Ortega y Gasset on Natural Selection and the Vocation of Man: Rejection or Elaboration of Darwinism?

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In many of his writings and lectures Ortega y Gasset criticized Darwinism on numbers of issues. In this paper I aim to reexamine his critique and to prove that in 1916 the harsh critique was designed to hide the similarity between his ideas and Darwin's idea of Natural Selection. The origins of Ortega's idea on the vocation of man can be traced in his dialogue with Darwin in the year 1916. In the historiography his Philosophy of Life is conceived as a metaphysics that stands beyond biological and any other natural explanation. My contention on the other hand is that Ortega's concept of the vocation of man is an elaboration of Darwin's Natural Selection. I will try to show that in 1916 Ortega conceived the human character and the vocation of man as a product of Natural Selection. Instead of following Ortega's critiques on Darwin and his effort to show that there is no connection between his Philosophy of Life and Darwinism the article proposes to reconsider Ortega's thought as a constant dialogue with Darwin's theory of Natural Selection. The Change in Ortega's conception of Darwin's evolution came rather late in his thought and in the first section we will see how Ortega described technology in a manner that allows the human subject to change the environment in his favor.
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Archival date: 2016-01-21
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