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George SantayanaLiterary Philosopher$
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Irving Singer

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780300080377

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300080377.001.0001

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A Pilgrimage to Santayana

A Pilgrimage to Santayana

(p.1) 1 A Pilgrimage to Santayana
George Santayana

Irving Singer

Yale University Press

This chapter presents two ways in which George Santayana's contribution to twentieth-century philosophy may be appraised. Santayana could be taken as a writer about the human condition who was also interested in philosophy, or else who was also a theorist in various branches of philosophy who wrote essays, literary criticism, histories of ideas, social commentaries, volumes of poetry, a best-selling novel, and so forth. Both approaches to his talent must be employed, and interwoven, in order to attain a clear idea of what Santayana accomplished in his books. More than any other great philosopher in the English language, Santayana not only harmonized literary and philosophical writing but also made harmonization of this sort a fundamental resource in his doctrinal outlook. Despite its systematic structure, Santayana's philosophy was intended to be an expression of the author's personal experience and imaginative interpretation of his life as he lived it.

Keywords:   twentieth-century philosophy, George Santayana, human condition, philosophical writing, harmonization, doctrinal outlook

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