Human Reality and the Social World: Ortega's Philosophy of History

Human Reality and the Social World: Ortega's Philosophy of History

Human Reality and the Social World: Ortega's Philosophy of History

Human Reality and the Social World: Ortega's Philosophy of History

Excerpt

This essay attempts a systematic analysis of Ortega's philosophy of human reality, the social world, and history. The unified analysis of his philosophy drew heavily upon the traditions of historicism, phenomenology, and existentialism. Such was the influence of these philosophical traditions that Ortega became, at once, critic and representative of their respective positions, problems, and solutions.

The external historical connections among historicism, phenomenology, and existentialism, as philosophical movements, are not broached here, albeit these are the themes with which this study will be concerned. The internal essential philosophical relations, however, of these points of view are perceptible in the philosophical perspective of Ortega and, in this regard, are critical connections to consider in our analysis of his philosophical orientation. The picture of Ortega's philosophy of history that will emerge from these considerations will present his general intellectual development in the form of an analysis of his thought.

The enterprise of intellectual history is as varied as the intellectual historians writing it. The approach taken here is to inquire into the interrelationships of Ortega's social and intellectual experiences with the formation of his ideas. The inquiry here, then, is concerned specifically with the general coherence of Ortega's philosophy of human reality, society, and history, with identifying the fundamental features of his philosophical perspective to determine the underlying principle of uniformity.

It is important for our purposes to begin our inquiry with a discussion of the external events and circumstances that helped shape Ortega's experiences. In analyzing his philosophical point of view, one is immediately confronted with the essential question: what was Ortega's view of reality and how did he--if he in fact did--perceive its common principle of unity? In this context of identifying his philosophical description of the component characteristics that constitute reality, we are able also to discern the coherence of his . . .

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