By Krzysztof Piotr Skowronski
George Santayana (1863–1952), a Spanish-American thinker, is an influential personage at the cultural degree in English- and Spanish-speaking nations. His quite a few books and papers on subject matters as diversified as epistemology, ontology, aesthetics, ethics, anthropology, price concept, and American reviews, together with his best-selling novel, his subtle poetry, and his well-known autobiography, make him a brilliant and profound resource of mirrored image at the background of yank and ecu idea, in addition to a stimulus for destiny paintings. Santayana’s exceptionality used to be favored via William James and Josiah Royce, his most outstanding colleagues in Harvard University’s division of Philosophy, and has been mentioned by way of such revered authors as John Dewey, Bertrand Russell, Charles Hartshorne, Eric Voegelin, Alfred Schutz, Richard Rorty, Hilary Putnam, Arthur Danto, and Ferdinand Savater, between others. This publication goals to appreciate Santayana through contemplating his frequently provocative perspectives on the US. different students have reconstructed his notion at a variety of instances and in quite a few methods, yet nobody has but thought of Santayana’s procedure towards the USA in a significant and profound approach (at least no longer within the English language). This ebook makes an attempt to persuade the reader that the impartiality of Santayana’s philosophy, its transcendence of cultural limits and psychological borders, makes it a residing philosophy, and that this is often the most powerful element of Santayana’s concept.
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When he reached the age of maturity, he began to define his place in the world as an in-between place. “I was tethered, even when I began to cross and recross the Atlantic, to Avila and Boston, and allowed only occasional halt between,” he wrote. But his identity did not lie in either place: “My real nucleus was this combination, not easily defined. ” Santayana resolved his dilemma by identifying with the intellectual and cultural traditions of the West writ broadly: “The Mohammedan countries, India and China no longer tempted me.
It left the pupil unguided and morally empty, and in the end the teacher felt himself a drudge” (I, 155). D. at Harvard, Santayana spent a short time in Cambridge, England, where he enjoyed the status of a special graduate student. He then returned to Harvard, where in 1898 he was appointed assistant professor in the Department of Philosophy. Among the courses he taught were the history of philosophy, aesthetics, ethics, and metaphysics. Santayana made the decision to take this position with some reservations, as his vision of education was much freer 34 Chapter Two than one confined to the premises of academia.
Degree summa cum laude and was awarded a Walker Fellowship (with Charles 2 3 Robert Wernick, “At Boston Latin, Time Out for a 350th Birthday,” Smithsonian, April 1985, p. 134. Santayana recalled: “The Brimmer School, the Boston Latin School, and Harvard College then followed in order: but apart from the taste for English poetry which I first imbibed from our excellent English master, Mr. Byron Groce, the most decisive influences over my mind in boyhood continued to come from my family, where, with my grown-up brother and sisters, I was the only child.