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Jose Ortega Y Gasset Quotes

A Spanish philosopher and humanist.
(1883 - 1955)

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A revolution only lasts fifteen years, a period which coincides with the effectiveness of a generation.

Abasement, degradation is simply the manner of life of the man who has refused to be what it is his duty to be.

All life is the struggle, the effort to be itself. The difficulties which I meet with in order to realize my existence are precisely what awaken and mobilize my activities, my capacities.

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

An idea is a putting truth in check-mate.

Barbarism is the absence of standards to which appeal can be made.

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

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.

Biography - a system in which the contradictions of a human life are unified.

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

Effort is only effort when it begins to hurt.

Excellence means when a man or woman asks of himself more than others do.

For the person for whom small things do not exist, the great is not great.

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

I am I plus my surroundings, and if I do not preserve the latter I do not preserve myself.

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.

Law is born from despair of human nature.

Liberalism is that principle of political rights, according to which the public authority, in spite of being all-powerful, limits itself and attempts, even at its own expense, to leave room in the state over which it rules for those to live who neither think nor feel as it does, that is to say as do the stronger, the majority.

Life is a petty thing unless it is moved by the indomitable urge to extend its boundaries.

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.

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