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A 1936 Time drawing of Santayana
Jorge Agustín Nicolás Ruiz de Santayana y Borrás
December 16, 1863
|Died||September 26, 1952 88) (aged|
|Doctoral advisor||Josiah Royce|
|Notable students||Jacob Loewenberg|
Jorge Agustín Nicolás Ruiz de Santayana y Borrás, known in English as George Santayana ( /
Spain, officially the Kingdom of Spain, is a country mostly located in Europe. Its continental European territory is situated on the Iberian Peninsula. Its territory also includes two archipelagoes: the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa, and the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea. The African enclaves of Ceuta, Melilla, and Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera make Spain the only European country to have a physical border with an African country (Morocco). Several small islands in the Alboran Sea are also part of Spanish territory. The country's mainland is bordered to the south and east by the Mediterranean Sea except for a small land boundary with Gibraltar; to the north and northeast by France, Andorra, and the Bay of Biscay; and to the west and northwest by Portugal and the Atlantic Ocean.
Americans are nationals and citizens of the United States of America. Although nationals and citizens make up the majority of Americans, some dual citizens, expatriates, and permanent residents may also claim American nationality. The United States is home to people of many different ethnic origins. As a result, American culture and law does not equate nationality with race or ethnicity, but with citizenship and permanent allegiance.
Spanish passports are issued to Spanish citizens for the purpose of travel outside Spain. Every Spanish citizen is also a citizen of the European Union. The passport, along with the national identity card allows for free rights of movement and residence in any of the states of the European Union, European Economic Area and Switzerland.
Santayana is popularly known for aphorisms, such as "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it","Only the dead have seen the end of war", and the definition of beauty as "pleasure objectified". Although an atheist, he treasured the Spanish Catholic values, practices, and worldview in which he was raised. Santayana was a broad-ranging cultural critic spanning many disciplines. He was profoundly influenced by Spinoza's life and thought; and, in many respects, was a devoted Spinozist.
Santayana was born on December 16, 1863, in Madrid and spent his early childhood in Ávila, Spain. His mother Josefina Borrás was the daughter of a Spanish official in the Philippines and he was the only child of her second marriage. Josefina Borrás first husband was George Sturgis, a Boston merchant, with whom she had five children, two of whom died in infancy. She lived in Boston for a few years following her husband's death in 1857, but in 1861 moved with her three surviving children to live in Madrid. There she encountered Agustín Ruiz de Santayana, an old friend from her years in the Philippines. They married in 1862. A colonial civil servant, Ruiz de Santayana was also a painter and minor intellectual. The family lived in Madrid and Ávila.
Madrid is the capital and most populous city of Spain. The city has almost 3.3 million inhabitants and a metropolitan area population of approximately 6.5 million. It is the third-largest city in the European Union (EU), surpassed only by London and Berlin, and its monocentric metropolitan area is the third-largest in the EU, smaller only than those of London and Paris. The municipality covers 604.3 km2 (233.3 sq mi).
Ávila is a Spanish fortified city located in the autonomous community of Castile and León, and is the capital of the Province of Ávila.
The Philippines, officially the Republic of the Philippines, is an archipelagic country in Southeast Asia. Situated in the western Pacific Ocean, it consists of about 7,641 islands that are categorized broadly under three main geographical divisions from north to south: Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. The capital city of the Philippines is Manila and the most populous city is Quezon City, both part of Metro Manila. Bounded by the South China Sea on the west, the Philippine Sea on the east and the Celebes Sea on the southwest, the Philippines shares maritime borders with Taiwan to the north, Japan to the northeast, Vietnam to the west, Palau to the east, and Malaysia and Indonesia to the south.
In 1869, Josefina Borrás de Santayana returned to Boston with her three Sturgis children, because she had promised her first husband to raise the children in the United States. She left the six-year-old Jorge with his father in Spain. Jorge and his father followed her to Boston in 1872. However, his father, finding neither Boston nor his wife's attitude to his liking, soon returned alone to Ávila, and remained there the rest of his life. Jorge did not see him again until he entered Harvard College and began to take his summer vacations in Spain. Sometime during this period, Jorge's first name was anglicized as George, the English equivalent.
