The Essential Santayana

The Essential Santayana : Selected Writings

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Although he was born in Spain, George Santayana (1863-1952) became a uniquely American philosopher, critic, poet, and best-selling novelist. Along with his Harvard colleagues William James and Josiah Royce, he is best known as one of the founders of American pragmatism and recognized for his insights into the theory of knowledge, metaphysics, and moral philosophy. The Essential Santayana presents a selection of Santayana's most important and influential literary and philosophical work. Martin A. Coleman's critical introduction sets Santayana into the American philosophical tradition and provides context for contemporary readers, many of whom may be approaching Santayana's writings for the first time. This landmark collection reveals the intellectual and literary diversity of one of American philosophy's most lively minds.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 704 pages
  • 152.4 x 233.68 x 43.18mm | 952.54g
  • Indiana University Press
  • Bloomington, IN, United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 0253221056
  • 9780253221056
  • 754,556

Review quote

"Having emerged from the abyss of literary death, Santayana now stands ready to assume his rightful place among the truly important philosophers of the last several hundred years." -John Lachs, Vanderbilt University "From the selections included, one can find many that alone would justify the price of the volume. There are insightful essays on James, on Royce, on Emerson, on Nietzsche, and on the Renaissance humanists. The editors of this volume set out to select, in their words, "works based on their traditional influence and popularity, their representativeness with respect to Santayana's philosophical vision, or their importance according to Santayana's comments in his correspondence." One must say that they have succeeded admirably." -Review of Metaphysics
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About Martin A. Coleman

Martin A. Coleman is Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Associate Editor of the Santayana Edition at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.
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Table of contents

AcknowledgmentsChronology of the Life and Work of George SantayanaList of Bibliographical AbbreviationsIntroduction: The Essential SantayanaPart 1. AutobiographyA General ConfessionMy Place, Time, and AncestryEpilogue on My Host, the WorldPart 2. Skepticism and OntologyPhilosophical HeresyPreface [Scepticism and Animal Faith]There Is No First Principle of CriticismDogma and DoubtWayward ScepticismUltimate ScepticismNothing Given ExistsThe Discovery of EssenceThe Watershed of CriticismKnowledge Is Faith Mediated by SymbolsBelief in SubstanceLiterary PsychologyThe Implied Being of TruthComparison with Other Criticisms of KnowledgeNormal MadnessSome Meanings of the Word "Is"Preface to Realms of BeingVarious Approaches to EssenceThe Being Proper to EssencesThe Scope of Natural PhilosophyIndispensable Properties of SubstanceTeleologyThe PsycheThere Are No Necessary TruthsFacts Arbitrary, Logic IdealInterplay between Truth and LogicDramatic TruthMoral TruthLove and Hatred of TruthDenials of TruthPart 3. Rational Life in Art, Religion, and SpiritualityThe Elements and Function of PoetryIntroductionThe Birth of ReasonHow Religion May Be an Embodiment of ReasonJustification of ArtThe Criterion of TasteArt and HappinessUltimate ReligionThe Nature of SpiritLiberationUnionPart 4. Ethics and PoliticsPrerational MoralityRational EthicsPost-rational MoralityHypostatic EthicsPublic OpinionGovernment of the PeopleWho Are "The People"?The United States as LeaderConclusion [Dominations and Powers]Part 5. Literature, Culture, and CriticismSonnet IIITo W. P.Prologue [The Last Puritan]Epilogue [The Last Puritan]The Poetry of BarbarismEmersonThe Genteel Tradition in American PhilosophyEnglish Liberty in AmericaThe Genteel Tradition at BayThe Ethics of NietzscheWilliam JamesJosiah RoyceDewey's Naturalistic MetaphysicsIndex
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