Ortega’s philosophical anthropology

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter begins with an analysis of Ortega’s topology of human soul, which is divided in three levels: the vital, the animated, and the spiritual. We will show that Ortega aims to show the insufficiency of the traditional distinction between the mind and body and to stress the fact that human beings are embodied spirits. Next, we will address two important dimensions of human life: the virtual reality and the need for security. They are a sound basis for establishing a distinction between human and animal ways of being. The chapter will highlight the deep relation between these three concepts and the Orteguian concept of circumstance and the tasks that a “circumstantial” life entails, i.e., the imperative of fidelity to one’s own vocation. We will show that for Ortega, man turns to himself because he needs to stop to think, since life is a permanent “having things to do,” on the basis of a radical insecurity that affects man’s being in the world and the contact with his fellow human beings. This turning to himself is what makes him the animal rationale. This is the reason why the task of “having to do” is not only inescapable but also untransferable.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe philosophy of Ortega y Gasset reevaluated
EditorsCarlos Morujão, Samuel Dimas, Susana Relvas
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9783030792497
ISBN (Print)9783030792480, 9783030792510
Publication statusPublished - 2021


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