"I want to take advantage of this opportunity to tellyou that I have always thought of him [Ferrater Mora] as anintelligent and brilliant person and a marvelous human being. It was apleasure to converse with him. I remember that when he came toBarcelona we always had lunch in a small restaurant near my office andstayed there talking and talking until the waiter came to chase usfrom the restaurant because it was too late. Tenía unapersonalidad muy juvenil y una gran curiosidad por todo lo nuevo y loscambios que detectaba en su país cada vez que venía. Erairónico, divertido y hablaba con gran agudeza sobre los temasmas diversos. En fin, que fue para mí una gran suerte haberloconocido y haber podido contribuir como agente a difundir su obra eneste país."
—[Mercedes Casanovas, Barcelona,Summer, 2000]
"As a young student sizing up Jose, I found him to be brilliant, as dideveryone in the college and witty, and kind, just a superior intellectand person. Physically, he was very attractive with brown, vividlylively eyes, luminescent, and a slender, rather graceful body. His writings reflect a unique man and extraordinary person! "
—[Sheila Lucile McCrea, BMC, class of 1960, December, 2000 ]
"If I ever write my memoirs--as I intend to do--Ferrater will certainly occupy a very great place....he was ...a very generous and warm man. I feel very often sad for having lost him."
—[José Echeverría, Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico, June 19, 1994.]
"Ferrater was a unique man, and for those who knew him personally, it was a cherished experience. His life bridged continents. He was a man of Catalonia, of Spain, of Latin America, of the United States. He was appreciated wherever his books, his novels, his essays were read. His concern was life, not only human, but animal life. He was fascinated by science, by travel, by every experience of beauty, truth and goodness. Ferrater was a rare man. He carried in him the Socratic soul. He rejected dogmatism and sterile reflection. He loved the concrete. He wanted to experience everything which pulsated with life. Nothing outraged him more than arbitrariness and the disregard for the person. The philosophic soul of Catalonia belonged to him and his work."
—[Bill Kluback from Tenderness for the Finite]
I was a sophomore when Jose Ferrater Mora arrived at Bryn Mawr in 1949, so my memories of the three subsequent years we shared there are shrouded by the mists of time. But for some reason he remains vivid - while I scarcely remember my other instructors at all. In those years he was a member of the Spanish department, and I was a Spanish major, so our paths crossed frequently in the classroom: I remember courses in Spanish philosophy and in Siglo de Oro literature, and that I much enjoyed them due I'm sure to the fact that he was teaching them. I remember well his warmth, his wisdom, and his wit, and that in the classroom he was lively and perceptive. He singled me out at the start by referring to me as the girl with the "nombre arabe" (though he knew perfectly well that it was not remotely related to anything Arabic) and feigned difficulty in pronouncing it. By such means was I, an exceedingly shy individual, drawn out and gradually made a contributing member of the class, and I consider my degree due in large part to his efforts.
The honors and accolades he earned later in life were still to come, of
course, and I took note of these as I could. When his book on Ortega was
published, I sent a copy to him and asked him to autograph it, which he
did, sending it back with a warm note about his current activities.
Because I was at that time (and still am) employed at a university press,
I remember wishing that I were in a position to publish his books and so
bring his work, in a way, full circle, but alas, the Press then had no
Spanish list. However I'm glad to have been given the opportunity at
least to recover a few impressions from the dust of 50 years and so contribute
in some small way to preserving the memory of someone who touched me, I
believe, quite profoundly.
—[Elizabeth Gjelsness Dulany ('52), Associate Director (ret.), University of Illinois Press]