Harvard College is the undergraduate liberal arts college of Harvard University. Founded in 1636 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, it is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and one of the most prestigious in the world.
Jorge is a Spanish and Portuguese given name, equivalent to the English George. It is derived from the Greek name Γεώργιος (Georgios) via Latin Georgius; the former is derived from γεωργός (georgos), meaning "farmer" or "earth-worker".
George is a masculine given name, of English and Romanian origin, derived from the Greek Geōrgios. The name gained popularity due to its association with the Christian martyr, Saint George, a member of the Praetorian Guard who was sentenced to death for his refusal to renounce Christianity, and prior to that, it might have been a theophoric name, with origins in Zeus Georgos, an early title of the Greek god Zeus. Today, it is among one of the most commonly used names in the Western world, though its religious significance has waned among modern populations. Its diminutives are Geordie and Georgie, with first limited primarily to residents of England and Scotland, and its feminine forms, used in the Anglosphere, are Georgeanna, Georgeanne, Georgene, Georgia, Georgiana, and Georgina.
Santayana attended Boston Latin School and Harvard College, where he studied under the philosophers William James and Josiah Royce and was involved in eleven clubs as an alternative to athletics. He was founder and president of the Philosophical Club, a member of the literary society known as the O.K., an editor and cartoonist for The Harvard Lampoon , and co-founder of the literary journal The Harvard Monthly .In December, 1885, he played the role of Lady Elfrida in the Hasty Pudding theatrical Robin Hood, followed by the production Papillonetta in the spring of his senior year.
The Boston Latin School is a public exam school in Boston, Massachusetts. It was established on April 23, 1635, making it both the oldest public school in America and the first public school in the United States. The Public Latin School was a bastion for educating the sons of the Boston "Brahmin" elite, resulting in the school claiming many prominent New Englanders as alumni. Its curriculum follows that of the 18th century Latin school movement, which holds the classics to be the basis of an educated mind. Four years of Latin are mandatory for all pupils who enter the school in the 7th grade, three years for those who enter in the 9th.
William James was an American philosopher and psychologist, and the first educator to offer a psychology course in the United States. James was a leading thinker of the late nineteenth century, one of the most influential U.S. philosophers, and has been labeled the "Father of American psychology".
Josiah Royce was an American objective idealist philosopher and the founder of American idealism.
After graduating Phi Beta Kappa from Harvardin 1886, Santayana studied for two years in Berlin. He then returned to Harvard to write his dissertation on Hermann Lotze and teach philosophy, becoming part of the Golden Age of the Harvard philosophy department. Some of his Harvard students became famous in their own right, including T. S. Eliot, Robert Frost, Gertrude Stein, Horace Kallen, Walter Lippmann, and W. E. B. Du Bois. Wallace Stevens was not among his students but became a friend. From 1896 to 1897, Santayana studied at King's College, Cambridge.
The Phi Beta Kappa Society (ΦΒΚ) is the oldest academic honor society in the United States, and is often described as its most prestigious honor society, due to its long history and academic selectivity. Phi Beta Kappa aims to promote and advocate excellence in the liberal arts and sciences, and to induct the most outstanding students of arts and sciences at American colleges and universities. It was founded at the College of William and Mary on December 5, 1776 as the first collegiate Greek-letter fraternity and was among the earliest collegiate fraternal societies.
Berlin is the capital and largest city of Germany by both area and population. Its 3,748,148 (2018) inhabitants make it the second most populous city proper of the European Union after London. The city is one of Germany's 16 federal states. It is surrounded by the state of Brandenburg, and contiguous with Potsdam, Brandenburg's capital. The two cities are at the center of the Berlin-Brandenburg capital region, which is, with about six million inhabitants and an area of more than 30,000 km², Germany's third-largest metropolitan region after the Rhine-Ruhr and Rhine-Main regions.
