Dr. Martine Prange
(University of Groningen)

What does it mean to be European?

Nietzsche's Good European as Model for a New Aestheticist Contribution to the European Union

In this workshop we will discuss what it actually means to be part of a community, which is mainly defined by the fact that its members share a common market. I shall start with a presentation on Nietzsche's view of Europe and relate that to Europe today in discussion with the ongoing 'New Aestheticists-New Philistines' debate.
In the subsequent group-discussion, we will explore ways to answer the question what is means to be European, starting with defining the 'European' as a human being and a member of a 'European culture'. In so doing, we shall seek to come to formulate a counter- or broader conception than the European as 'homo economicus'. We shall do so specifically by reflecting on the philosophical concepts of 'humanity', 'culture', and 'knowledge' in discussion with the EU-aim to create a 'knowledge-economy' (see Lisbon-strategy 2000). Is the EU as a 'knowledge-based economy' the political manifestation of Jean-François Lyotard's prediction that 'knowledge' would soon become a matter of selling only? Has the ancient Greek, eudomonic view of knowledge been lost forever with this declaration? How does an economic view of knowledge affect human culture (e.g. universities as places where culture happens), given that the economic-political approach of Europe and Europeans seems to skip the aesthetic compound of culture and human freedom? Such and relating questions will be raised in this workshop on Nietzsche, New Aestheticism, and Europe.


Martine Prange recently finished her PhD with her dissertation Nietzsche's Ideal Europe: the Aestheticization of Culture. Until November 2007 she was appointed at the University of Groningen (The Netherlands). Recent publications imply Schillerian Traces in Nietzsche's Early Musical Aesthetics (Nietzscheforschung 13, 2006), 'Im Süden': Nietzsche, Goethe, and Italy (Interculture 3, 2006), The Symbolization of Culture: Nietzsche in the Footsteps of Goethe, Schiller, Schopenhauer, and Wagner (Cultural Studies and the Symbolic 2, 2006), and the monograph Lof der Méditerranée: Nietzsches vrolijke wetenschap tussen noord en zuid (2005). Forthcoming publications imply Why Do We Need Myth? Homer, Nietzsche, and Helen's Weaving-loom (Cultural Studies and the Symbolic 3, 2007) and Nietzsche's Artistic Ideal of Europe: The Birth of Tragedy in the Spirit of Wagner's Centenary Beethoven-essay (Nietzscheforschung 14, 2007). She is also a co-worker of the Nietzsche-Dictionary project, supervised by Professor Paul van Tongeren (Nijmegen, The Netherlands).