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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Mont Brevent

O dweller in the valley, lift thine eyes
To where, above the drift of cloud, the stone
Endures in silence, and to God alone
Upturns its furrowed visage, and is wise.
There yet is being, far from all that dies,
And beauty where no mortal maketh moan,
Where larger planets swim the liquid zone,
And wider spaces stretch to calmer skies.
Only a little way above the plain

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