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By José Ortega y Gasset, Toby Talbot

Ortega bargains the following with the roots and old justification of philosophy, and the query of philosophy's crucial unity.

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Vice versa-as we shall subsequently see-had Kepler en­ countered metrical data of greater exactitude, even though it in no way approached the fabulous precision attained by contemporary physics, he would have failed, and physics would not have been founded, for the mathematical resources at that time were not sufficient to master such small complex differences. " 4. Nothing would be easier than to achieve this intent. It would be merely a matter of pages. The limits of this book however, and the abundance of material, oblige me in what herein follows, to intersperse things that rigorously speaking pertain to more recent, proximate aspects, which are not seen from a bird's eye view, though that strictly is what belongs in this chap ter.

The poet's role hinges upon his ability to create that inner tongue, that wondrous argot comprised of only authentic names. It turns out, as we read him, that the poet's inner self as transmitted via his poetry-be it verse or prose-coincides to a great extent with our own. That is why we understand him: he provides the language for our inner selves and thereby enables us to understand ourselves. Hence the strange phenomenon whereby the pleasure aroused by poetry and admiration for the poet stem, paradoxically, from our notion of being plagiarized.

5 Th e Authe ntic N a m e · LET US TURN NOW to the various names that have been given to this occupation which Western man has pursued for twenty-six centuries, to the books that have perpetu­ ated it, and to the appellations and nicknames linguis­ tically imposed upon its practitioners. Philosophy as such begins with Parmenides and Hera­ clitus. Its predecessors-Ionian "physiology," Pythago­ rism, Orpheism, Hecataeus-constitute a prelude and nothing more, Vorspiel und Tanz. " This was philosophy's original name.

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