Summary (Masterplots, Fourth Edition)
One of the major original thinkers of the twentieth century, Miguel de Unamuno y Jugo defies clear classification. His book, The Tragic Sense of Life in Men and in Peoples, for example, is a remarkably unusual philosophical treatise because in it Unamuno passionately rejects formal logic and accepts paradox and contradiction as essential to his view of life. Even his style, a rhetoric of passion and intensity, is unlike the calm, detached style of the ordinary philosopher. This passion is a fundamental component of his thought.
A Roman Catholic, Unamuno discarded the Church’s view of God; a Spaniard, he denounced the monarchy and the Falangists; a philosopher, he rejected any and all systems. His thinking reflects the movement that was to grow into Christian existentialism, but he preserves the Romantic duality of body and spirit and refuses to discard the mystery of the Catholic Eucharist. He is, in short, an outspoken exponent of confusionism, the philosophical approach to the human predicament that he felt most accurately described the human experience.
Looking back to his own spiritual crisis, Unamuno begins The Tragic Sense of Life in Men and in Peoples by stating that the only real person is the affective or feeling one, the one of flesh and bone, not the abstract creature of rationalistic philosophers. This person of flesh and blood has only one problem: the longing never to die. This problem is irrational, so all...
(The entire section is 1391 words.)
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