George Santayana

1863-1952

books santayan
Sonnets And Other Verses (1894)
The Sense of Beauty (1896) – read online
Interpretations of Poetry and Religion (1900) – read online

  • Understanding, imagination, and mysticism
  • The Homeric hymns
  • The dissolution of paganism
  • The poetry of Christian dogma
  • Platonic love in some Italian poets
  • The absence of religion in Shakespeare
  • The poetry of barbarism
  • Emerson – read online
  • A religion of disillusion
  • The elements and function of poetry

The Life of Reason: or the Phases of Human Progress, 5 vols (1905-6) george-santayana

  1. Introduction and Reason in Common Sense – read online
  2. Reason in Society
  3. Reason in Religion
  4. Reason in Art – read online
  5. Reason in Science – read online

Three Philosophical Poets: Lucretius, Dante, and Goethe (1910)
Winds of Doctrine: Studies in Contemporary Opinion (1913)
Egotism in German Philosophy (1915) – read online

I love this book. One of the greatest, most acute books about philosophy and philosophers ever written. In 1915 he traces the path already from the early 18th C to the Nazis. Perhaps my favourite sentences in it:

The German people, according to Fichte and Hegel, are called by the plan of Providence to occupy the supreme place in the history of the universe. A little consideration of this belief will perhaps lead us more surely to the heart of German philosophy than would the usual laborious approach to it through what is called the theory of knowledge. –p21

There are many entire philosophy books that contain less wisdom and good sense than this brief passage. And it’s quietly very funny (and tragic).

Philosophical Opinion in America (1918) – read online
Character and Opinion in the United States (1920) – read online index
Little Essays, Drawn From the Writings of George Santayana. by Logan Pearsall Smith, With the Collaboration of the Author (1920)
Soliloquies in England and Later Soliloquies (1922)
Scepticism and Animal Faith: Introduction to a System of Philosophy (1923)
Platonism and the Spiritual Life (1927)
The Realms of Being, 4 vols. (1927-40)
The Genteel Tradition at Bay (1931)
Some Turns of Thought in Modern Philosophy: Five Essays (1933)
The Last Puritan: A Memoir in the Form of a Novel (1935)
Obiter Scripta: Lectures, Essays and Reviews. Justus Buchler and Benjamin Schwartz, eds. (1936)
Persons and Places (1944)
The Middle Span (1945)
The Idea of Christ in the Gospels; or, God in Man: A Critical Essay (1946)
Dialogues in Limbo, With Three New Dialogues (1948)
Dominations and Powers: Reflections on Liberty, Society, and Government (1951)
My Host the World (1953)

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