We need to study the whole of history, not to fall back into it, but to see if we can escape from it.

— Jose Ortega y Gasset

The most eye-opening Jose Ortega y Gasset quotes that are easy to memorize and remember

The type of human being we prefer reveals the contours of our heart.

55

Effort is only effort when it begins to hurt.

53

The surrealist thinks he has outstripped the whole of literary history when he has written (here a word that there is no need to write) where others have written "jasmines, swans and fauns." But what he has really done has been simply to bring to light another form of rhetoric which hitherto lay hidden in the latrines.

48

Tell me to what you pay attention and I will tell you who you are.

38

Life is a series of collisions with the future.

27

To wonder is to begin to understand.

23

Living is a constant process of deciding what we are going to do.

22

Being an artist means ceasing to take seriously that very serious person we are when we are not an artist.

22

In our rather stupid time, hunting is belittled and misunderstood, many refusing to see it for the vital vacation from the human condition that it is, or to acknowledge that the hunter does not hunt in order to kill; on the contrary, he kills in order to have hunted.

19

An 'unemployed' existence is a worse negation of life than death itself.

17

Thought is not a gift to man but a laborious, precarious and volatile acquisition.

16

This is the gravest danger that today threatens civilization: State intervention; the absorption of all spontaneous social effort by the State, that is to say, of spontaneous historical action, which in the long run sustains, nourishes, and impels human destinies.

16

About Jose Ortega y Gasset

Quotes 137 sayings
Nationality Spanish
Profession Philosopher
Birthday October 16

Poetry is adolescence fermented, and thus preserved.

15

Love is that splendid triggering of human vitality the supreme activity which nature affords anyone for going out of himself toward someone else.

14

The people with the clear heads are the ones who look life in the face, realize that everything in it is problematic, and feel themselves lost. And this is the simple truth: that to live is to feel oneself lost. Those who accept it have already begun to find themselves, to be on firm ground.

14

There are people who so arrange their lives that they feed themselves only on side dishes.

14

What makes a nation great is not primarily its great men, but the stature of its innumerable mediocre ones.

12

Nobility is defined by the demands it makes on us - by obligations, not by rights. Noblesse oblige. 'To live as one likes is plebeian; the noble man aspires to order and law.'

12

Man is a substantial emigrant on a pilgrimage of being, and it is accordingly meaningless to set limits to what he is capable of being.

11

We fall in love when our imagination projects nonexistent perfection upon another person. One day, the fantasy evaporates and with it, love dies.

9

Civilization is nothing more than the effort to reduce the use of force to the last resort.

9

Why write if this too easy activity of pushing a pen across paper is not given a certain bullfighting risk and we do not approach dangerous, agile and two-horned topics?

9

Liberalism -- it is well to recall this today -- is the supreme form of generosity; it is the right which the majority concedes to minorities and hence it is the noblest cry that has ever resounded in this planet. It announces the determination to share existence with the enemy; more than that, with an enemy which is weak.

9

Man adapts himself to everything, to the best and the worst.

8

The well being of democracies regardless of their type and status is dependent on one small technical detail: The right to vote. Everything else is secondary.

8

These are the only genuine ideas, the ideas of the shipwrecked.

All the rest is rhetoric, posturing, farce.

8

Since love is the most delicate and total act of a soul, it will reflect the state and nature of the soul.

8

Hatred is a feeling which leads to the extinction of values.

8

Love is exclusivity, selection.

8

The man who discovers a new scientific truth has previously had to smash to atoms almost everything he had learnt, and arrives at the new truth with hands blood stained from the slaughter of a thousand platitudes.

7

The individual point of view is the only point of view from which one is able to look at the world in its truth.

6

History is the science of people.

6

In order to master the unruly torrent of life the learned man meditates, the poet quivers, and the political hero erects the fortress of his will.

6

The choice of a point of view is the initial act of a culture.

5

The cynic, a parasite of civilization, lives by denying it, for the very reason that he is convinced that it will not fail.

5

It would be a piece of ingenuousness to accuse the man of today of his lack of moral code. The accusation would leave him cold, or rather, would flatter him. Immoralism has become a commonplace, and anybody and everybody boasts of practising it.

5

By speaking, by thinking, we undertake to clarify things, and that forces us to exacerbate them, dislocate them, schematize them. Every concept is in itself an exaggeration.

5

When you are fed up with the troublesome present, you take your gun, whistle for your dog, go out to the mountain, and, without further ado, give yourself the pleasure during a few hours or a few days of being "Paleolithic."

5

Revolution is not the uprising against preexisting order, but the setting up of a new order contradictory to the traditional one

5

We have need of history in its entirety, not to fall back into it, but to see if we can escape from it.

4

The real magic wand is the child's own mind.

4

He who wishes to teach us a truth should not tell it to us, but simply suggest it with a brief gesture, a gesture which starts an ideal trajectory in the air along which we glide until we find ourselves at the feet of the new truth.

4

The metaphor is probably the most fertile power possessed by man

4

Life is a struggle with things to maintain itself among them.

Concepts are the strategic plan we form in answer to the attack.

4

The assurance that we have no means of answering [final] questions is no valid excuse for callousness towards them. The more deeply should we feel, down to the roots of our being, their pressure and their sting. Whose hunger has ever been [sated] with the knowledge that he could not eat?

3

Liberalism... is the noblest cry that has ever resounded in this planet.

3

Every life is, more or less, a ruin among whose debris we have to discover what the person ought to have been.

3

Our firmest convictions are apt to be the most suspect;

they mark our limitations and our bounds. Life is a petty thing unless it is moved by the indomitable urge to extend its boundaries.

3

The person portrayed and the portrait are two entirely different things.

3
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