ORTEGA Y GASSET


Summary sheet taken from summaries prepared by the class in small groups.


Key line: "Each one of us is in danger of not being the unique and untransferable self which he is." In common with Sartre

We humanize the world, inject it and impregnate it with our own substance of ideas.

Essential uncertainty: Part of the human condition. "I am sure of naught save the uncertain. " The basic feeling of risk is the substance of man.

Consistent with Kierkegaard regarding spirituality and faith. (ex.: Too much comfort leads to laziness and spirtual death.)

Technology has taken over much of our identity. We are constantly being desensitized to truly be and truly feel. We are put "beside oneself."

Life is not ready made. We have to make it for ourselves. We live. We create. We always have a choice--which is difficult and painful.

Life is untransferable. Each of us has to live our own.

The goal for each of us is to become what we are.

We can be sure of insecurity.

Security is the downfall of Western man--i.e. anesthetized man.

Our existence is primarily action. We do not live in order to think, but we think in order to succeed in subsisting or surviving.
Yet there is no genuine action if there is no thought. We need to review and contemplate our actions, to take time to consider.

Man's truest obligation is to keep his balance.

The life that we are given is empty and each of us has to keep filling it. There is no escape. We have something to be do or to be doing always.

The choices we make reflect what needs to be done.

The Western reductionist theory of science contributed to human beings feeling alone and closed up inside.

Radical reflection involves being quiet to be inside yourself.

Radical reality: Each person's perception and experience of their reality. We can never really know someone else's reality--ex. experience someone else's toothache.

Radical solitude: Inescapable separation. A person cannot merge with another. We are all alone in our radical realities--together.

When two separate identities experience what love is, their coming together dones not "make them into one;" they still keep their individual boundaries and solitude. There is an exchange of individuality. "Genuine love is nothing but the attempt to exchange two solitudes."

We think that which forms a plan and we act on that plan. There is no genuine action if there is no thought and there is not authentic thought if it is not referred to action.

What kind of death do we pick? An ugly or a beautiful death?