The historical system of Jose Ortega y Gasset : an interpretive exposition
Jose Ortega y Gasset created a systematic philosophy of history, the importance and relevance of which this thesis attempts to establish. The study begins with a survey of Ortega's life and works. Then it presents the basic concepts of his philosophical and sociological thought in order to place his historical work in the proper perspective. The aim is not the reconstruction of Ortega's philosophical system, a project which would take too much time and space, and one which is beyond the intent of this inquiry; the aim is instead to present the part of that system that deals with "history" in the Ortegan sense. The study presents Ortega's idea of history as a systematic reality that can be approached in a rational way. It also presents his theory of historical change by means of the mass-minority polarization within each generation, the attempt by Ortega to use such a theory as a method of historical research, and finally, what Ortega called "the crisis of the twentieth century."The study closes with a critical assessment of Ortega's work, pointing out how other thinkers might have influenced him, and looking into the relevance of his historical work from the point of view of the philosophy of history in the twentieth century.