Reflections on José Ortega Y Gasset’s Notion of Àlétheia

  • Jorge García-Gómez
Part of the Analecta Husserliana book series (ANHU, volume 76)


One may distinguish between several different, albeit interconnected, senses of the word verdad, or truth, in Ortega’s work, namely:
  1. 1.

    Adaequatio, correspondence, or veracity;

  2. 2.

    Coherence or compatibility (or even logicality, the name he assigned to it when it was carried to the limit with the greatest possible rigor);

  3. 3.

    Self-coincidence, authenticity, or the lived agreement between one’s thought and experience, on the one hand, and the beliefs at the core of one’s life, on the other;1 and

  4. 4.

    Àlétheia, unconcealment, or dis-covery.



Nicomachean Ethic True Reality Logical Thought Crisis Point Tactical Turn 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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  1. 1.
    Cf. Julián Marías, Introductión a la Filosofía, 9th. ed., in Obras (2nd. ed., Madrid: Revista de Occidente, 1962), Vol. II, p. 95 and my paper “La teoría orteguiana de las ideas y las creencias. Una dificultad interpretativa”, Humanitas ( Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León, México ), 1999, pp. 137–138.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Cf. my paper, “Caminos de la reflexión. En torno a la teoría orteguiana de las ideas y las creencias”, Revista de Filosofía (Universidad Complutense de Madrid), 3a época, Vol. XI (1998), Nos. 19 (pp. 28ff) and 20 (pp. 122ff).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    J. Holloway, “A Reply to Sir Peter Medawar”, in Peter B. Medawar, The Hope of Progress: A Scientist Looks at Problems in Philosophy, Literature, and Science (Garden City, N. Y.: Anchor Books/Doubleday, 1972), p. 43. Cf. P. B. Medawar, ibid., p. 27.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    As already pointed out, I have taken into account these two ideas and their implications elsewhere, cf. supra, n. 2.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Cf. J. Marías, “Comentario”, in José Ortega y Gasset, Meditaciones del Quijote (Madrid: Ediciones de la Universidad de Puerto Rico/Revista de Occidente, 1957), pp. 296–304; Holger Helting, “à-létheia. Etymologien vor Heidegger im Vergleich mit einigen Phäsen der à-létheiaAuslegung bei Heidegger”, Heidegger Studies (Berlin: Duncker & Humblot), Vol. XIII (1997), pp. 93ff; Rudolf Bultmann et al., àlétheia, in Theologisches Wörterbuch zum Neuen Testament, ed. G. Kittel (Stuttgart: W. Kolhammer, 1933); and Ceslas Spicq, Notes de lexicographie néo-testamentaire (Fribourg: Éditions Universitaires, 1982), Vol. I.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    J. Marías, Introductión a la Filosofía, p. 86. (The emphasis is mine.) However important and interesting it may be, the question of showing the presence or givenness (by way of interconnectedness) of the other senses of “truth, ” in each one of the acceptations of the term, it cannot be adequately dealt with here. I will limit myself briefly to calling the reader’s attention to what Marías says in that regard: “Veritas involves a straightforward reference to the act of saying, which exceeds the reference to a declarative or apophantic manner of saying. It is the shade of meaning conveyed by the Spanish word, veracidad [veracity or truthfulness].” (Cf. José Ortega y Gasset, El hombre y la gente, in Obras Completas [Madrid: Alianza Editorial/Revista de Occidente, 1983], Vol. VII, p. 145. Henceforth I shall be referring to this collection as OC, and Ortega’s name will not be identified as the author’s in subsequent citations of any of his works.) Concerning the Hebrew locution, emunah, Marías points out that it “contains a personal reference: it is about the truth in the sense of trust [emphasis added] ... it points, then, to the fulfillment [of a promise made by someone, particularly by God, a promise rendered true thereby], to something one hopes for and which will be” (J. Marías, op. cit., pp. 86–87). Cf. Exodus 3: 14; Fray Luis de León, De los nombres de Cristo, i, “Faces de Dios”, in Obras Completas Castellanas de Fray Luis de León, ed. F. García (3rd. ed., Madrid: Biblioteca de Autores Cristianos, 1959), p. 425; Hans Freiherr von Soden, “Was ist Wahrheit?” (1927); “Apuntes sobre el pensamiento, su teurgia y su demiurgia”, OC, Vol. V. p. 536, n. 1; Xavier Zubiri, “Sobre el problema de la filosoffa”, Revista de Occidente, la época, No. 118 (April, 1933), pp. 94ff. and “Nuestra situation intelectual”, Naturaleza, Historia, Dios (5th. ed., Madrid: Editora Nacional, 1963), p. 14, n. 1.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    J. Marías, Introductión a la Filosoftía, p. 86.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Cf. “Meditación preliminar”, § 4, Meditaciones del Quijote, in OC, I, pp. 335f. Vide J. Marías, “Comentario”, pp. 296ff; Martin Heidegger, Sein and Zeit, in Gesamtausgabe (Frankfurt am Main: V. Klostermann, 1977), Part I, Vol. II §§ 7 and 44, pp. 33f, 280ff, 290ff, and 293f.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    J. Marías, Ortega. I. Circunstancia y vocation (Madrid: Revista de Occidente, 1960), p. 472. Henceforth I shall be referring to this work as Ortega I.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
  11. 11.
