In his interpretation of Anaximander’s fragment Martin Heidegger intends to remove all moral and legal connotations from the term dike. These connotations would be the result of a Platonic, that is, metaphysical reading which has determined European philosophy and history. However, dike has not, according to Heidegger, a moral, but only an ontological significance. This interpretation contrasts with that of Jan Pato!ka, who believes that Europe is rooted in Plato’s care of the soul. The difference between a public conception of dike and dikaiosyne, as outlined in the Politeia, marks an ideal of justice that has become a goal for Europe and its citizens. But today, this metaphysical ideal is no longer appropriate. It is perhaps possible to conceive of justice as a continuous search, starting from the experience of suffering that has influenced the history of Europe until today.

Keywords: Dike; Giustizia; Europa; Crisi; Declino.