José Ortega y Gasset's Metaphysical Innovation

A Critique and Overcoming of Idealism

By Antonio Rodríguez Huéscar
Edited and translated by Jorge García-Gómez

Subjects: Philosophy
Series: SUNY series in Latin American and Iberian Thought and Culture
Paperback : 9780791422366, 199 pages, November 1994
Hardcover : 9780791422359, 199 pages, November 1994

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Table of contents

Translator's Preface
Prologue by Julian Marias

Part I. A Textual Exposition of Ortega's Critique of Idealism

1. A Conceptual Introduction to Oretega's Critique of Idealism

2. Ortega's Straightforward Critique of Idealism Properly So Called

3. Ortega's Critique of Phenomenological Philosophy as the Most Recent Historical Form of Idealism

Part II. Ortega's Overcoming of Idealism, Toward the System of Life Categories

4. The Categories of Life


1. The "Absolute Event"
2. Encounter
3. Actuality
4. Presence
5. The Act of Becoming


A. Complexity
B. Presence as Instancy


6. Possibility and Freedom
7. The Circum-stance
8. The Situation
9. Vocation
10. Project and Projectiveness


A. Anticipating My Actions
B. The Valuing of a Project or of the Doings Pertinent Thereto
C. Deciding About, or Choosing, a Particular Project as "My Own" Among Those That Are Possible
D. Inventing, "in Some Measure or Other," My Own Project
E. My Having to Take into Account My Circum-stance and Vocation, or the Factors at Work in My Personal Destiny, for the Sake of Inventing My Project




Huéscar presents a systematic critique of idealism and modernity, framing Edmund Husserl's phenomenological philosophy as the most refined and far-reaching version of idealism. He includes the essentials of the system of categories adopted by Ortega in order to overcome idealism.

Antonio Rodríguez Huéscar was Professor of Philosophy at the University of Puerto Rico. Jorge García-Gómez is Professor of Philosophy at Long Island University. He has also edited and translated J. Ortega y Gasset's Psychological Investigations.


"This book presents the main argument that Ortega y Gasset brought forth in his attempted renovation of Western philosophy. The radicality of Ortega's treatment of the Idealism/Realism issue makes it important for philosophy per se. It is one of the best, clearest and most penetrating presentation of Ortega in the English language. The writing is remarkable, the translation excellent. "— Anna-Teresa Tymieniecka, The World Institute for Advanced Phenomenological Research and Learning

"It is a serious work and a welcome contribution to the field of twentieth-century thought and Spanish philosophy marked by tight argumentation and justification of Ortega as a systematic thinker. " — R. A. Herrera, Seton Hall University