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By José Ortega y Gasset

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But this form is a thing that has to be acquired. In order to achieve it, the individual must first g9 off by himself and concentrate upon his own developm ent: he has to go into training, and give up many things, in the determination to surpass himself, to be more alert, tense, supple. There is nothing that is indifferent to him, for every little thing either is favourable to his form, or else pulls it down, and with this in mind he goes out for one thing and avoids the other. Briefly, to be in form means never indulging in any dissipation whatever.

Now then, this culture is either received, or else it is invented. He who exposes himself to the labour o f inventing it for himself, accomplishing alone what thirty centuries of humanity have already accomplished, is the only man who has the right to deny the proposition that the university must undertake to impart culture. But the unfortunate truth is that this lone person, who could oppose my thesis, would have to be a madman ! 1 Professionalism and specialism, through insufficient counterbalancing, have smashed the European man in pieces ; and he is consequently missing at all the points where he claims to be, and is badly needed.

34 MISSION OF THE UNIVERSITY And it cannot see clearly unless the purpose it sees is clear, well thought out, cogent, and as complete as the situation warrants. A ll this is what I was referring to earlier. I doubt, then, whether there exists in Spain, at the present moment a group which is in form for the reforming of the state or o f the university. And if it is not in form, all that may be attempted without the necessary qualities will come to nothing. It is obvious, in as much as slovenliness is the root o f the evil, that a reform which is slovenly itself will not mend matters appreciably.

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