  12. 12.
    Meditación preliminar“, § 4, Meditaciones del Quijote, p. 336. English transl.: Meditations on Quixote, trans. E. Rugg et al. (New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 1961), p. 67. The transliteration from the Greek has been slightly modified. (For the term, àpokâlupsis, see Albrecht Oepke, kalúpto, àpokálupsis, etc. in Theologisches Wörterbuch zum Neuen Testament, ed. G. Kittel, Vol. III.) Cf. Antonio Rodriguez Huéscar, Perspectiva y verdad (2nd. ed., Madrid: Alianza Editorial, 1985), p. 222: ”When he discovered logical thought, Parmenides believed he had un-covered genuine reality, and he lived that thought as ‘re-velation’ [à-létheia] ... .“ On this basis, one may distinguish between truth as re-velation and that which is re-vealed thereby, a distinction serving as the ground for conceiving of what Ortega called belief, in contradistinction to idea. (See my articles entitled, ”Caminos de la reflexion“, supra, n. 2.) Cf. La idea de principio en Leibniz y la evolution de la teorfa deductiva, in OC, VIII, p. 210: ”True thought is thought; it becomes true inasmuch as it ceases to be thought and turns into the presence of reality itself.“ (Henceforth I shall be referring to this work as La idea de principio). This point is well taken, and yet one must be careful not to misunderstand it and relapse thereby into idealism, especially into the psychologistic or extremely subjectivistic form of it. To that end, one must keep in mind, as Rodriguez Huéscar prudently warned us, that ”to dis-cover or re-veal is an operation one performs, while [a] re-velation is always [the re-velation] of a thing, of the real itself...; it is always [a] ‘transcendent re-velation”’ (op. cit., pp. 229–230). Accordingly, it is clear that reality and its coming to the truth not only correspond to each other necessarily, but also exist exclusively in absolute reciprocity, a point Ortega himself made as follows: ”Due to some curious contamination [emphasis added] between that which is un-covered = reality, and our act of un-covering or denuding it, we often speak about the ‘naked truth’, a tautology. That which is naked is reality and denuding it is the truth, inquiry, or àlétheia.“ (Origen y epilogo de la filosofÞa, in OC, IX, p. 386; English transl.: The Origin of Philosophy, trans. T. Talbot [New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 1967], p. 63.) To this one could add that, from a different point of view, ” ... what to Parmenides is genuinely evident — and not just a belief— is not the fact that true reality behaves in conformity with ‘logical thought’ under the rule of the principle of contradiction (that is what is believed), but, rather, that there is [such a thing] as ‘logical thought’, which is compulsory, ‘anankic’, necessitative, non-contradictory. This is still evident; it continues to be the truth [àlétheia], and will continue to be such as long as there is a thinking being capable ‘of placing itself face to face’ with the fact or reality that the given statement makes manifest [in the process of coming to the truth or alethedein, of re-vealing, rendering evident, or un-covering].“ (A. Rodriguez Huéscar, op. cit., p. 224).Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Meditación preliminar“, § 4, Meditaciones del Quijote, p. 336. English transl.: p. 67. (The emphasis is mine. The spelling has been slightly modified.)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    J. Marías, Ortega. I, p. 472. Cf. p. 567, nn. 21 and 22. Vide Critias of Athens, Sûsuphos, B 25, v. 26, in H. Diets and W. Krantz, Die Fragmente der Vorsokratiker, 6th. ed. (Berlin: Weidmann, 1951–1952), Vol. II, p. 388, I. 4; apud J. Marías, “Comentario”, p. 298: “pseudei kalûpsas tès alétheian logoi” Cf. Ancilla to the Pre-Socratic Philosophers, trans. K. Freeman (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1962), Fragment 25, p. 158: “covering up the truth with a false theory [word].”Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    J. Marías, Introducción a la Filosoffa, p. 86.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Cf. ibid. and A. Rodriguez Huéscar, op. cit., p. 426, n. 124: “ ... Zubiri points out [that there are] three components to the notion of àlétheia or truth: being, manifestness, and security” Vide X. Zubiri, Naturaleza, Historia, Dios, p. 14, n. 1.