George Santayana (Philosopher)

#23695 George Santayana

In fact, the whole machinery of our intelligence, our general ideas and laws, fixed and external objects, principles, persons, and gods, are so many symbolic, algebraic expressions. They stand for experience; experience which we are incapable of retaining and surveying in its multitudinous immediacy. We should flounder hopelessly, like the animals, did we not keep ourselves afloat and direct our course by these intellectual devices. Theory helps us to bear our ignorance of fact. .

George Santayana Quotes about god
#23696 George Santayana

Beauty as we feel it is something indescribable: what it is or what it means can never be said. .

George Santayana Quotes about beauty
#23697 George Santayana

Beauty is a pledge of the possible conformity between the soul and nature, and consequently a ground of faith in the supremacy of the good. .

George Santayana Quotes about faith
#23698 George Santayana

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. .

George Santayana Quotes about education
#23699 George Santayana

Happiness is the only sanction of life; where happiness fails, existence remains a mad and lamentable experiment. .

George Santayana Quotes about life
#23700 George Santayana

That life is worth living is the most necessary of assumptions and, were it not assumed, the most impossible of conclusions. .

George Santayana Quotes about life
#23701 George Santayana

Fanaticism consists in redoubling your efforts when you have forgotten your aim. .

George Santayana Quotes about you
#23702 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 about change
#23703 George Santayana

The highest form of vanity is love of fame. .

George Santayana Quotes about love
#23704 George Santayana

The human race, in its intellectual life, is organized like the bees: the masculine soul is a worker, sexually atrophied, and essentially dedicated to impersonal and universal arts; the feminine is a queen, infinitely fertile, omnipresent in its brooding industry, but passive and abounding in intuitions without method and passions without justice. .

George Santayana Quotes about life
#23705 George Santayana

To call war the soil of courage and virtue is like calling debauchery the soil of love. .

George Santayana Quotes about love
#23706 George Santayana

It is not society's fault that most men seem to miss their vocation. Most men have no vocation. .

George Santayana Quotes about society
#23707 George Santayana

Injustice in this world is not something comparative; the wrong is deep, clear, and absolute in each private fate. .

George Santayana Quotes about world
#23708 George Santayana

What renders man an imaginative and moral being is that in society he gives new aims to his life which could not have existed in solitude: the aims of friendship, religion, science, and art. .

George Santayana Quotes about life
#23709 George Santayana

Experience has repeatedly confirmed that well-known maxim of 's that "a little philosophy inclineth a man's mind to atheism, but depth in philosophy bringeth men's minds about to religion." At the same time, when Bacon penned that sage epigram... he forgot to add that the God to whom depth in philosophy brings back men's minds is far from being the same from whom a little philosophy estranges them. .

George Santayana Quotes about philosophy
#23710 George Santayana

Matters of religion should never be matters of controversy. We neither argue with a lover about his taste, nor condemn him, if we are just, for knowing so human a passion. .

George Santayana Quotes about love
#23711 George Santayana

Fashion is something barbarous, for it produces innovation without reason and imitation without benefit. .

George Santayana Quotes about reason
#23713 George Santayana

Art like life should be free, since both are experimental. .

George Santayana Quotes about life
#23714 George Santayana

History is nothing but assisted and recorded memory. It might almost be said to be no science at all, if memory and faith in memory were not what science necessarily rest on. In order to sift evidence we must rely on some witness, and we must trust experience before we proceed to expand it. The line between what is known scientifically and what has to be assumed in order to support knowledge is impossible to draw. Memory itself is an internal rumour; and when to this hearsay within the mind we add the falsified echoes that reach us from others, we have but a shifting and unseizable basis to build upon. The picture we frame of the past changes continually and grows every day less similar to the original experience which it purports to describe. .

George Santayana Quotes about faith
#23715 George Santayana

When Socrates and his two great disciples composed a system of rational ethics they were hardly proposing practical legislation for mankind...They were merely writing an eloquent epitaph for their country. .

George Santayana Quotes about writing
#23716 George Santayana

Oblivious of Democritus, the unwilling materialists of our day have generally been awkwardly intellectual and quite incapable of laughter. If they have felt anything, they have felt melancholy. Their allegiance and affection were still fixed on those mythical sentimental worlds which they saw to be illusory. The mechanical world they believed in could not please them, in spite of its extent and fertility. Giving rhetorical vent to their spleen and prejudice, they exaggerated nature's meagreness and mathematical dryness. When their imagination was chilled they spoke of nature, most unwarrantably, as dead, and when their judgment was heated they took the next step and called it unreal. .

