Extract in lieu of Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to propose a hypothesis to illuminate Ortega's critical response to Heidegger's question of being (Seinsfrage). While Ortega integrated the classical requirements for the idea of Being into his idea of human life as radical reality, Heidegger's delineation of human life (Dasein) was only preliminary to the final philosophical task of understanding the question of Being itself (Sein) as the transcendent horizon for human life. For Ortega human life is not merely a preliminary ontology that points to another transcendent reality, but final reality itself. I shall argue here that: (1) Ortega saw Heidegger's Seinsfrage as both empty and dead-ended as a philosophical enterprise; (2) by Heidegger's refusal to understand human life and its circumstances as the final goal of philosophy, he failed to account for the reality of human life in its circumstantial, historical, and methodological dimensions; and (3) Heidegger's philosophical project results in a frozen and metaphysical concept of human nature that transcends the historicality of humanity's actual existence and artificially bifurcates history into opposed metaphysical and empirical dimensions that only Ortega's doctrine of historical reason can synthesize.
Keywords Ortega y Gasset, José  Being  Human Life  Radical Reality  Spanish Philosophy
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