Treasure Island

George Santayana

(16 December 1863 - 26 September 1952 / Madrid)

Quotations

  • ''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.
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  • ''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 Anchor (1956).
  • ''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 might not reward our pains.''
    George Santayana (1863-1952), U.S. philosopher, essayist. Originally published 1920. Character and Opinion in the United States, ch. 1, Doubleday Anchor (1956).
  • ''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 Anchor (1956).
  • ''The word experience is like a shrapnel shell, and bursts into a thousand meanings.''
    George Santayana (1863-1952), U.S. philosopher, essayist. Originally published 1920. Character and Opinion in the United States, ch. 3, Doubleday Anchor (1956).
  • ''The language and traditions common to England and America are like other family bonds: they draw kindred together at the greater crises of life, but they also occasion at times a little friction and fault-finding. The groundwork of the two societies is so similar, that each nation, feeling almost at home with the other, and almost able to understand its speech, may instinctively resent what hinders it from feeling at home altogether. Dif ferences will tend to seem anomalies that have slipped in by mistake and through somebody's fault. Each will judge the other by his own standards, not feeling, as in the presence of complete foreigners, that he must make an effort of imagination and put himself in another man's shoes.''
    George Santayana (1863-1952), Spanish-born U.S. philosopher, poet. Character and Opinion in the United States, ch. 6, Scribner (1920).
  • ''One of the peculiarities of recent speculation, especially in America, is that ideas are abandoned in virtue of a mere change of feeling, without any new evidence or new arguments. We do not nowadays refute our predecessors, we pleasantly bid them good-bye.''
    George Santayana (1863-1952), U.S. philosopher, essayist. Originally published 1920. Character and Opinion in the United States, ch. 1, Doubleday Anchor (1956).
  • ''The love of all-inclusiveness is as dangerous in philosophy as in art.''
    George Santayana (1863-1952), U.S. philosopher, essayist. Originally published 1920. Character and Opinion in the United States, ch. 1, Doubleday Anchor (1956).
  • ''The existence of any evil anywhere at any time absolutely ruins a total optimism.''
    George Santayana (1863-1952), U.S. philosopher, essayist. Originally published 1920. Character and Opinion in the United States, ch. 4, Doubleday Anchor (1956).
  • ''The truth properly means the sum of all true propositions, what omniscience would assert, the whole ideal system of qualities and relations which the world has exemplified or will exemplify. The truth is all things seen under the form of eternity.''
    George Santayana (1863-1952), U.S. philosopher, essayist. Originally published 1920. Character and Opinion in the United States, ch. 5, Doubleday Anchor (1956).

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Sonnet XXV

As in the midst of battle there is room
For thoughts of love, and in foul sin for mirth;
As gossips whisper of a trinket's worth
Spied by the death-bed's flickering candle-gloom;
As in the crevices of Caesar's tomb
The sweet herbs flourish on a little earth
So in this great disaster of our birth
We can be happy, and forget our doom.

[Hata Bildir]