7 sentences of José Ingenieros on mediocrity

7 sentences of José Ingenieros on mediocrity

Many sentences of José Inginieros on mediocrity come from his famous work entitled The mediocre man, where this Argentinean thinker allows a great ethical treatise to be reflected which still stimulates consciences despite the years that have passed since its publication.

José Ingenieros was one of the most important Argentine intellectuals of the early 20th century. He was also one of the most versatile; he was a doctor, psychiatrist, psychologist, criminologist, philosopher and pharmacist.

This great intellectual was what could be called a true humanist. The sentences of José Ingenierios on mediocrity suggest his thirst for perfection in the human being. Discover in the following of this article its most interesting affirmations.

"At times, we dare to consider our appetites as our ideals, as if the urgency of the immediate satisfactions could be confused with the thirst for infinite perfections, the appetites are exhausted, the ideals never."

-José Ingenieros-

The imitation in the sentences of José Ingenieros

Most of José Ingenieros' sentences refer to imitation, which he considers to be one of the main features of mediocrity. He points out that "The mediocre person aspires to be confused among the people around him, the original person tends to differentiate himself from others, while one tries to think in the place of others, the other aspires to what all people think like her ".

Ingenieros speaks of imitation as a gesture that expresses the renunciation of being oneself, of thinking for oneself. He points out that behind this attempt to be like others lies a fear of reaffirming oneself, and also an inability to create. In this regard, he states: "The capital function of the mediocre man is imitative patience, that of the higher man is the creative imagination."

Fanaticism and faith

Although José Ingenieros was an intellectual who was very attached to science, in his exploration of the world, he was also motivated by religious concerns. In fact, some of his writings have been devoted to occultism and theosophy. He has always tried to reconcile his scientific background with religious beliefs.

Previously, most of José Ingenieros's sentences were devoted to religious events. One of them says: "The lack of solidly cemented beliefs makes the mediocre person a fanatical person.Confidence is confirmed by clashing with contrary opinions". In this affirmation, we clearly see the coexistence of a spirit as rational as it is filled with faith.

Swallow without chewing and digest

The vast majority of José Ingenieros' sentences are devoted to exalting intellect, originality and the ability to think independently. This statement is very representative of his thought: "We swallow without digesting, even to mental indigestion: we do not know that man does not live by what he engulfs, but by what he assimilates."

This is a call not to "swallow" or "swallow", but to analyze and evaluate the intellectual contents that reach us. This statement, as well as many others formulated in The mediocre man, is certainly loaded with hardness. This thinker is characterized by his sharp scalpel; he deliberately uses a language that seeks, in addition to denunciation, the challenge and, consequently, the change.


In different parts of his work, José Ingenieros exalts dynamism, passion and vitality. He considers that these characteristics are peculiar to sentient beings, and that they can not remain indifferent to all that surrounds them.

In this sentence, for example, he says: "The man with the fine character is able to make sublime waves, like the ocean, with domesticated temperaments, everything seems calm on the surface." Here he praises passion and sensitivity. Obviously, for Ingenieros, mediocrity leads to the inability to react.

Adaptation and routine

As for routine, this is what José Ingenieros says: "The Routine is a fossil skeleton whose pieces resist the weight of centuries.It is not a girl of experience, it is her caricature.The first is fertile and generates truths, the other sterile, kills them. ". Then consider that what is routine is the rejection of the experience. The latter requires consciousness, which is not the case with routine. In one way or another, routine paralyzes thought according to its appreciation.

Ingenieros launches several criticisms against the different forms of adaptation, especially those which suppose abnegation as well as a renunciation of the proper thought to please a group. However, he also makes a statement that is wise and liberating. He reports: "The different adaptation of each individual to his environment depends on the balance between what imitates and what invents".

We have presented here only some of José Ingenieros' wonderful words about mediocrity. To read one's texts is to confront all those parts of ourselves where fear dominates. His work, in general, is a call to be, to reaffirm ourselves and to seek originality and perfection beyond any other objective.

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