George Santayana Quotes

An operation that eventually kills may be technically successful, and the man may die cured; and so a description of religion that showed it to be madness might first show how real and warm it was, so that if it perished, at least it would perish understood.
George Santayana (1863-1952), U.S. philosopher, essayist. (Originally published 1920). Character and Opinion in the United States, ch. 3, Doubleday Anchor (1956). On William James' work on religion.
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The tendency to gather and to breed philosophers in universities does not belong to ages of free and humane reflection: it is scholastic and proper to the Middle Ages and to Germany.
George Santayana (1863-1952), U.S. philosopher, essayist. Originally published 1920. Character and Opinion in the United States, ch. 2, Doubleday Anchor (1956).
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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).
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We are not compelled in naturalism, or even in materialism, to ignore immaterial things; the point is that any immaterial things which are recognized shall be regarded as names, aspects, functions, or concomitant products of those physical things among which action goes on.
George Santayana (1863-1952), U.S. philosopher, essayist. Originally published 1936. "Dewey's Naturalistic Metaphysics," repr. In Philosophy in the Twentieth Century, vol. 1, Random House (1962).
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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).
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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).
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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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Oxford, the paradise of dead philosophies.
George Santayana (1863-1952), U.S. philosopher, poet. Egotism in German Philosophy, p. 144 (1916).
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Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
George Santayana (1863-1952), U.S. philosopher, poet. Life of Reason, "Reason in Common Sense," ch. 12 (1905-6). William L. Shirer made these words the epigraph for his Rise and Fall of the Third Reich (1959).
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... even if Lucretius was wrong, and the soul is immortal, it is nevertheless steadily changing its interests and its possessions. Our lives are mortal if our soul is not; and the sentiment which reconciled Lucretius to death is as much needed if we are to face many deaths, as if we are to face only one.
George Santayana (1863-1952), U.S. philosopher, essayist. Originally published 1910. "Lucretius," Three Philosophical Poets, Doubleday Anchor.
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