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(16 December 1863 - 26 September 1952 / Madrid)

George Santayana
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Born Jorge Agustín Nicolás Ruiz de Santayana y Borrás, George Santayana was a philosopher, essayist, poet, and novelist. A lifelong Spanish citizen, Santayana was raised and educated in the United States and identified himself as an American. He wrote in English and is generally considered an American man of letters. At the age of forty-eight, Santayana left his position at Harvard and returned to Europe permanently, never to return to the United States. His last will was to be buried in the Spanish Pantheon of the Cimitero Monumentale del Verano in Rome.

Santayana is known for his (often-misquoted) comments: "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it", and ... more »

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  • ''It is veneer, rouge, aestheticism, art museums, new theaters, etc. that make America impotent. The good things are football, kindness, and jazz bands.''
    George Santayana (1863-1952), U.S. philosopher, poet. Letter, May 22, 1927, to critic Van Wyck Brooks.
  • ''Philosophers are very severe towards other philosophers because they expect too much.''
    George Santayana (1863-1952), U.S. philosopher, essayist. Originally published 1920. Character and Opinion in the United States, ch. 1, Doubleday Anch...
  • Nature is like a beautiful woman that may be as delightfully and as truly known at a certain distance as upon a closer view; as to knowing her through and through, that is nonsense in both cases, and ...
    George Santayana (1863-1952), U.S. philosopher, essayist. Originally published 1920. Character and Opinion in the United States, ch. 1, Doubleday Anch...
  • Nietzsche said that the earth has been a madhouse long enough. Without contradicting him we might perhaps soften the expression, and say that philosophy has been long enough an asylum for enthusiasts....
    George Santayana (1863-1952), U.S. philosopher, essayist. Originally published 1920. Character and Opinion in the United States, ch. 5, Doubleday Anch...
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