|Library of the Ortega Foundation in Madrid|
Source link: http://www.ortegaygasset.edu/contenidos.asp?id_s=65
|Heidegger (left) and Ortega (right)|
Source link: http://www.onlipix.com/personages/ort.htm
|A philosopher honored in Madrid with his own street.|
While Descartes (also Jesuit-educated like Ortega himself) announced the famous "I think therefore I am" (Cogito ergo sum) which imposed on future philosophies an obsession with the subject, the thinker, and how he or she relates to the outer world that is observed as a spectator, Ortega, as many other contemporary philosophers, changed the focus. In contrast to Descartes, Ortega would say "I think because I live" (Cogito quia vivo). Ortega elaborated:
1. " Man is not a res cogitans [a thinking thing], but rather a res dramatica [a dramatic thing]. He does not exist because he thinks, but rather, on the contrary, he thinks because he exists."
2. "Life is the radical reality; this [life] is the fundamental ["pure"] occurrence which is the struggle between a human being and his circumstances."
This dramatic perspective reminds me of the rhetoric of John Paul II, who viewed life as a dramatic reality full of momentous, defining decisions and who was strongly influenced by the contemporary philosophy of phenomenology.
Note: The above quotations are my own translations from the original Spanish. They are taken from a publication of the Ortega Foundation entitled Ortegay y su tiempo (Ortega and his era), which was a kind gift to me from the staff of the foundation in Madrid. By the way, I received a very kind and cordial reception for which I am duly grateful.