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José Ortega y Gasset on Behavior - Dictionary of Arguments

Brocker I 198
Behaviour/Groups/Masses/Ortega y Gasset: Question: Is there action competence, subjectivity and intentionality on the level of groups or collectives as on the level of the individual?
Brocker I 199
In any case, masses behave and do different things. (1) The "ordinary" becomes the rule and the average person, self-centered and unteachable, demands and requests, whereby a certain lifestyle and way of life prevails. The mass human lives parasitically from the spirit of other people. He simply consumes the products of science and technology, cars and medicines, for example, without being able to actively maintain the intellectual atmosphere. (2)
Mass human/Behaviour/Ortega: Ortega describes the behavior of the mass human as an acting and reacting that knows no binding norms, no obligations. The last section of his writing succinctly states: "Not that the mass human despised an outdated morality in favour of an up-and-coming one; at the centre of his way of life is precisely the claim to live without moral ties" (3).


1. José Ortega y Gasset, La Rebelión de las Masas (con un prólogo para franceses, un epílogo para ingleses y un apéndice: Dinámica del tiempo), Madrid 1937 (zuerst 1929). Dt.: José Ortega y Gasset, Der Aufstand der Massen, Reinbek 1956, S. 11.
2. Ebenda S. 74
3. Ebenda S. 139

Thomas Gil, „Ortega y Gasset, Der Aufstand der Massen (1929)“ In: Manfred Brocker (Hg.) Geschichte des politischen Denkens. Das 20. Jahrhundert. Frankfurt/M. 2018.


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
Ortega y Gasset, José
Brocker I
Manfred Brocker
Geschichte des politischen Denkens. Das 20. Jahrhundert Frankfurt/M. 2018


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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2021-04-11
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