Who is Jose Ortega y Gasset?June 25, 2021
Spanish philosopher born in Madrid.
José Ortega y Gasset (9 May 1883 – 18 October 1955) studied at Madrid and German universities. He returned to his native city (Madrid) in 1910 and became a professor of metaphysics. He became an important figure in the revival of culture and literature in Spain by publishing various magazines. La Revista de Occidente is the most well-known of these magazines. Leaving Spain with the outbreak of the civil war, Gasset lived first in France and then in Argentina. He returned to Spain in the last years of his life and died in Madrid in 1955.
This Spanish philosopher, who gives importance to how he says as much as what he says, is “perhaps the greatest European writer after Nietzsche” according to Camus.
A culturally and politically conservative Gasset, like other existential thinkers, says that when it comes to human beings, essence comes before existence. According to him, stone has been given an existence, it does not need to fight, to struggle to become what it is; however, man has to re-create his existence and determine his essence in every moment he is in.
He has a lot to do with life as a philosopher. That’s why it’s always criticized. But instead of being silent and philosophizing, he always talks. On everything: love, women, Spain, the poetry of Anne de Noailles, the Roman Empire, the population explosion and whatever else. He is an exile, but a Spaniard who is sincerely interested in his country’s past, present and future: a world person who feels at home in Europe too. Because Gasset is a lover, a concert audience, a bullfighting fan, and a magazine reader at the same time.
– Gasset and existentialism
Prepared by: Sociologist Ömer YILDIRIM
Source: Omer YILDIRIM’s Personal Lecture Notes. Atatürk University Sociology Department 1st Year “Introduction to Philosophy” and 2nd, 3rd, 4th Grade “History of Philosophy” Lecture Notes (Ömer YILDIRIM); Open Education Philosophy Textbook