Zitate von José Ortega Y Gasset

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José Ortega Y Gasset

Geburtstag: 9. Mai 1883
Todesdatum: 18. Oktober 1955
Andere Namen:Y Gasset José Ortega

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José Ortega y Gasset war ein spanischer Philosoph, Soziologe und Essayist.

Zitate José Ortega Y Gasset

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„Life today is the fruit of an interregnum, of an empty space between two organizations of historical rule — that which was, that which is to be. For this reason it is essentially provisional.“

— José Ortega Y Gasset
Context: No one knows toward what center human things are going to gravitate in the near future, and hence the life of the world has become scandalously provisional. Everything that today is done in public and in private — even in one's inner conscience — is provisional, the only exception being certain portions of certain sciences. He will be a wise man who puts no trust in all that is proclaimed, upheld, essayed, and lauded at the present day. All that will disappear as quickly as it came. All of it, from the mania for physical sports (the mania, not the sports themselves) to political violence; from "new art" to sun-baths at idiotic fashionable watering-places. Nothing of all that has any roots; it is all pure invention, in the bad sense of the word, which makes it equivalent to fickle caprice. It is not a creation based on the solid substratum of life; it is not a genuine impulse or need. In a word, from the point of view of life it is false. We are in presence of the contradiction of a style of living which cultivates sincerity and is at the same time a fraud. There is truth only in an existence which feels its acts as irrevocably necessary. There exists today no politician who feels the inevitableness of his policy, and the more extreme his attitudes, the more frivolous, the less inspired by destiny they are. The only life with its roots fixed in earth, the only autochthonous life, is that which is made of inevitable acts. All the rest, all that it is in our power to take or to leave or to exchange for something else, is mere falsification of life. Life today is the fruit of an interregnum, of an empty space between two organizations of historical rule — that which was, that which is to be. For this reason it is essentially provisional. Men do not know what institutions to serve in truth; women do not know what type of men they in truth prefer. The European cannot live unless embarked upon some great unifying enterprise. When this is lacking, he becomes degraded, grows slack, his soul is paralyzed. We have a commencement of this before our eyes today. The groups which up to today have been known as nations arrived about a century ago at their highest point of expansion. Nothing more can be done with them except lead them to a higher evolution. They are now mere past accumulating all around Europe, weighing it down, imprisoning it. With more vital freedom than ever, we feel that we cannot breathe the air within our nations, because it is confined air. What was before a nation open to all the winds of heaven, has turned into something provincial, an enclosing space. Chapter XIV: Who Rules The World?

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„To-day the [Enlightenment] ideal has been changed into a reality; not only in legislation, which is the mere framework of public life, but in the heart of every individual, whatever his ideas may be, and even if he be a reactionary in his ideas, that is to say, even when he attacks and castigates institutions by which those rights are sanctioned.“

— José Ortega Y Gasset
Context: To-day the [Enlightenment] ideal has been changed into a reality; not only in legislation, which is the mere framework of public life, but in the heart of every individual, whatever his ideas may be, and even if he be a reactionary in his ideas, that is to say, even when he attacks and castigates institutions by which those rights are sanctioned.… The sovereignty of the unqualified individual, of the human being as such, generically, has now passed from being a juridical idea or ideal to be a psychological state inherent in the average man. And note this, that when what was before an ideal becomes a component part of reality, it inevitably ceases to be an ideal. The prestige and the magic that are attributes of the ideal are volatilised. Chap.II: The Rise Of The Historic Level

„The metaphor alone furnishes an escape; between the real things, it lets emerge imaginary reefs, a crop of floating islands.“

— José Ortega Y Gasset
Context: The metaphor is perhaps one of man's most fruitful potentialities. Its efficacy verges on magic, and it seems a tool for creation which God forgot inside one of His creatures when He made him. All our other faculties keep us within the realm of the real, of what is already there. The most we can do is to combine things or to break them up. The metaphor alone furnishes an escape; between the real things, it lets emerge imaginary reefs, a crop of floating islands. A strange thing, indeed, the existence in man of this mental activity which substitutes one thing for another — from an urge not so much to get at the first as to get rid of the second. "Taboo and Metaphor"

„But destiny — what from a vital point of view one has to be or has not to be — is not discussed, it is either accepted or rejected. If we accept it, we are genuine; if not, we are the negation, the falsification of ourselves. Destiny does not consist in what we feel we should like to do; rather is it recognised in its clear features in the consciousness that we must do what we do not feel like doing.“

