Date: 14 Feb 2008

The European Constitution: A Semiotics Analysis of Ideology, Identity and Global Commun in Present-Day Europe

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Abstract

This paper proposes an analysis of the European Constitution from the perspective of its conditions of possibility. The focus is on the conditions that subtend the European constitution, the conditions, the premises that make the European Constitution possible. In the present context of discourse “possibility” is understood in the sense of Kantian critique. But here critique is based on Reasonableness rather than on Reason—in fact a thesis orienting this essay is that the human being to survive and to survive well must quickly change from a rational animal into a reasonable animal. Is the European constitution possible? Where must we search for the necessary conditions that support the European constitution (1) in common historical and cultural traditions, in common practices, in common social behaviours or (2) merely in a shared decision, an accord, a contract, a convention? There exists a third possibility: the idea that Europe has no future without a European constitution founded on awareness that all European Nations participate in a common destiny, which in the era of globalization is the destiny the whole world, indeed of life over the whole planet. Such participation must be based on the logic of otherness and reasonableness of which the human being alone as a semiotic animal is capable. As a semiotic animal, that is, an animal capable of metasemiosis, reflection and critical consciousness, the human being is responsible for all of life over the planet.

Translation from Italian by Susan Petrilli.