George Santayana (1863 - 1952)
Born in Madrid, Santayana lived in America for many years (teaching at Harvard and writing) before sojourning through Europe and settling in WWII Italy. He philosophized about imagination, poetry, religion, reality, reason, and existence. Mind, Santayana thought, derived from material. He wrote that "the defect of sense calls in imagination, the defect of imagination calls in reasoning, the defect of reasoning divination." Though a humanist, he recognized the imaginative merit in religion, particularly religion beyond Paganism.
Online text of THE LIFE OF REASON (1905)
(great authors main page)
List of Works
The Sense of Beauty
Interpretations of Poetry and Religion
Reason In Art
The Life of Reason
Reason and Art
Scepticism and Animal Faith
Dialogues in Limbo
The Last Puritan
The Idea of Christ in the Gospels
Platonism and the Spiritual Life
Persons and Places
Dominations and Powers
(not a complete list)
The imagination, even when its premonitions are not wholly justified by subsequent experience, has thus a noble role to play in the life of man.
Without poetry and religion the history of mankind would have been darker than it is. Not only would emotional life have been poorer, but the public conscience, the national and family spirit, so useful for moral organization and discipline, would hardly have become articulate.
[back to top] [home]
© 2005 SubtleTea Productions All Rights Reserved