more from Josť Ortega y Gassett

Single Idea 20756

[catalogued under 22. Metaethics / A. Ethics Foundations / 2. Source of Ethics / e. Human nature]

Full Idea

Man lives in view of the past. Man, in a word, has no nature; what he has is history. Expressed differently: what nature is to things, history is to man.

Gist of Idea

Instead of having a nature, man only has a history


Josť Ortega y Gassett (Toward a Philosophy of History [1941], p.217), quoted by Kevin Aho - Existentialism: an introduction 5 'Situated'

Book Reference

Aho,Kevin: 'Existentialism: an introduction' [Polity 2014], p.74

A Reaction

Makes explicit the existentialist denial of human nature. The foundation of ethics can only be total freedom, to choose both yourself and your actions. What is inescapable is the social and culture contexts. What is the role of the 'history'?