On this blog, I have already written about women who were restless for her times, by defying the female role and for their contribution in the fields of ideas and social change, back then. On this occasion, I want to remind us of the life and work of a key cultural figure in Spain: the philosopher María Zambrano.

She was a disciple of Ortega y Gasset, of Zubiri and García Morente, and developed a philosophy which combines existentialism with the classical tradition. For Zambrano, there is a “poetic reason” why humans are able to look around and analyze the world, but fail to observe themselves. This existential crisis she focuses on, the desire to be understood, is linked to the historical moment of the philosopher, after the Spanish Civil War, for which she had to exile in Paris, Mexico, Rome and Geneva, where she produced the bulk of her works: ‘The Living Thought by Seneca’, ‘Delirium and Destination’, ‘Of Man and the Divine’ or The Forest Lights’ are some of her books.

These days, the conception of the crisis proposed by this author can help us to understand ourselves best. According to Zambrano, crisis is synonymous with hope, an irrational force that makes us better for ourselves and helps us face emptiness and anxiety.

In short, María Zambrano proposes the reconciliation between head and heart, between thought and emotion, between thinking and being.

On her return from exile, the philosopher was awarded the Prince of Asturias Award in 1981 and the Cervantes in 1988, as well as several honoraris causa doctorates by some Spanish universities. She is buried in her hometown Vélez-Málaga.

I invite you to read some excerpts from her works:

If we were to define democracy it could be said it is the society in which it is not only allowed, but required, being a person.


It is possible to destroy order and establish another, even with the revolutionary aura, on behalf of a conservative bent.


Love is be seen as another being sees us.


The action that involves asking means the emergence of consciousness.


Culture is the awakening of man.


The first reality that is denied to a man is himself.


We cannot go from the possible to the real, but from the impossible to the truth.


Only in solitude we can feel the thirst for truth.


Extremism destroys what it claims.


The heart is the center, because it is the only thing that gives us a sound.



I wish you all a good week,

Álex Rovira

Alex Rovira