Article: The Vanishing Mediator and Linguistic Hospitality

The Vanishing Mediator and Linguistic Hospitality

In We, the People of Europe? Balibar argues for a Europe as the interpreter of the world, a ‘vanishing mediator’ translating languages and cultures.
Ricoeur in his last works has considered translation as a paradigm of the attitude towards the other, holding the view that the ethical purposes relating to linguistic hospitality are the model for any kind of hospitality. I intend to contrast Balibar’s vanishing mediator with Ricoeur’s concept of linguistic hospitality.
In spite of the fact that √Čtienne Balibar and Paul Ricoeur practically ignore each other in their works, I found some striking similarities in their thoughts regarding the role of languages and translation in Europe. In my paper, I will highlight these common views, with the intention of also showing their differences.