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    It seems that a very complex objective-subjective dialectic is at work here. Cf. M. Heidegger, “Vom Wesen der Wahrheit”, § 5ff., in Wegmarken, Gesamtausgabe, Part I, Vol. IX (1976), pp. 192ff.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Sobre el estudiar y el estudiante“, in OC, IV, p. 546. The empasis is mine.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Vide Plato, Republic, v, 18, 475 d—e and 480. Cf. z Qué es conocimiento? (Madrid: Revista de Occidente/Alianza Editorial, 1984), Part II, pp. 67ff and 76–77.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Cf. El tema de nuestro tiempo, in OC, III, Chap. 3, pp. 160–161.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Sobre el estudiar y el estudiante“, p. 548.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    I have in mind Ortega’s term, mentefactura. Cf. his “Rectificaci6n de la Republica”, in OC, XI, p. 416.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Sobre el estudiar y el estudiante“, p. 548. Perhaps it may not be groundless to attribute the role of a lantern, so to speak, to a ”genuine subjective need, “ in the sense in which ”lantern“ is taken in the Gospel parable. (Cf. Luke 15: 8; St. Augustine, Confessions, 10.18.27.)Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    The search in question does not necessarily imply a creative endeavor on one’s part, i.e., an effort in which one would be intent on increasing the “objective wealth” of knowledge at one’s disposal, since the only requirements to be met by one’s attempt in that direction are: (a) that one come to possess, by one’s own means, a truth that is not yet one’s own, and (b) that one provide a justification of that truth in terms of one’s own reasons, at least an account that would be arrived at because of the motivations permitting one’s access to the reality of the real. But more generally, though implicitly, the search would be rooted in one’s radical self-transcendence, which is one’s response to a call for justification (if one is so constituted as to require it), and which would be effected in whichever manner is appropriate in the particular case and to the person involved in the given theoretical matter. Such self-transcendence would open us up to, and be matched by, a field of transcendence, which would allow the sought-after justification to arise. Accordingly, the pair “self-transcendence/field of transcendence” would “unexpectedly lead ... back to the particular again ... [but] the particular can no longer have the weight of an absolute ... .” (Hans Urs von Balthasar, Der Christ and die Angst [Einsiedeln: Johannes Verlag, 1989], iii. English trans.: The Christian and Anxiety, trans. D. D. Martin et al. [San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2000], p. 130). “Essence” is the name chosen by Ortega to refer to the fruit of such self-transcendence. (Cf. infra, n. 26.) Whether the field of transcendence is that of Being (as claimed by Balthasar here or by Heidegger, e.g., in Sein and Zeit, §§ 5–6 and 69c, pp. 364–366) remains here an unresolved problem, which can only be tackled by considering the relationship between being and life, as the latter is conceived by Ortega, namely, as the dual, dynamic unity and totality by reciprocity of self (as self-transcendence) and circum-stance (as the instancing occasion for metaphysical perplexity).Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    En tomb a Galileo, in OC, V. pp. 15–16. (The emphasis is mine.) As usual, Ortega employs the word “enigma” in its Greek-etymological sense of “riddle.”Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Cf. ¿Qué es conocimiento?, Part III.Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Cf. Plato, Republic, VII, 516 c—d and Gorgias, 501 a.Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    En torno a Galileo, p. 16.Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Apuntes sobre el pensamiento, su teurgia y su demiurgia“, in OC, V, p. 525.Google Scholar
  30. 30.
  31. 31.
