George Santayana

(16 December 1863 - 26 September 1952 / Madrid)

George Santayana Quotes

  • ''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).
  • ''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 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).
  • ''It is possible to be a master in false philosophy—easier, in fact, than to be a master in the truth, because a false philosophy can be made as simple and consistent as one pleases.''
    George Santayana (1863-1952), U.S. philosopher, essayist. Originally published 1920. Character and Opinion in the United States, ch. 1, Doubleday Anchor (1956).
  • ''The young man who has not wept is a savage, and the old man who will not laugh is a fool.''
    George Santayana (1863-1952), U.S. philosopher, poet. Dialogues in Limbo, ch. 3 (1925).
  • ''The world is a perpetual caricature of itself; at every moment it is the mockery and the contradiction of what it is pretending to be.''
    George Santayana (1863-1952), U.S. philosopher, poet. "Dickens," Soliloquies in England (1922).
  • ''Chaos is a name for any order that produces confusion in our minds.''
    George Santayana (1863-1952), U.S. philosopher, poet. Dominations and Powers, bk. 1, pt. 1, ch. 1 (1951).

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Best Poem of George Santayana

The Poet's Testament

I give back to the earth what the earth gave,
All to the furrow, none to the grave,
The candle's out, the spirit's vigil spent;
Sight may not follow where the vision went.

I leave you but the sound of many a word
In mocking echoes haply overheard,
I sang to heaven. My exile made me free,
from world to world, from all worlds carried me.

Spared by the furies, for the Fates were kind,
I paced the pillared cloisters of the mind;
All times my present, everywhere my place,
Nor fear, nor hope, nor envy saw my face.

Blow what winds would, the ancient ...

Read the full of The Poet's Testament

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.

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