By Krzysztof Piotr Skowronski
George Santayana (1863–1952), a Spanish-American thinker, is an influential personage at the cultural level in English- and Spanish-speaking nations. His a number of books and papers on subject matters as various as epistemology, ontology, aesthetics, ethics, anthropology, price concept, and American stories, together with his best-selling novel, his subtle poetry, and his recognized autobiography, make him a bright and profound resource of mirrored image at the heritage of yank and ecu proposal, in addition to a stimulus for destiny paintings. Santayana’s exceptionality used to be preferred via William James and Josiah Royce, his most outstanding colleagues in Harvard University’s division of Philosophy, and has been mentioned by means 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 e-book goals to appreciate Santayana via contemplating his frequently provocative perspectives on the US. different students have reconstructed his notion at numerous occasions and in various methods, yet nobody has but thought of Santayana’s technique towards the US in a major and profound manner (at least now not 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 can be the most powerful element of Santayana’s notion.
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Extra info for Santayana and America: Values, Liberties, Responsibility
In this environment, Santayana explained, he was more comfortable “with the dead” than with the living. “It was a comfort, but a cold comfort,” he said, “to say that I was living among the immortals” (I, 426). A student rather than a teacher by vocation, Santayana also perceived a growing gap between himself and his students, a gap that made him feel painfully and poignantly that he was losing what he loved the most: youth, unprejudiced minds, free imagination, and spontaneity – things it was hardly possible to share with pupils when one was an authority figure.
It would be hard to exaggerate the ire which his arguments on this subject aroused in my youthful breast,” Santayana recalled (PGS, 10). George Herbert Palmer, member of the philosophy faculty at Harvard from 1872 through 1913 and chairman of the Philosophy Department from 1891 to 1894 and 1898 to 1900, taught the history of philosophy, Greek, and ethics. His famous Philosophy 4, a secular and systematic (that is, non-theological and non-historical) introduction to moral philosophy, was the first modern course of this kind taught in the United States.
Even major American poets whose growth was stimulated somehow by their rejection of the genteel tradition shared its limitations and lacked vivid imagination. Walt Whitman’s imagination, for example, was hardly anything more than a passive sensorium endowed with “the lowest – I mean the most primitive – type of perception” (IPR, 182). Santayana accused Whitman and American culture in general of not having worked out a total vision of reality, of instead dealing only with a material part of it and assuming an anthropocentric and egoistic attitude.
Santayana and America: Values, Liberties, Responsibility by Krzysztof Piotr Skowronski