This paper aims to show how contemporary Aristotelian political philosophy can be utilised in our reflections on European integration. It argues that changes in international relations after the end of the Cold War and a growing cultural divide between Europe and the US makes Europe's Western identity untenable. Through a brief philosophical sketch of the history of 'the West' it argues that Europe needs to return to its European rather than Western roots. The philosophical emphasis on national cultures and local identities, which is also found at the heart of the European Union in the form of the notion of subsidiarity, links European cultural and political integration to Aristotelian philosophy. The paper argues that the principle of subsidiarity can be seen both as the political as well as ethical principle of European integration. Subsidiarity is understood in terms of Aristotle's teleological ethics which emphasises the importance of culture and culturally embodied human ends and is juxtaposed to Kant's deontology. The essay argues that the Kantian notion of the public and Kant's understanding of morality gives rise to the modern one-sided account of the political.
|Number of pages||13|
|Publication status||Published - 2010|
ASJC Scopus subject areas