Psychological Science Faculty Publications and Presentations
Existence as Economy and as Charity An Essay on the essence of Christianity (1916) by: Antonio Caso
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.
Caso, A., Stehn, A. V., & Rodriguez Jr., J. G. (2017). Existence as Economy and as Charity: An Essay on the Essence of Christianity (1916). In Mexican Philosophy in the 20th Century (pp. 27–45). https://doi.org/10.1093/oso/9780190601294.003.0003.
Mexican Philosophy in the 20th Century: Essential Readings
Mexican Philosophy in the 20th Century: Essential Readings by/edited by Carlos Alberto Sanchez and Robert Eli Sanchez, Jr., 2017, reproduced by permission of Oxford University Press https://www.oxfordscholarship.com/view/10.1093/oso/9780190601294.001.0001/oso-9780190601294-chapter-3