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Mexican Philosophy in the 20th CenturyEssential Readings$
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Carlos Alberto Sanchez and Robert Eli Sanchez, Jr.

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190601294

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190601294.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 02 March 2021

Existence as Economy and as Charity

Existence as Economy and as Charity

An Essay on the Essence of Christianity (1916)

(p.27) Chapter 3 Existence as Economy and as Charity
Mexican Philosophy in the 20th Century

Antonio Caso

, Alexander V. Stehn, Jose G. Rodriguez Jr.
Oxford University Press

Antonio Caso rejects the effort of biologists to reduce life to the organic world, a sphere of existence that is defined by economy and egoism, best summarized in the formula: Life = Minimum Effort x Maximum Gain. The problem is that this cannot explain what he calls “disinterested activity,” such as play, art, and self-sacrifice. His primary example of disinterested or selfless activity is the life of Jesus, which Caso also believes is the height of human dignity. In other words, Caso not only argues that there is more than one order of life or existence; he also argues that selfless activity is ultimately what distinguishes human life, whose best expression is found in the essence of Christianity: to give oneself to others “without fear of exhaustion.” To be human is to be willing to sacrifice oneself, best expressed in the following formula: Sacrifice = Maximum Effort x Minimum Gain.

Keywords:   biology, Christianity, Antonio Caso, sacrifice, disinterest

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