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On 16 April 2016, Professor Allott addressed the conference "The Crisis of Eurocentrism and the Future of the European Humanism: Historical, Cultural, Religious, Legal and Socio-Economic Perspectives" at Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milano


Over the course of twenty-six centuries, European philosophy created an impressive array of philosophies of practical reason, each one relying on an idea of transcendent value. In the nineteenth century, the idea of the transcendental surrendered to the new absolutism of the modern state, and then to the so-called ‘end of philosophy’. After 1945, an attempt was made to re-introduce an idea of the transcendental in the form of ‘human rights’, an effort that has had very limited success. The challenge to European philosophy, and a responsibility that Europe owes to the globalising world, is to restore an efficient idea of the transcendental within the practical reason that underlies moral and social philosophy. It will not be easy, in a world dominated by autonomic social and economic systems, and beset by old and new cultural conflicts.

The text of the lecture is available to download:



The Past of the Future (320k PDF)