Conference with Jean-François Mattéi [fr]

The Cultural Service of the Embassy of France is proud to host Jean-François Mattéi in Ottawa on April 24-25, 2012, as part of the lectures and discussion on his book, Le procès de l’Europe: Grandeur et misère de la culture européenne.

These events are organized in partnership with CIRCEM, the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research on Citizenship and Minorities (University of Ottawa).

Tuesday, April 24, 2012
5:30 – 7 p.m.
Jean-François Mattéi

Workshop: Wednesday, April 25, 2012, 1 - 5:30 p.m.

University of Ottawa
Desmarais Building
Room 3120

French-language event
Free admission
RSVP before April 20 :

For the complete Conference Series program click here

Conference with Jean-François Mattéi
Tuesday, April 24 at 5:30 p.m. at the University of Ottawa, Desmarais Building

“Where would the world be without Spinoza, without Freud, without Einstein,” Nicolas Sarkozy asked in Jerusalem. We can also ask, “Where would Europe be without Descartes, without Goethe, without Beethoven?” And where would humankind be without philosophy, science, technology, medicine, law, politics, economics, which European brilliance has brought to the West and the world?

The promise that inspired European thinking in its union with reason was the promise of a culture that embraces humanity. However, Europe has abandoned this hereditary concern for tradition. The greatest minds of the last century, from Paul Valéry to Simone Weil, denounced the amnesia of a civilization devoted to war and trade, but indifferent to its culture. When Camus wrote that, “Europe’s secret is that it no longer loves life,” he sensed that Europe no longer loved its own creations.

While Europe puts its past on trial, it is no longer a civilization, but rather a label that only signifies an administration in Brussels for its inhabitants. It is therefore important to reactivate the heritage that lingers in these places of memory: great works, cities and cultural areas. In an age of globalization, the aim of these models is to give Europeans an understanding of their destiny.

It is amazing that nations remain wary of Europe. The idea of Europe has, in fact, suffered a breakdown in identity because it has run out of creative inspiration. The European Union has turned its back on its culture in order to focus solely on its economy and refuses the Christian tradition due to its religiosity, just like its Greek heritage, due to slavery. Karel Kosik, the Czech Marxist philosopher, however, states that, “Europe is ancient Greece, Christianity, the Enlightenment; it is Diderot, Mozart, Kant.” But this was said as a lament of the fact that this world ceases to exist when Europe “is too full of emptiness.” Europeans will find their identity when they nurture the culture that forged their shared world.


Jean-François Mattéi, Docteur d’État ès-Lettres, Professor of Philosophy, holds a degree in Political Science. He is Professor Emeritus of the University of Nice Sophia Antipolis and Professor of Political Philosophy at the Institut d’Études Politiques d’Aix-en-Provence.

He holds the rank of Chevalier of the Légion d’Honneur, is a former member of the CIRAD Ethics Committee, the head of Human Sciences for COFECUB (Franco-Brazilian academic agreements), and is an Associate Professor at Laval University in Quebec City. He was personal adviser to the Minister for Education, François Bayrou, in 1993 and 1994. A member of the “Prospective” section of the Conseil économique et Social in the Provence-Côte d’Azur region, he is editorial director of two publishing houses and on the editorial boards of several journals.

Most recent publications:

° De l’Indignation, Paris, La Table Ronde, 2005. – L’Énigme de la pensée, Nice-Paris, Ovadia, 2006.

° Le Regard vide. Essai sur l’épuisement de la culture européenne, Paris Flammarion, 2007 ; Prix Montyon de philosophie de l’Académie Française en 2008.

° Albert Camus et la pensée de Midi, Nice-Paris, Ovadia, 2008. - Le Sens de la démesure, Cabris, Sulliver, 2009.

° Jorge Luis Borges et la philosophie, Nice-Paris, Ovadia, 2010.

° L’Identité de l’Europe, avec Chantal Delsol, Paris, PUF, 2010. - Albert Camus. Du refus au consentement, Paris, PUF, 2011.

° Le Procès de l’Europe, Paris, PUF, 2011. –Philosophie de la chirurgie esthétique, avec le Dr. Henry Delmar, Paris, Odile Jacob, 2011.
Also published at the University of Ottawa Press (September 2011)

° Essai sur L’Homme des foules d’Edgar Poe, Paris, Manucius, 2011.

° Présentation de Xénophon, Les Mémorables de Socrate, Paris, Manucius, 2012.

Upcoming publications:

° Platon, Paris, Le Cerf, 2012.

° L’Homme indigné, Paris, Le Cerf, 2012.

° Actualité de Platon. La puissance du simulacre, Paris, François Bourin, 2012.

° Les philosophes antiques, un coffret de 6 CD chez Fremeaux et Associés, 2012.



Last modified on 03/05/2012

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