Événementialité et continuité. Exploration d’une tension interne à la philosophie ortéguienne de l’histoire

Already in his early writings, Ortega y Gasset wants to highlight how life is made out of a series of events; with him, man himself appears as a pure event of existing. This idea is so central in his work that he pretends to build his whole philosophy on occasional concepts: he wants to break with an entire substantialist tradition that thinks man in terms of nature, and set up concepts that designate the event. Man has no nature, but history; he’s nothing more than this history, which appears as a no preset series of events where his identity comes to form and crystallize. The absence of a predefined sense does not change the fact that history is marked by a strict and inalienable continuity with the Madrid philosopher: it admits neither skips nor disruptions. Where event seems to cause a caesura, or at least leads us to a fundamentally indeterminate territory, Ortega insists: the fact that history is made out of a series of events doesn’t jeopardise the idea of liaison; it doesn’t require that we stop thinking history according to a causal logic. Therefore, the question is: how to include the myriad of events which constitute history in a continuum that makes sense? How to conciliate the event character with the continuity which must appears, beyond its advent in the telling, upon eventiality of history? In other words, how to maintain the idea of a sense of history?