Man and crisis y gasset ortega 9780393001211 books – electricity history in india


He wrote, “to live is to find oneself forced to interpret life. Always, irresistibly, moment by moment we find ourselves with definite and fundamental convictions about what things are and what we ourselves are in the midst of them; this articulation of final convictions is what molds our chaotic surroundings into the unity of a world or a universe.” (Pg. 24)

He states, “So at any given moment historic reality is composed of the lives of men between thirty and sixty. And here comes the most important part of my doctrine. That stage between thirty and sixty, that period of man’s full historic activity, has always been considered as a single generation, as a type of life which is homogeneous. This idea stems from the distorted point of view which makes one see in the series of generations only the elements of succession and substitution.” (Pg. 57)

He asks, “what is it to be a Christian? What structure of life does the Christian way represent as opposed to the rationalist way of the modern age? We cannot understand it if we do not first interpret a few, a very few, words about the situation in which may found himself in the first century before Christ. Greek man, Roman man, Jewish man, all of them found themselves in the same essential situation. What was this? Strictly speaking, one word describes it—desperation. One cannot understand Christianity unless one starts with this basic life of desperation.” (Pg. 118) Later, he says, “

He observes, “Man makes history because, faced with a future which is not in his hands, he finds that the only thing he has, that he possesses, is his past. Of this alone can he make use; this is the small ship in which he sets said toward the unquiet future that lies ahead.” (Pg. 120)

He recalls, “There was a time when the refusal of any form of extremism carried with it the inevitable assumption that one was a conservative. But not it is becoming obvious that this is not so, because people have seen that extremism may be either radical or reactionary. My own refusal of extremism was due not to the fact that I am a conservative, which I am not; but to the fact that in it I discovered a vital and substantive fraud.” (Pg. 152)

He predicts, “The Renaissance crisis is coming into being. Nature is again going to be separating man from God. And when Galileo and Descartes discover a new type of science, of human reason, which makes it possible to predict cosmic events with a high degree of exactitude, man recovers his confidence and his faith in himself. He goes back to living on and from himself, more than ever before in history. That was the modern age—humanism.” (Pg. 158)

He suggests, “It [this] not also the religious situation of modern man? God—but in the background.” (Pg. 197) He continues, “This is the fundamental thing in man’s Christian life: to discover that life, in the last analysis, consists in having to be dedicated to something, not in busying oneself with this, that , or the other… but in picking up one’s entire life and surrendering it to something, dedicating it… this is Christianity’s basic discovery, the thing which put it indelibly into history, which is to say, into man.” (Pg. 203)

This is the best introduction to Ortega’s thought. Ortega was not a pure academic philosopher. He wrote newspaper articles, essays, and lectures. He was also active in politics in Spain. He is one of the most underated philosopher of the last century. This book combines his insight into historical crises of mankind with his philosophy of life (vital reason). It deals with the issue of man and society (culture)—how can man be himself in the midst of the social and the cultural influences, how can we be prevented from disappearing beneath our social roles, how can we be an individual without falling into becoming the mass man. In this book, he asks how historical crisis in mankind occurs with historical investigation of the transition from the Middle Age to the Renaissance. Ortega’s main thesis is that a crisis occurs when the beliefs (convictions) of the previous generation is no longer valid because of a change in the world around us. We must find our new beliefs (convictions), but they are not in sight. This is the basic structure of crises in human history. Many countries of the world today can learn from Ortega’s thought in this book. it is easy to read because it combines Ortega’s skills and talents as a journalist, philosopher, and politician. Enjoy and learn from Ortega’s wisdom.