Doxa and Paradoxa: the concept of public opinion in Ortega and the role of the philosopher1

Doxa y Paradoxa: el concepto de opinión pública en Ortega y el papel del filósofo

1 This study forms part of the following research project: Intellectual and Political Networks: José Ortega y Gasset and the Liberal Tradition (FFI2016-76891-C2-2-P), which is funded by the State Research Agency (AEI) (part of the Spanish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities) and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

doxa.comunicación | 30, pp. 19-36 | 19

January-June of 2020

ISSN: 1696-019X / e-ISSN: 2386-3978

How to cite this article:

Balaguer García, E. (2020). Doxa and Paradoxa: the concept of public opinion in Ortega and the role of the philosopher. Doxa Comunicación, 30, pp. 19-36.

Esmeralda Balaguer García. PhD student in the Contemporary Philosophical Thought programme at the University of Valencia, Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and Master’s degree in teaching. Early stage researcher, fellow in the Department of History, Theory and Political Geographies of the Faculty of Political Science and Sociology at the Complutense University of Madrid. Director of Nexofía, La Torre del Virrey electronic books publishing house and member of the editorial board of the journal La Torre del Virrey, Revista de Estudios Culturales and Revista de Estudios Orteguianos. Specialized in Spanish philosophy and thought and the philosophical experience of exile. Most recent publication: “La perspectiva del recuerdo: Proust desde Ortega”, Alfinge. Revista de Filología, 31, (2019), pp. 9-29.

Complutense University of Madrid, Spain

[email protected]

ORCID: 0000-0002-5633-0565


This aim of this article is to approach the nature of the concept of “public opinion” in the political thought of José Ortega y Gasset. There are several types of opinion; Ortega not only speaks of a “public opinion”, but also of an “individual opinion”, and between both we find the “true opinion”. In comparison to doxa, paradoxa will be analysed, which is in other words the concept of counter-opinion raised by the philosopher. If it is essential to have public


El presente artículo trata de abordar la caracterología del concep-to de “opinión pública” en el pensamiento político de José Ortega y Gasset. Hay varios tipos de opinión; Ortega no sólo habla de una “opinión pública”, sino también de la “opinión particular” y entre ambas encontramos la “opinión verdadera”. Frente a la doxa se analizará la paradoxa, es decir, la contra-opinión, suscitada por el filósofo. Si para la convivencia en una sociedad es esencial que haya

Received: 30/01/2020 - Accepted: 17/04/2020

Recibido: 30/01/2020 - Aceptado: 17/04/2020

“Wherever there have been powerful societies, governments, religions, public opinions - in short, wherever there has been any kind of tyranny, the philosopher has been hated” (Nietzsche, 2009: 43).