Wednesday, June 23, 2010

What is philosophy?

Philosophy does not spring forth for reasons of utility, but neither does it flourish out of caprice.  It is constitutionally necessary of the the intellect.  Why? Its purpose was to seek all things as such, to hunt the Unicorn, to capture the universe.  But why that eagerness? Why not be content without philosophizing, with what we find in the world, with what already is, what stands there clear before us?  For this simple reason:  all that there is, there in front of us, given to us present and clear, is in its very essence a mere piece, a bit, a fragment, the stump of something absent.  And we cannot see it without sensing and missing the part that is not there.    In every given being, every datum of the world, we find its essential fracture line, its character as a part and only a part; we see the scar of its ontological mutilation; its ache of the amputated cries out to us, its nostalgia for the bit that is lacking, its divine discontent.  Some years ago speaking in Buenos Aires, I defined discontent as "like loving without being loved, like a pain we feel in parts we do not have." It is the missing of what we are not, the recognizing of ourselves as crippled and incomplete. -Jose Ortega y Gasset

No comments:

Post a Comment