he then briefly recapitulate Jürgen Habermas's thesis of the "Divided West," which was formulated on the occasion of the US-led Iraq War in 2003. Thomas Meyer's text highlights a possible misreading of Habermas, which Habermas has subsequently corrected. The author then describes Habermas's more recent essays on European affairs, which are focusing less on the moral geography of the European Union (EU) than on its uncertain future. Further, the author argues that Habermas's political philosophy of Europe is based on ill-founded premises, which tell us something about the shortcomings of his version of critical theory.

Keywords: European Union (EU); Jürgen Habermas; political philosophy; Thomas Meyer



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