    En torn() a Galileo, p. 16. For the “cognitive” sense of the experience of “chaos” (and of the attendant “confusion” or befuddlement as a form of “consciousness”), cf. my article, “Caminos de la reflexion”, Inc. cit., No. 19, pp. 12–21.Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Cf. A. Rodriguez Huéscar, op. cit., p. 235.Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Cf. ibid. For the relevant concepts of “instancy” and “instancing”, vide A. Rodriguez Huéscar, José Ortega y Gasset’s Metaphysical Innovation. A Critique and Overcoming of Idealism, trans. J. Garcia-Gomez (Albany, N. Y.: State University of New York Press, 1995), Part II, Chap. 4, §5B, pp. 104ff.Google Scholar
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    Cf., ¿Qué es conocimiento?, Part III, p. 100; Immanuel Kant, Kritik der reinen Vernunft, B 211–212, 233ff, and 275ff; and Henri Bergson, “Introductión à la métaphysique”, La pensée et le mouvant, vi, in Oeuvres ( Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1963 ), pp. 1397–1398.Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Cf. supra, n. 33.Google Scholar
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    J. Garcia-Gomez, “The Problematicity of Life”, in José Ortega y Gasset, ed. N. de MarvalMcNair, Proceedings of the “Espectador Universal” International Interdisciplinary Conference ( New York: Greenwood Press/Hofstra University, 1987 ), p. 34.Google Scholar
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    Cf. En torno a Galileo, p. 15 and “Meditacion preliminar”, § 5, Meditaciones del Quijote, p. 373: “When [today] we look for reality we search for appearances. But the Greek took reality to be the opposite: the real is the essential, the profound and latent; not the external appearance but the living sources of all appearance.” (English transi.: p. 124. The emphasis is mine.) Marías interprets this passage as follows: “Ortega contrasts the attitude dominant in his time, and against which he reacts, to that of the Greeks; the identification of the real with that which is accessible to the senses, which is the point of view of Positivism in all its forms ... . The ultimate expression of the Orteguian sentence we have quoted is the deepest interpretation of àlétheia ... [which encompasses] its metaphysical significance: the truth is the true reality (alethès On), that which is patent; that is, it makes patent [emphasis added] or manifests what truly is..., that which gives life to appearance, that from which appearance arises, the living springs of appearance. This expression, living spring, would translate admirably what the Greeks understood by physis, that from which springs or arises what is shown and uncovered in its appearance, and which for this reason can be interpreted as principle (arkhé). Recall the use of the word ‘hontanar’ (source) in Ortega’s work” Ortega. I, § 81, p. 473. English transi.: José Ortega y Gasset. Circumstance and Vocation, trans. F. M. López-Morillas [Norman: The University of Oklahoma Press, 1970], pp. 445–446). Marías’s understanding of the text is not only correct, but of decisive importance, since, in his commentary, he does not rest content with considering the level of appearances; rather, he regards them in a dynamic fashion, as is made clear by his use of the phrase, “it makes patent or manifests ... ”Google Scholar
  41. 41.
    Ibid. (The emphasis is mine.) Marías employs here the expression “make it true” to underscore the active role played by human beings in the experience of the truth.Google Scholar
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    En torno a Galileo, p. 16. The emphasis is mine.Google Scholar
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    Cf. my articles, “Caminos dc la reflexion, ” /oc. cit., No. 19, pp. 8ff and No. 20, pp. 132ff and 141ff.Google Scholar
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    But if that is so, then pure feeling and even passion, no matter what their intensity may be, prove inadequate in the search for the truth; one must, therefore, clarify and justify them by means of well-articulated arguments to be developed on an intuitive basis.Google Scholar
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    Cf. supra, n. 33.Google Scholar
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    A. Rodriguez Huéscar, Perspectiva y verdad, p. 235. As the author hastened to add, “ ... one must observe that such ‘facts’, precisely as given in one’s spontaneous living ... [or as the result of] scientific investigation, already are interpretations ... ”; that is to say, that what they signify for us in everyday life — and, to a point, in positive science itself — is mediated by the beliefs on the basis of which we live at a given juncture of history. Cf. my article, “Caminos de la reflexiôn”, loc. cit., No. 20, pp. 114–120.Google Scholar
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    A. Rodriguez Huéscar, op. cit., p. 236.Google Scholar
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    El hombre y la gente, p. 145.Google Scholar
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    En torn a Galileo, p. 16.Google Scholar
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    Cf. my article, “Caminos de la reflexfon”, loc. cit., No. 20, pp. 124ff.Google Scholar
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    En torn a Galileo, p. 16.Google Scholar
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    Cf. La idea de principio, p. 109 and my article, “Caminos de la reflexiôn”, loc. cit., No. 20, p. 122.Google Scholar
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    En tomb a Galileo, p. 16. The emphasis is mine.Google Scholar
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    Cf. La idea de principio, pp. 68, 104, and 121–122; A. Rodriguez Huéscar, Perspectiva y verdad, pp. 204–205; and my articles, “Caminos de la reflexiôn”, loc. cit., Nos. 19 (nn. 30, 44, and 79) and 20 (pp. 122–123).Google Scholar
