This volume inaugurates a new series edited by Carlo Galli and dedicated to the foundations of European identity. The series - intended to accommodate relatively few books, all of which, however, will be of great cultural import - will illustrate the crucial elements that have contributed to shaping cultural space in contemporary Europe: from geography to religion, from philosophy to politics, to literature. The next scheduled volumes will be devoted to politics and religion. This initial volume offers an ambitious unitary view of modern European philosophy, conceived of as a self-representation of European identity: Europe, according to the author, is its philosophy. Reviewing European thought from the sixteenth century to the present day, De Giovanni throws light on its cardinal concepts that have comprised Europe's perspective towards the world and history. European philosophy's essence emerges from the relationships among reason and power, in the dialectic of self-interest and universalism. In such an identity Europe can find the bases for a future that is both singular, in terms of political existence, and global, in terms of its being a system of thought.
Biagio De Giovanni formerly taught Political Philosophy and History of Political Doctrines at the Universities of Bari, Salerno, and Naples. He was also a member of the European Parliament for two terms.