José Luis Villacañas: “Philosophy is no longer a central element of Spanish culture”

One of the greatest philosophers of capital of our time, with over 50 published books, has exhausted the first edition of Ortega y Gasset: A Spanish Philosophical Experiment, a book of 1200 pages. A study of 20 years, in which the cumulative work of computer engineering helped, and in which he asserted that Ortega had so greatly influenced his time, and our time, that he considers him a philosopher of the state, although he maintains that his great achievement was the achievement of making philosophy an essential part of Spanish culture. “There is no one who considers himself an elite in Spain without quoting Ortega.” The problem is that “we cannot consider that this philosophy is what we need now.”

Q: Is Ortega the last philosopher who influenced his time?

R. The book means Ortega’s philosophical experience and that of those who approach him, in this case me, who believe in duality, with Ortega’s experience and mine.

Q: In the same place, but at a different time.

R. I wanted to assess how valuable Ortega’s philosophy continues to be to those with whom they deal, but unsatisfactory in present conditions, both in philosophy and in Spain.

Ortega felt the great influence of the media.

R. He doesn’t just intuit it, he lives on it. Ortega uses the media to create an updated educational programme. It influences second-level elites more than leaders’ elites, which is why it is viewed with many reservations by political actors.

Q: Is this a great success for Ortega?

R. Yes, but, on the other hand, at the end of his life he feels a great failure, because of his reading of what the country needs. Ortega is a simulation of other European renovations.

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Q: Did you stay out of the match with Al-Jumhuriya?

R. Because of the distrust of the republican leaders in a figure who did not participate in the conspiratorial action that led to the Pact of San Sebastian and the dominant group of intellectuals in the republic.

Q: Did that political situation at the end of 1931 affect you?

R. She is eccentric, but instead of thinking that Ortega’s political project ended in failure, I try to show in the book that since 1932, when Ortega’s political position ended, then TRUE philosopher.

s. Is that why I dedicate so many pages to Twilight Ortega?

R. It’s a picture book. Sad and stressed, Ortega knows his prestige is at stake. What he calls his “Second Navigation”, with his first edition of the Complete Works and where he begins to build a philosophical system, looking for a counterpart to the greater Husserl and Heidegger. On his second trip to Argentina he was compared to Dilthey, took the gauntlet and realized that Dilthey is a central author in Heidegger and Husserl. Through this triangle, he organizes his presentation, showing that he has the tools that enable him to distinguish himself from Husserl, Dilthey, and Heidegger.

Q: The names most cited in the book are Max Weber and Hans Blumenberg.

R. Ortega thought about and anticipated Spanish conditions up to the present, like Max Weber in Germany. The fundamental difference between the European elite and the Spanish elite is that which is transmitted from Weber to Ortega.

Q: And Blumenberg?

see t. Blumenberg defined the limits of philosophy in the thirties of the last century, and puts current thinking, to go beyond Husserl in philosophical anthropology, and Heidegger in understanding the problem of anthropogenesis, which is man versus animal. Therefore, philosophical anthropology and man as a social being, which are the problems of Ortega, are the problems of our philosophical present.

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Q: Has Ortega lost the influence he had in the 70’s and 80’s?

R. We have the right to ask ourselves whether philosophy has ceased to be a central element of Spanish culture, and I think so.

Q: Why?

R. Ortega is valued as a thing of the past, but this space is still occupied by him. There have been attempts to establish a thinker symbolically linked to the present, such as Eugenio Trias in the era of PP, or Emilio Lledó in the governments of Zapatero. But neither Trias nor Lledó are in a position to present that philosophical centralism as an essential part of culture.

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Q: What is the centrality of current Spanish culture?

R. The presence of Spanish culture is inseparable from the evolution of the media. dominance Country For a long time she adapted this development to great figures – Savvater in the ’80s and ’90s – but the human kind that ran big media from an intellectual standpoint came more from the social sciences. Although historian, sociologist, and political scientist are disciplines developed through Ortega’s disciples. Meanwhile, philosophy has specialized in discourse which does not have the general scope of an audience. This is problematic because both the political scientist and the sociologist, like the historian, cannot master a local language, and are not in a position to speak for all the millions who speak Spanish in the world. A philosophy that can speak to the present must transcend Spanish conditions and engage in conversation in Spanish anywhere in the world, not just in Latin America. This allows us to take a special look at the Euro-American societies of the South.

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