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    J. Marías, Ortega. I, § 83, p. 478.Google Scholar
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    Meditaciones del Quijote, p. 321 (English transl.: p. 44).Google Scholar
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    J. Marías, op. cit. This does not necessarily involve a will-to-power one would realize by means of things, and even perhaps at their expense. To exercise true dominion over things and genuinely to possess them, which is the yield obtainable as a result of engaging in genuine thinking, consists, rather, in taking on the power proper to things, and this can only be accomplished by letting them be what they are in the medium of one’s thought. In other words, it is a question of deliberatively striving to bring about a non-distortive co-incidence of things and thought, i.e., an endeavor that would allow thinking to come to an adequate correspondence with the reality of things, a reality that, as such, would arise from them as a response to one’s care-ful inquiry.Google Scholar
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    In the case of compatibility, as opposed to that of logical derivation, the employment of the imagination would have to be pursued further in order to produce other members of the inner world in question (i.e., the one set up and rendered characteristic in terms of the operative or relevant “idea of reality”). The discharge of this task would be called for as a function of the theoretical difficulties that may arise in the course of thinking.Google Scholar
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    Cf. my articles, “Caminos de la reflexfon”, loc. cit., No. 20, pp. 114ff and “La acciôn y los usos intelectuales. En torn a la problemática de las ideas y las creencias en la Filosofía de José Ortega y Gasset”, Torre de las Lujanes (Real Sociedad Econômica Matritense de Amigos del Pais), No. 34 (October, 1997), pp. 117–138.Google Scholar
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    For the functional distinction between the two sorts of interconnected motives at play in life at every juncture (i.e., the “because of’ and the ”for the sake of’ motives), cf. Qué es conocimiento?, Part I, pp. 45ff. Vide Alfred Schutz, Der sinnhafte Aufbau der sozialen Welt (2nd. ed., Vienna: Springer Verlag, 1960; 1st. ed., 1932), §§ 17 (p. 95) and 18 (p. 100); English transl. The Phenomenology of the Social World, trans. G. Walsh et al. (Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1967), pp. 88 and 91; “Projects of Action”, iii, in Collected Papers (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1962), Vol. I (ed. M. Natanson), pp. 69ff; and Reflections on the Problem of Relevance, ed. R. M. Zaner (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1970), Chap. 2, § E, pp. 45ff.Google Scholar
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    Cf. Meditaciones del Quijote, p. 321; J. Marías, “Comentario”, pp. 254–255; M. Heidegger, Sein and Zeit, § 15; and my study, “The Problematicity of Life”, p. 35.Google Scholar
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    Cf. my study, “The Problematicity of Life”, p. 35.Google Scholar
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    Jacques Maritain, Creative Intuition in Art and Poetry (New York: Pantheon Books/Bollingen Series XXXV-1, 1953), Chap. 2, § 2, p. 46.Google Scholar
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    Cf. “Filosoffa pura. Anejo a mi folleto ‘Kant, in OC, IV: ”The discovery that being is only endowed with sense [if understood] as a question posed by a subject ... could have only been made by someone who [like Kant] has severed the two meanings of the term ‘being’ [namely, the in-itself and the for-itself] ... “ (p. 56). ”And yet that being [should prove to] be a question and, because of it, [that it should prove to] be thought, did not oblige Kant at all to adopt an idealist solution ... . That being [should prove to] be devoid of sense and incapable of signifying anything, if one were to consider it apart from the knowing subject — and, therefore, that thinking should play a part in the being of things by positing it — does not imply that entities, [or] things, in being or not being, become thought, as two oranges do not turn into something subjective, because their equality exists only when a subject compares them“ (pp. 56–57). ” ... [B]eing, what is objective, etc. are meaningful [notions] only if one goes in search of them, [the search] essentially consisting in one’s moving toward them. Now then, human life, or a human being qua living reason, is the subject in question. Radically speaking, a human being’s life is [tantamount to] his or her being occupied with the things of the world, not with him-or herself’ (p. 58).Google Scholar
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    J. Garcia-Gomez, “The Problematicity of Life”, p. 35.Google Scholar
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    Ibid. Cf. my paper, “José Ortega y Gasset’s Categorial Analysis of Life”, Analecta Husserliana, Vol. LVII (1998), pp. 150–158.Google Scholar
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    Cf. supra, n. 40.Google Scholar
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    J. Garcia-Gomez, “The Problematicity of Life”, p. 35. Cf. Unas lecciones de metaftsica, in OC, XII, p. 72.Google Scholar
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    Apuntes sobre el pensamiento, su teurgia y su demiurgia“, p. 525. The emphasis is mine.Google Scholar
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    Perspectiva y verdad, p. 236. Cf. supra, p. 69 and n. 25.Google Scholar