— José Ortega Y Gasset
Context: It is not that one ought not to do just what one pleases; it is simply that one cannot do other than what each of us has to do, has to be. The only way out is to refuse to do what has to be done, but this does not set us free to do something else just because it pleases us. In this matter we only possess a negative freedom of will, a noluntas. We can quite well turn away from our true destiny, but only to fall a prisoner in the deeper dungeons of our destiny. … Theoretic truths not only are disputable, but their whole meaning and force lie in their being disputed, they spring from discussion. They live as long as they are discussed, and they are made exclusively for discussion. But destiny — what from a vital point of view one has to be or has not to be — is not discussed, it is either accepted or rejected. If we accept it, we are genuine; if not, we are the negation, the falsification of ourselves. Destiny does not consist in what we feel we should like to do; rather is it recognised in its clear features in the consciousness that we must do what we do not feel like doing. Chapter XI: The Self-Satisfied Age

„All modern art begins to appear comprehensible and in a way great when it is interpreted as an attempt to instill youthfulness into an ancient world.“

— José Ortega Y Gasset
Context: Were art to redeem man, it could do so only by saving him from the seriousness of life and restoring him to an unexpected boyishness. The symbol of art is seen again in the magic flute of the Great God Pan which makes the young goats frisk at the edge of the grove. All modern art begins to appear comprehensible and in a way great when it is interpreted as an attempt to instill youthfulness into an ancient world. "Art a Thing of No Consequence"

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„We feel that we actual men have suddenly been left alone on the earth; that the dead did not die in appearance only but effectively; that they can no longer help us.“

— José Ortega Y Gasset
Context: This grave dissociation of past and present is the generic fact of our time and the cause of the suspicion, more or less vague, which gives rise to the confusion characteristic of our present-day existence. We feel that we actual men have suddenly been left alone on the earth; that the dead did not die in appearance only but effectively; that they can no longer help us. Any remains of the traditional spirit have evaporated. Models, norms, standards are no use to us. We have to solve our problems without any active collaboration of the past, in full actuality, be they problems of art, science, or politics. The European stands alone, without any living ghosts by his side; like Peter Schlehmil he has lost his shadow. This is what always happens when midday comes. "The Dehumanisation of Art"; Ortega y Gasset later used this passage in The Revolt of the Masses (1929), quoting it in Ch. III: The Height Of The Times

„These traits together make up the well-known psychology of the spoilt child.“

— José Ortega Y Gasset
Context: Even to-day, in spite of some signs which are making a tiny breach in that sturdy faith, even to-day, there are few men who doubt that motorcars will in five years' time be more comfortable and cheaper than to-day. They believe in this as they believe that the sun will rise in the morning. The metaphor is an exact one. For, in fact, the common man, finding himself in a world so excellent, technically and socially, believes that it has been produced by nature, and never thinks of the personal efforts of highly-endowed individuals which the creation of this new world presupposed. Still less will he admit the notion that all these facilities still require the support of certain difficult human virtues, the least failure of which would cause the rapid disappearance of the whole magnificent edifice.… These traits together make up the well-known psychology of the spoilt child. Chap. VI: The Dissection Of The Mass-Man Begins

„The State is always, whatever be its form — primitive, ancient, medieval, modern — an invitation issued by one group of men to other human groups to carry out some enterprise in common.“

— José Ortega Y Gasset
Context: The State is always, whatever be its form — primitive, ancient, medieval, modern — an invitation issued by one group of men to other human groups to carry out some enterprise in common. That enterprise, be its intermediate processes what they may, consists in the long run in the organisation of a certain type of common life. … [As Renan says, ] "To have common glories in the past, a common will in the present; to have done great things together; to wish to do greater; these are the essential conditions which make up a people.… In the past, an inheritance of glories and regrets; in the future, one and the same programme to carry out.… The existence of a nation is a daily plebiscite." Chapter XIV: Who Rules The World?

„I am free by compulsion, whether I wish to be or not.“

— José Ortega Y Gasset
Context: Be it well understood, I am free by compulsion, whether I wish to be or not. Freedom is not an activity pursued by an entity that, apart from and previous to such pursuit, is already possessed of a fixed being. To be free means to be lacking in constitutive identity, not to have subscribed to a determined being, to be able to be other than what one was, to be unable to install oneself once and for all in any given being. The only attribute of the fixed, stable being in the free being is this constitutive instability. “Man has no nature”

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