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Spain and Latin america

Javier San Martín, Roberto Walton

pp. 555-576

The heading "phenomenological ethics in Spain" may sound rather pretentious to professionals in the field. If it may seem disproportionate to speak of "phenomenology in Spain" except for some minor inroads, it would seem even more so to talk about "phenomenological ethics." However, this attitude is due less to the facts themselves than to a lack of awareness that stems from paying too much attention to some of Ortega's accounts of his relationship with phenomenology, while overlooking other statements such as one according to which, as early as 1925 (although he states this in 1948), it had become "necessary to bring integration into the phenomenological method providing it with a dimension of systematic thinking" (Obras complétas, vol. 8, 273; henceforth cited by volume numbers). In 1948 Ortega believes that this purpose, as he accomplishes it, entails setting phenomenology aside. But as Fernando Vela reminds us with reference to Ortega's journey to Argentina in 1928, in those years Ortega's purpose was to "provide the connection of a system to the intuitive dispersion of phenomenology" (1953, 187). Be that as it may, up to 1929 Ortega does not make his criticisms of phenomenology publicly known, and his important lectures—later a book—on "What Is Philosophy?" follow the track of a most rigorous phenomenology. It should not be forgotten that the most important of Ortega's books, The Revolt of the Masses, was written in close connection with those lectures, and that they both have a common source, precisely in the years in which Ortega is attempting to provide a system for phenomenology. This is the background against which the phenomenological nature of Ortega's ethics must be considered, as this character is fundamental for subsequent ethics—at least in the points that will be discussed. Since some basic features of José Aranguren's ethics depend on Ortega, there could be a great deal of phenomenology at the basis of elaborations that get their inspiration from this source.

Publication details

DOI: 10.1007/978-94-015-9924-5_28

Full citation:

San Martín, J. , Walton, R. (2002). Spain and Latin america, in Phenomenological approaches to moral philosophy, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 555-576.

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