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    Cf. “Apuntes sobre el pensamiento, su teurgia y su demiurgia”, p. 525 and “Meditación preliminar”, § 4, Meditaciones del Quijote, p. 335: “That pure, sudden illumination which characterizes truth accompanies the latter only at the moment of discovery” (English transl.: p. 67). Vide J. Marías, “Comentario”, p. 295: “The Orteguian interpretation of the truth marks its beginning with the idea of light, by way of a sudden illumination. Far from being a fleeting image or an occurrence, it constitutes the heart of the doctrine.” (Cf. “Meditación preliminar: la luz como imperativo”, § 12, op. cit., pp. 356ff; J. Marías, “Comentario”, pp. 297 and 354ff; and M. Heidegger, Sein and Zeit, §§ 7 and 28.) Marías comes to the conclusion that “life [cannot be] reduced to [a zone of] clarity. Clarity is internal to life.” (“Comentario”, p. 359; cf. Meditaciones del Quijote, p. 358.) Nonetheless, as he had remarked earlier, “in [Nicolai] Hartmann [cf. PlatosLogik des Seins, 1909, apud J. Marías, loc. cit., pp. 302–303] two notes are missing [which are part of the idea of truth qua àlétheia and which are] particularly interesting. [This is in contrast with his acknowledgement of the role played by forgetfulness and remembrance in that concept. Those two notes] are found in Ortega’s passage, and they are: the connection between àlétheia and àpokdlupsis... and, above all, the reference to light, the character of ‘sudden illumination’ that belongs to the truth at the moment of discovery [emphasis added], that is to say, insofar it is àlétheia, a theme that is to reappear in Heidegger” (loc. cit., pp. 303–304. The transliteration of the Greek has been slightly modified).Google Scholar
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    J. Marías, Ortega, I, p. 478. The passage in quotes is from Meditaciones del Quijote, p. 313 (English trans.: p. 33). Cf. infra, pp. 79ff.Google Scholar
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    Perspectiva y verdad, p. 245.Google Scholar
  83. 83.
    Ibid. The fundamental sense of this assertion becomes clear to us in terms of what Rodriguez Huéscar affirmed elsewhere, to wit: that, in Ortega’s opinion, “evidence [etymologically understood, i.e., as deriving from ex (= out of) and videns (= seeing)], is an act of vision [videncia], an unmediated [act of] vision ... an intuition. Therefore, it cannot be [a matter of] feeling, because feeling is blind or, better yet, an-optic (‘devoid of eyes’).” (Ibid., p. 209.) This allows us to realize that thinking, when it is in form — i.e., when it is an act of philosophizing — consists in endeavoring to overcome the mediation of beliefs (not primarily of ideas) in order justifiedly to arrive at the reality of the things themselves. As Rodriguez Huéscar pointed out, “intellectual evidence, then, is irreducible to the ‘cataleptic’ character of the so-called ‘evidence’ afforded by a belief’ (ibid.), which by definition is ”incompatible with theoretical or cognitive truth“, inasmuch as a belief plays the role of something which, as a matter of course, is taken for granted (or even identified with reality itself). For the Stoic notion of ”cataleptic“ imagination, cf. La idea de principio, § 25, p. 253. See Qué es Filosoffa? in OC, VII, pp. 350ff and my paper, ”La acción y los usos intelectuales“, p. 127 and n. 36.Google Scholar
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    A. Rodriguez Huéscar, Perspectiva y verdad, p. 245.Google Scholar
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    This would be so whenever it is given as lacking the character of world, be it as a totality (as is the case in metaphysical reflection, at least originally) or in some respect (as it usually happens in everyday life).Google Scholar
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    Cf. Meditaciones del Quijote, pp. 357–358.Google Scholar
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    J. Marías, Ortega. I, § 81, p. 483 (English transl.: p. 455). This passage refers us to Meditaciones del Quijote, p. 335.Google Scholar
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    Meditación preliminar“, § 12, Meditaciones del Quijote, p. 358. English trans.: p. 99.Google Scholar
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    For Ortega’s notion of hero, cf. ibid., p. 390 and J. Marías, “Comentario”, p. 428; for Ortega’s notion of truth as self-coincidence, see En torn° a Galileo, Chap. 7. Cf. the notion of Eigentlichkeit or “authenticity” in M. Heidegger, Sein and Zeit, § 9, p. 43.Google Scholar
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    Cf. supra, p. 77 and n. 84.Google Scholar
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    A. Rodriguez Huéscar, Perspectiva y verdad, p. 245.Google Scholar
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    Ibid. Cf. p. 437, n. 320 and M. Heidegger, “Vom Wesen der Wahrheit”, ii, pp. 182ff.Google Scholar
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    Cf. supra, p. 74 and n. 59.Google Scholar
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    J. Marías, Ortega. I, § 83, p. 480. (English transl.: p. 452). Please note that here the word logos is used to signify the product of the process of verification, not the process itself.Google Scholar
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    Cf. supra, p. 77.Google Scholar
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    Cf. “Sensacibn, construccién e intuiciôn”, OC XII, pp. 487ff.Google Scholar
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    A. Rodriguez Huéscar, Perspectiva y verdad, p. 208.Google Scholar
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    J. Marías, Ortega. I, § 83, p. 480. (English transi.: p. 452).Google Scholar
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    Meditaciones del Quijotep. 313 (English transl.: p. 33).Google Scholar
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    Ibid., p. 316. (English transi.: p. 38).Google Scholar
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    Ibid. (The emphasis is mine.) As indicated, the translation has been modified to reflect the original more closely.Google Scholar
  104. 104.