George Santayana Quotes about war
#23717 George Santayana

Let a man once overcome his selfish terror at his own finitude, and his finitude is, in one sense, overcome. .

George Santayana Quotes about self
#23718 George Santayana

Perhaps the only true dignity of man is his capacity to despise himself. .

George Santayana Quotes about self
#23719 George Santayana

Miracles are propitious accidents, the natural causes of which are too complicated to be readily understood. .

George Santayana Quotes about read
#23720 George Santayana

The Bible is literature, not dogma. .

George Santayana Quotes about literature
#23721 George 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. .

George Santayana Quotes about law
#23722 George Santayana

Indemocracy 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 Quotes about life
#23723 George Santayana

Eternal vigilance is the price of knowledge. .

George Santayana Quotes about knowledge
#23724 George Santayana

The pint would call the quart a dualist, if you tried to pour the quart into him. .

George Santayana Quotes about art
#23725 George Santayana

Because the peculiarity of man is that his machinery for reaction on external things has involved an imaginative transcript of these things, which is preserved and suspended in his fancy; and the interest and beauty of this inward landscape, rather than any fortunes that may await his body in the outer world, constitute his proper happiness. By their mind, its scope, quality, and temper, we estimate men, for by the mind only do we exist as men, and are more than so many storage-batteries for material energy. Let us therefore be frankly human. Let us be content to live in the mind. .

George Santayana Quotes about happiness
#23726 George Santayana

England is the paradise of individuality, eccentricity, heresy, anomalies, hobbies, and humors. .

George Santayana Quotes about humor
#23727 George Santayana

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 Quotes about men
#23728 George Santayana

There is no cure for birth and death save to enjoy the interval. .

George Santayana Quotes about death
#23729 George Santayana

I like to walk about amidst the beautiful things that adorn the world; but private wealth I should decline, or any sort of personal possessions, because they would take away my liberty. .

George Santayana Quotes about world
#23730 George Santayana

Only the dead have seen the end of war. .

George Santayana Quotes about war
#23731 George Santayana

My atheism, like that of , is true piety towards the universe and denies only gods fashioned by men in their own image, to be servants of their human interests. .

George Santayana Quotes about god
#23732 George Santayana

The living have never shown me how to live. .

George Santayana Quotes about living
#23733 George Santayana

Profound skepticism is favorable to conventions, because it doubts that the criticism of conventions is any truer than they are. .

George Santayana Quotes about doubt
#23734 George Santayana

[The empiricist] thinks he believes only what he sees, but he is much better at believing than at seeing. .

George Santayana Quotes about believe
#23735 George 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. .

George Santayana Quotes about soul
#23736 George Santayana

The young man who has not wept is a savage, and the older man who will not laugh is a fool. .

George Santayana Quotes about man
#23737 George Santayana

Philosophers are as jealous as women. Each wants a monopoly of praise. .

George Santayana Quotes about women
#23738 George Santayana

Religion in its humility restores man to his only dignity, the courage to live by grace. .

George Santayana Quotes about courage
#23739 George Santayana

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 Quotes about life
#23740 George Santayana

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. .

George Santayana Quotes about life
#23741 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. .

George Santayana Quotes about wisdom
#23742 George Santayana

In the Gospels, for instance, we sometimes find the kingdom of heaven illustrated by principles drawn from observation of this world rather than from an ideal conception of justice; ... They remind us that the God we are seeking is present and active, that he is the living God; they are doubtless necessary if we are to keep religion from passing into a mere idealism and God into the vanishing point of our thought and endeavour. .

George Santayana Quotes about religion
#23743 George Santayana

There is nothing impossible in the existence of the supernatural: its existence seems to me decidedly probable. .

George Santayana Quotes about existence
#23744 George Santayana

They [the wise spirits of antiquity in the first circle of Dante's Inferno] are condemned, Dante tells us, to no other penalty than to live in desire without hope, a fate appropriate to noble souls with a clear vision of life. .

George Santayana Quotes about life
#23745 George Santayana

Skepticism, like chastity, should not be relinquished too readily. .

George Santayana Quotes about read

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