Quotes by Jose Ortega Y Gasset

Get quotes of the day


How do you feel today?    I feel ...

Jose Ortega y Gasset (May 9, 1883 - October 18, 1955) was a Spanish philosopher.

Add to my favourites Get these quotes on a PDF
Excellence means when a man or woman asks of himself more than others do.

An unemployed existence is a worse negation of life than death itself.
We do not live to think, but, on the contrary, we think in order that we may succeed in surviving.
Life is an operation which is done in a forward direction. One lives toward the future, because to live consists inexorably in doing, in each individual life making itself.
A revolution does not last more than fifteen years, the period which coincides with the flourishing of a generation.
Rancor is an outpouring of a feeling of inferiority.
Better beware of notions like genius and inspiration; they are a sort of magic wand and should be used sparingly by anybody who wants to see things clearly.
We live at a time when man believes himself fabulously capable of creation, but he does not know what to create.
For the person for whom small things do not exist, the great is not great.
Life is a petty thing unless it is moved by the indomitable urge to extend its boundaries. Only in proportion as we are desirous of living more do we really live.
Life is a series of collisions with the future; it is not the sum of what we have been, but what we yearn to be.
There may be as much nobility in being last as in being first, because the two positions are equally necessary in the world, the one to complement the other.
The mass believes that it has the right to impose and to give force of law to notions born in the caf
This leads us to note down in our psychological chart of the mass-man of today two fundamental traits: the free expansion of his vital desires, and, therefore, of his personality; and his radical ingratitude towards all that has made possible the ease of his existence. These traits together make up the well-known psychology of the spoilt child.
The metaphor is perhaps one of man's most fruitful potentialities. Its efficacy verges on magic, and it seems a tool for creation which God forgot inside one of His creatures when He made him.
Under the species of Syndicalism and Fascism there appears for the first time in Europe a type of man who does not want to give reasons or to be right, but simply shows himself resolved to impose his opinions.
I do not deny that there may be other well-founded causes for the hatred which various classes feel toward politicians, but the main one seems to me that politicians are symbols of the fact that every class must take every other class into account.
Stupefaction, when it persists, becomes stupidity.
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.
An idea is a putting truth in check-mate.
To rule is not so much a question of the heavy hand as the firm seat.
The good is, like nature, an immense landscape in which man advances through centuries of exploration.
Civilization is nothing more than the effort to reduce the use of force to the last resort.
We distinguish the excellent man from the common man by saying that the former is the one who makes great demands on himself, and the latter who makes no demands on himself.
I am I plus my surroundings and if I do not preserve the latter, I do not preserve myself.
Effort is only effort when it begins to hurt.
The essence of man is, discontent, divine discontent; a sort of love without a beloved, the ache we feel in a member we no longer have.
The difficulties which I meet with in order to realize my existence are precisely what awaken and mobilize my activities, my capacities.
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.
The cynic, a parasite of civilization, lives by denying it, for the very reason that he is convinced that it will not fail.
Towns are full of people, houses full of tenants, hotels full of guests, trains full of travelers, caf?s full of customers, parks full of promenaders, consulting-rooms of famous doctors full of patients, theatres full of spectators, and beaches full of bathers. What previously was, in general, no problem, now begins to be an everyday one, namely, to find room.
The characteristic of the hour is that the commonplace mind, knowing itself to be commonplace, has the assurance to proclaim the rights of the commonplace and to impose them wherever it will.
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.
There is but one way left to save a classic: to give up revering him and use him for our own salvation.
Biography is: a system in which the contradictions of a human life are unified.
Were art to redeem man, it could do so only by saving him from the seriousness of life and restoring him to an unexpected boyishness.
Youth does not require reasons for living, it only needs pretexts.

Get Quotes of the Day

Your daily dose of thought, inspiration and motivation.