Rudolf Hermann Lotze was a German philosopher and logician. He also had a medical degree and was well versed in biology. He argued that if the physical world is governed by mechanical laws, relations and developments in the universe could be explained as the functioning of a world mind. His medical studies were pioneering works in scientific psychology.
Santayana never married. His romantic life, if any, is not well understood. Some evidence, including a comment Santayana made late in life comparing himself to A. E. Housman, and his friendships with people who were openly homosexual and bisexual, has led scholars to speculate that Santayana was perhaps homosexual or bisexual himself, but it remains unclear whether he had any actual heterosexual or homosexual relationships.
In 1912, Santayana resigned his position at Harvard to spend the rest of his life in Europe. He had saved money and been aided by a legacy from his mother. After some years in Ávila, Paris and Oxford, after 1920, he began to winter in Rome, eventually living there year-round until his death. During his forty years in Europe, he wrote nineteen books and declined several prestigious academic positions. Many of his visitors and correspondents were Americans, including his assistant and eventual literary executor, Daniel Cory. In later life, Santayana was financially comfortable, in part because his 1935 novel, The Last Puritan , had become an unexpected best-seller. In turn, he financially assisted a number of writers, including Bertrand Russell, with whom he was in fundamental disagreement, philosophically and politically.
Santayana's one novel, The Last Puritan , is a bildungsroman , centering on the personal growth of its protagonist, Oliver Alden. His Persons and Places is an autobiography. These works also contain many of his sharper opinions and bons mots. He wrote books and essays on a wide range of subjects, including philosophy of a less technical sort, literary criticism, the history of ideas, politics, human nature, morals, the influence of religion on culture and social psychology, all with considerable wit and humor.
While his writings on technical philosophy can be difficult, his other writings are far more accessible and pithy. He wrote poems and a few plays, and left an ample correspondence, much of it published only since 2000. Like Alexis de Tocqueville, Santayana observed American culture and character from a foreigner's point of view. Like William James, his friend and mentor, he wrote philosophy in a literary way. Ezra Pound includes Santayana among his many cultural references in The Cantos , notably in "Canto LXXXI" and "Canto XCV". Santayana is usually considered an American writer, although he declined to become an American citizen, resided in Fascist Italy for decades, and said that he was most comfortable, intellectually and aesthetically, at Oxford University. Following 1935 and the writing of his only novel The Last Puritan, he continued to winter in Rome, eventually living there year-round until his death in 1952.
Santayana's main philosophical work consists of The Sense of Beauty (1896), his first book-length monograph and perhaps the first major work on aesthetics written in the United States; The Life of Reason five volumes, 1905–6, the high point of his Harvard career; Skepticism and Animal Faith (1923); and The Realms of Being (4 vols., 1927–40). Although Santayana was not a pragmatist in the mold of William James, Charles Sanders Peirce, Josiah Royce, or John Dewey, The Life of Reason arguably is the first extended treatment of pragmatism written.
Like many of the classical pragmatists, and because he was well-versed in evolutionary theory, Santayana was committed to metaphysical naturalism. He believed that human cognition, cultural practices, and social institutions have evolved so as to harmonize with the conditions present in their environment. Their value may then be adjudged by the extent to which they facilitate human happiness. The alternate title to The Life of Reason, "the Phases of Human Progress," is indicative of this metaphysical stance.
Santayana was an early adherent of epiphenomenalism, but also admired the classical materialism of Democritus and Lucretius. (Of the three authors on whom he wrote in Three Philosophical Poets, Santayana speaks most favorably of Lucretius). He held Spinoza's writings in high regard, calling him his "master and model."