    Ibid., p. 311. (English transi.: p. 31). Ortega does not seem here to be employing the term “fact” as I have done thus far, in keeping with his later practice. In my opinion, at this point it means anything that is observable or noted at the level of phenomena. If this is correct, the phrase, “its fullest significance” would refer to an expansion of what is given, which expansion, when carried to the limit, would find a rightful place for the phenomenon in question in the system of appearances that is the equivalent of the universe. Accordingly, the phrase, “its fullness of significance” should not then be taken as an expression for the intensification of, and the concentration upon, that which is essentially proper to the thing under consideration, as the later notions of “fact” and “reality” would lead us to expect. The two concepts of “fact” are not, however, incompatible (nor are they, en revanche, unrelated, as would be those referring to two different spheres that just merely happen to coincide at a certain juncture, be it spatio-temporal in character or otherwise), since it is possible to interpret them in such a fashion that the reality of the thing is seen as the fundamental core and source of the expansible system of appearances serving as its correlative manifestation. If this is the case, then one would have to add, to the dialectical interplay of the metaphors of circumference and center, the radical dimension of depth, with which they would have to be brought to synthesis.Google Scholar
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    Sumposion, 202 e in Platonis opera, ed. J. Burnet (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1973), II.Google Scholar
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    The Dialogues of Plato, trans. B. Jowett (New York: Random House, 1937), I, p. 328.Google Scholar
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    Meditaciones del Quijote, p. 313. (English transi.: p. 33). The translation has been slightly modified, so as to follow the original more closely.Google Scholar
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    Cf. Aristotle Nicomachean Ethics Liii.l.Google Scholar
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    Cf., e.g., Erich Fromm, The Art of Loving (New York: Harper & Row/Perennial Library, 1974), ii, §§ 2–3, pp. 32ff.Google Scholar
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    Plato, op. cit., 200–201 and 204 d.Google Scholar
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    Meditaciones del Quijote, p. 313 (English transi.: p. 33). As indicated, the translation has been modified to reflect the original more closely.Google Scholar
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    Plato, op. cit., 200 e in The Dialogues of Plato, trans. B. Jowett, p. 326.Google Scholar
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    Benevolence, or amor benevolentiae, deserves the special name of philia or amor amicitiae when reciprocity as a fundamentally possible relationship between lover and the beloved object is intended, that is, when both are persons acting as such with regard to each other. For the distinction between éros (or love as dilectio concupiscentiae or cupiditas) and philia (or love as dilectio amicitiae sive benevolentiae sive beneficentiae), cf. Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, viii—ix; St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa theologiae, I—II, qq. 25 (a. 2) and 26 (aa. 1, 3, and 4); and A. E. Taylor, Plato (New York: The Dial Press, 1936), p. 233 and n. 1. In connection with philia, one cannot fail to mention the notion of charity or àgâpe. This is the distinctive Christian contribution to the theory and the experience of love. (Cf., e.g., Romans 5:5, 1 John 4:16; 1 Corinthians 13: 8–13; St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa theologiae, I—II, q. 65, a. 5c ad 1; II—II, qq. 23 [a. 1] and 26 [a. 3c].) Concerning this form of love, it would be hardly sufficient to say, with Leibniz, that it is “universal benevolence, ” as if it consisted just — or even primarily — in increasing a human tendency and passion — even to the maximum of its possible scope — by sheer human effort and means. Cf. G. W. Leibniz, “Preface to the ‘Codex juris gentium diplomaticus”’, Die philosophischen Schriften, ed. C. J. Gerhardt (Berlin and Halle: 1875–1890; re-issued, Hildescheim: G. Olms, 1960–1961), III, p. 387. English transi.: G. W. Leibniz, Philosophical Papers and Letters, trans. and ed. L. E. Loemker (2nd. ed. Dordrecht: D. Reidel, 1969 ), p. 421.Google Scholar
  123. 123.
