George Santayana

George Santayana

Jorge Agustín Nicolás Ruiz de Santayana y Borrás, known in English as George Santayana (December 16, 1863 – September 26, 1952), was a philosopher, essayist, poet, and novelist. Santayana is popularly known for aphorisms, such as "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it", "Only the dead have seen the end of war", and the definition of beauty as "pleasure objectified".

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Parents lend children their experience and a vicarious memory, children endow their parents with a vicarious immortality.

Periods of tranquillity are seldom prolific of creative achievement. Mankind has to be stirred up.

Language is like money without which specific relative values may well exist and be felt but cannot be reduced to a common denominator.

If pain could have cured us we should long ago have been saved.

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

It is veneer rouge aestheticism art museums new theaters etc. that make America impotent. The good things are football kindness and jazz bands.

The lover knows much more about absolute good and universal beauty than any logician or theologian unless the latter too be lovers in disguise.

The word experience is like a shrapnel shell and bursts into a thousand meanings.

Prayer among sane people has never superseded practical efforts to secure the desired end.

Fun is a good thing but only when it spoils nothing better.

The effort of art is to keep what is interesting in existence to recreate it in the eternal.

The existence of any evil anywhere at any time absolutely ruins a total optimism.

Friendship is almost always the union of a part of one mind with the part of another, people are friends in spots.

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

The spirit's foe in man has not been simplicity but sophistication.

To knock a thing down especially if it is cocked at an arrogant angle is a deep delight of the blood.

Advertising is the modern substitute for argument, its function is to make the worse appear the better.

There is a kind of courtesy in skepticism. It would be an offense against polite conventions to press our doubts too far.

All thought is naught but a footnote to Plato.

Oaths are the fossils of piety.

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