Although an atheist,he held a fairly benign view of religion. Santayana's views on religion are outlined in his books Reason in Religion, The Idea of Christ in the Gospels, and Interpretations of Poetry and Religion. Santayana described himself as an "aesthetic Catholic." He spent the last decade of his life at the Convent of the Blue Nuns of the Little Company of Mary on the Celian Hill at 6 Via Santo Stefano Rotondo in Rome, where he was cared for by the Irish sisters.
He held racial superiority and eugenic views. He believed superior races should be discouraged from "intermarriage with inferior stock".
Santayana is remembered in large part for his aphorisms, many of which have been so frequently used as to have become clichéd. His philosophy has not fared quite as well. He is regarded by most as an excellent prose stylist, and Professor John Lachs (who is sympathetic with much of Santayana's philosophy) writes, in On Santayana, that his eloquence may ironically be the very cause of this neglect.
Santayana influenced those around him, including Bertrand Russell, whom Santayana single-handedly steered away from the ethics of G. E. Moore.He also influenced many prominent people such as Harvard students T. S. Eliot, Robert Frost, Gertrude Stein, Horace Kallen, Walter Lippmann, W. E. B. Du Bois, Conrad Aiken, Van Wyck Brooks, and Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter, as well as Max Eastman and the poet Wallace Stevens. Stevens was especially influenced by Santayana's aesthetics and became a friend even though Stevens did not take courses taught by Santayana.
Santayana is quoted by the Canadian-American sociologist Erving Goffman as a central influence in the thesis of his famous book The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life (1959). Religious historian Jerome A. Stone credits Santayana with contributing to the early thinking in the development of religious naturalism.English mathematician and philosopher Alfred North Whitehead quotes Santayana extensively in his magnum opus Process and Reality .
Chuck Jones used Santayana's description of fanaticism as "redoubling your effort after you've forgotten your aim" to describe his cartoons starring Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner.
Santayanas passing is referenced in the lyrics to singer-songwriter Billy Joel's 1989 music single, "We Didn't Start the Fire".
The quote, "Only the dead have seen the end of war," is frequently attributed or misattributed to Plato; an early example of this misattribution (if indeed, it is misattributed) is found in General Douglas MacArthur's Farewell Speech given to the Corps of Cadets at West Point in 1962.
Unmodernized, critical editions of George Santayana's published and unpublished writing. The Works is edited by the Santayana Edition and published by The MIT Press.
David Hume was a Scottish Enlightenment philosopher, historian, economist, and essayist, who is best known today for his highly influential system of philosophical empiricism, scepticism, and naturalism. Hume's empiricist approach to philosophy places him with John Locke, George Berkeley, Francis Bacon and Thomas Hobbes as a British Empiricist. Beginning with his A Treatise of Human Nature (1739–40), Hume strove to create a total naturalistic science of man that examined the psychological basis of human nature. Against philosophical rationalists, Hume held that passion rather than reason governs human behaviour. Hume argued against the existence of innate ideas, positing that all human knowledge is founded solely in experience.
Henri-Louis Bergson was a French-Jewish philosopher who was influential in the tradition of continental philosophy, especially during the first half of the 20th century until the Second World War. Bergson is known for his arguments that processes of immediate experience and intuition are more significant than abstract rationalism and science for understanding reality.
Wallace Stevens was an American modernist poet. He was born in Reading, Pennsylvania, educated at Harvard and then New York Law School, and he spent most of his life working as an executive for an insurance company in Hartford, Connecticut. He won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for his Collected Poems in 1955.
Richard McKay Rorty was an American philosopher.
Harry Austryn Wolfson was a scholar, philosopher, and historian at Harvard University, and the first chairman of a Judaic Studies Center in the United States. He is best known for his seminal work on the Jewish philosopher Philo, but he also authored an astonishing variety of other works on Crescas, Maimonides, Averroes, Spinoza, the Kalam, the Church Fathers, and the foundations of Western religion. His greatest contribution may therefore have been in collapsing all the artificial barriers that isolated the study of Christian philosophy from Islamic philosophy from Jewish philosophy. Being the first Judaica scholar to progress through an entire career at a top-tier university, in Wolfson is also represented the fulfillment of the goals of the 19th-century Wissenschaft des Judentums movement.
