Jose Ortega y Gasset.

The ancient world and the medieval world each had their own minimum definition of man…man is the rational animal.We agree with this; the difficulty is that it has become no small problem for us to know clearly what it is to be an animal, and what it is to be rational. Therefore we would rather say, for the uses of history, that man is every living being who thinks with meaning, and whose thinking we are therefore able to understand.”

Jose Ortega y Gasset

I have never heard of this philosopher until I just happened to pick up his book at a book store. Oddly enough, in the front page Alber Camus says that after Nietzsche, Gasset is perhaps the greatest ‘European’ writer.

Wow. How come Id never heard of him?

Anyways, I got to say, In reading just the first 20 pages of his ‘What is Philosophy”, I can hear the impetus of Bruno Larour’s work, as well as the initial stirrings of the Speculative Realist and OOO. Its kind of weird how he is not at least near the top of philosopher lists.

I have paused at page 23 to write this post because we also have the comment which becomes the issue of the Foucault and then the Postmoderns; particularly Im thinking of Lyotard and his issue of communication.

Extended even more, beginning with the mark of alienation, we have the beginnings of the post- and trans-human proposals. All of these concern the limits of communication and whether or not communication is taking place and under what circumstances can it take place.

Maybe check him out. Maybe he might hold some insights stretching even further into the 21st century.


      1. Ha. I believe your wife is right. I haven’t done Spanish since high school! 😛 Sadly, not one of the usual languages you learn for philosophy… but Jose Ortega y Gasset is a great read in my opinion. Revolt of the Masses is a great collection of writings.

      1. It is interesting though. There is not a requirement to use reason or to apply it or to assume it, yes. But the interesting thing is that reason itself may have developed to such an extent, or maybe to say that the being of human has become such, that reason it south I’m not sure if they can still claim to a unitive category that identifies a particular aspect of being human. Sure there is something that is “not reason“, and back in the day maybe there was this clear line between what could be considered reason or following along it’s guiding principle or whatever you call it, as opposed to “the vulgar“. But it appears to me that now the appearance or the ability to use language in particular manners does not always reflect this common or unitive category that we assume of reason even as we might think we are addressing each other within this context.

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