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    Josef Pieper, Über die Liebe (7th. ed., Munich: Kösel Verlag, 1992), viii.Google Scholar
  125. 125.
    G. W. Leibniz, loc. cit.Google Scholar
  126. 126.
    Ibid. (English transi.: pp. 421–422). The emphasis is mine.Google Scholar
  127. 127.
    G. W. Leibniz, Nouveaux essais sur l’entendement humain, ed. J. Brunschwig (Paris: Garnier-Flammarion, 1966), Book II, Chap. XX, § 5, p. 138.Google Scholar
  128. 128.
    Cf. supra, n. 122.Google Scholar
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    G. W. Leibniz, Nouveaux essais sur l’entendement humain, p. 138.Google Scholar
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    Cf. supra, p. 82 and n. 126.Google Scholar
  131. 131.
    Cf. supra, n. 81.Google Scholar
  132. 132.
    J. Marfas, “Comentario”, p. 225. It seems to me that, at this point, Marías can only be metaphorically availing himself of the language of agency with regard to things, for, even though things must be intrinsically capable of such “transcendence, ” if they are to be lovable and eventually loved, it is nonetheless true that the only agency involved in that is the lover’s, though, to be sure, the beloved object would correspondingly “instance” the one in love.Google Scholar
  133. 133.
    Ibid. As I hope will become apparent in what follows, it would be advisable to introduce the word “actual” in order to qualify Marfas’ employment of “intrinsic” in this citation.Google Scholar
  134. 134.
    Meditaciones del Quijote, p. 312. (English transi.: p. 32). The emphasis is mine.Google Scholar
  135. 135.
    Ortega speaks of the beloved object as “a virgin that is to be wooed or courted if it is to become fruitful.” (Ibid.) The translation has been modified.Google Scholar
  136. 136.
    Ibid., p. 311.Google Scholar
  137. 137.
    Ibid., p. 312.Google Scholar
  138. 138.
    Cf. supra, p. 70ff.Google Scholar
  139. 139.
    Cf. ¿Qué es conocimiento?, Part III, pp. 112, 120ff, 141ff, and 154ff.Google Scholar
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    Cf. supra, p. 82 and n. 126.Google Scholar
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    Cf. supra, n. 135.Google Scholar
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    Cf. supra, p. 72f. One could argue that Ortega’s employment of the locution “reverberations” (Meditaciones del Quijote, p. 311) conveys, from an external standpoint, what one would characterize, from an internal point of view, as the “intrinsic virtualities” of the beloved object (Cf. J. Marías, “Comentario”, p. 226). Accordingly, one could say that Marfas had in mind the essential and reciprocal relationship between the extrinsic and intrinsic dimensions of love when he asserted that “ ... [w]hat is important and new about Ortega’s idea is that it deals with an ‘all-embracing connection’ cf. Meditaciones del Quijote, p. 316]. In other words, it does not simply deal with the subject’s love of things (the philosopher being the subject in this case), nor with a hypothetical and vague ‘love’ that things would bear one another either” (“Comentario, p. 234). To put it otherwise: Ortega was attempting thereby to give expression to the dynamic structure of life, which amounts to the ongoing cultivation of an intrinsic nexus of reciprocity between the self and the circumstance, a formula wherein the conjunction ”and“ points to the project and endeavor of ”salvation“ as essential to life. Cf. Meditaciones del Quijote, p. 322; J. Marlas, ”Comentario“, pp. 266ff and Ortega. I, Secci6n III, iv, §§ 70ff; and supra, pp. 80–81.Google Scholar
  143. 143.
    Cf., e.g., “Renan’, OC, I, p. 448 and supra, n. 19.Google Scholar
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    Plato, Republic. V. 19, 475 d in The Dialogues of Plato, trans. B. Jowett, I., p. 738. Cf. 480 a, p. 744.Google Scholar
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    Cf. supra, p. 80 and n. 104.Google Scholar
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    Cf. supra, p. 80 and n. 103.Google Scholar
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    Republic, V. 19, 475 b, in The Collected Dialogues of Plato, trans. B. Jowett, I, p. 738.Google Scholar
  149. 149.
    Ibid., 475 e, p. 739.Google Scholar
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    Cf. supra, p. 69 and n. 34.Google Scholar
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    Origen y epilogo de la Filosofía, p. 384 (English transl.: p. 60).Google Scholar
  152. 152.
    Ibid., p. 387. (English transl.: p. 64).Google Scholar
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    Ibid., p. 386. (English transl.: p. 62).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jorge García-Gómez
    • 1
  1. 1.Long Island UniversitySouthamptonUSA

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