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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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Idealization: Santayana versus Freud

Idealization: Santayana versus Freud

(p.83) 4 Idealization: Santayana versus Freud
George Santayana

Irving Singer

Yale University Press

This chapter discusses Santayana's concept of love. In congruence to Plato, Santayana believed that all love worthy of the name must have an “ideal object.” Lovers seek in each other the embodiment of “an ideal form essentially eternal and capable of endless embodiments.” This “form,” or “essence” as Santayana later called it, is the abstract possibility of some perfection. If a man falls in love with a fair-haired woman, he does so because his heart has been captured by the ideal of a perfect blonde. It is this ideal object, not the woman “in her unvarnished and accidental person,” that the man truly loves.

Keywords:   love, Plato, ideal object, endless embodiments, essence, perfection

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