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George Santayana (1863 – 1952)


Philosopher, essayist, poet and novelist.
George Santayana
Eternal vigilance is the price of knowledge.
Santayana quotes
All his life he [the American] jumps into the train after it has started and jumps out before it has stopped; and he never once gets left behind, or breaks a leg.
Santayana
All living souls welcome whatever they are ready to cope with; all else they ignore, or pronounce to be monstrous and wrong, or deny to be possible.




Santayana George quotes
The highest form of vanity is love of fame.
Santayana George
Fashion is something barbarous, for it produces innovation without reason and imitation without benefit.
George Santayana quotes
Injustice in this world is not something comparative; the wrong is deep, clear, and absolute in each private fate.
George Santayana
"In America literary reputations come and go so swiftly," I complained, fatuously. [Santayana's] answer was swift. "It would be insufferable if they did not."
Santayana George quotes
Santayana, indeed, is the Moses of the new naturalism, who discerned the promised land from afar but still wanders himself in the desert realms of being.
Santayana
Professional philosophers are usually only apologists: that is, they are absorbed in defending some vested illusion or some eloquent idea. Like lawyers or detectives, they study the case for which they are retained.
Santayana George
Perhaps the only true dignity of man is his capacity to despise himself.
George Santayana
The living have never shown me how to live.




George Santayana quotes
Miracles are propitious accidents, the natural causes of which are too complicated to be readily understood.
George Santayana
O world, thou choosest not the better part!
It is not wisdom to be only wise,
And on the inward vision close the eyes,
But it is wisdom to believe the heart.
Columbus found a world, and had no chart,
Save one that faith deciphered in the skies;
To trust the soul’s invincible surmise
Was all his science and his only art.
Santayana quotes
There is no cure for birth and death save to enjoy the interval.
Santayana George
Fanaticism consists in redoubling your efforts when you have forgotten your aim.
Santayana George quotes
American life is a powerful solvent. As it stamps the immigrant, almost before he can speak English, with an unmistakable muscular tension, cheery self-confidence and habitual challenge in the voice and eyes, so it seems to neutralize every intellectual element, however tough and alien it may be, and to fuse it in the native good-will, complacency, thoughtlessness, and optimism.
George Santayana
Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness. When change is absolute there remains no being to improve and no direction is set for possible improvement: and when experience is not retained, as among savages, infancy is perpetual. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
George Santayana quotes
In Walt Whitman democracy is carried into psychology and morals. The various sights, moods, and emotions are given each one vote; they are declared to be all free and equal, and the innumerable commonplace moments of life are suffered to speak like the others. Those moments formerly reputed great are not excluded, but they are made to march in the ranks with their companions—plain foot-soldiers and servants of the hour.
George Santayana
Profound skepticism is favorable to conventions, because it doubts that the criticism of conventions is any truer than they are.
Santayana George
Even the most inspired verse, which boasts not without a relative justification to be immortal, becomes in the course of ages a scarcely legible hieroglyphic; the language it was written in dies, a learned education and an imaginative effort are requisite to catch even a vestige of its original force. Nothing is so irrevocable as mind.


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