José Ortega y Gasset: Man and People

15 October 2019

What we call ‘other people’s lives’–the life of one’s friend, of one’s sweetheart, is something that appears in the scenario that is my life, the life of each, and hence supposes that life. The life of another, even for one nearest and dearest, is for me mere spectacle, like the tree or the cliff or the wandering cloud. I see it, but I am not it, that is, I do not live it. If the other has a toothache, his face, the shape taken by his contracted muscles, are patent to me–I see the spectacle of someone suffering pain, but his toothache does not pain me, and what I have of it in no way resembles what I have when my own teeth ache.

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