Stanley Louis Cavell was an American philosopher. He was the Walter M. Cabot Professor of Aesthetics and the General Theory of Value at Harvard University. He worked in the fields of ethics, aesthetics, and ordinary language philosophy. As an interpreter, he produced influential works on Wittgenstein, Austin, Emerson, Thoreau, and Heidegger. His work is characterized by its conversational tone and frequent literary references.
Nicholas Wolterstorff is an American philosopher and a liturgical theologian. He is currently Noah Porter Professor Emeritus Philosophical Theology at Yale University. A prolific writer with wide-ranging philosophical and theological interests, he has written books on aesthetics, epistemology, political philosophy, philosophy of religion, metaphysics, and philosophy of education. In Faith and Rationality, Wolterstorff, Alvin Plantinga, and William Alston developed and expanded upon a view of religious epistemology that has come to be known as Reformed epistemology. He also helped to establish the journal Faith and Philosophy and the Society of Christian Philosophers.
William Sweet is a Canadian philosopher, and a past president of the Canadian Philosophical Association.
Ralph Barton Perry was an American philosopher.
The Last Puritan: A Memoir in the Form of a Novel is a 1935 novel by the Spanish-American philosopher George Santayana, set largely in the fictional town of Great Falls, Connecticut; Boston; and England, in and around Oxford. It relates the life of Oliver Alden, the descendant of an old Boston family. Santayana wrote of the novel that "it gives the emotions of my experiences, and not my thoughts or experiences themselves."
The Life of Reason: The Phases of Human Progress is a book published in five volumes from 1905 to 1906, by Spanish-born American philosopher George Santayana. It consists of Reason in Common Sense, Reason in Society, Reason in Religion, Reason in Art, and Reason in Science.
H.T. or Tom Kirby-Smith is an American author and poet.
John Lachs is the Centennial Professor of Philosophy at Vanderbilt University, where he has taught since 1967. Lachs received his Ph.D. from Yale University in 1961. His primary focus is on American philosophy and German Idealism.
Thomas Parker Sanborn was an American poet. The eldest son of abolitionist, social scientist, and memorialist of American transcendentalism Franklin Benjamin Sanborn, Thomas became a close friend of philosopher George Santayana and was a food model for the protagonist in Santayana's only novel, The Last Puritan. With five college friends, Thomas founded The Harvard Monthly.
Irving Singer was an American professor of philosophy who was on the faculty of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for 55 years and wrote over 20 books. He was the author of books on various topics, including cinema, love, sexuality, and the philosophy of George Santayana. He also wrote on the subject of film, including writings about the work of film directors Ingmar Bergman, Alfred Hitchcock,
American philosophy is the activity, corpus, and tradition of philosophers affiliated with the United States. The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy notes that while it lacks a "core of defining features, American Philosophy can nevertheless be seen as both reflecting and shaping collective American identity over the history of the nation."
Horace Meyer Kallen was a Polish-born American philosopher who supported pluralism and Zionism.
Herman Saatkamp was the fourth president of Stockton University in Galloway Township, New Jersey. He succeeded Vera King Farris in June 2003. Prior to his appointment at Stockton, Saatkamp fulfilled numerous roles at other universities. On April 22, 2015, Saatkamp submitted his resignation as president, to be effective by August 31. However, on April 28, he initiated a medical leave of absence, citing "past and present health considerations." His departure occurred amidst controversy surrounding Stockton's purchase of the shuttered Showboat casino, which Saatkamp intended to repurpose as an "island campus" of Stockton.
Daniel MacGhie Cory was an American author and George Santayana's literary secretary, assistant, and executor. Cory was also the secretary and assistant to the epistemologist Charles Augustus Strong.
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