Skip navigation.

George Santayana

(1863 - )

    Biography:

    Spanish-born American Philosopher, Essayist, Poet, Novelist, Critic, Philosophy Professor at Harvard University

    Videos
    Quotes
    A body seriously out of equilibrium, either with itself or with its environment, perishes outright. Not so a mind. Madness and suffering can set themselves no limit; they lapse only when the corporeal frame that sustains them yields to circumstances and changes its habit.
    A body seriously out of equilibrium, either with itself or with its environment, perishes outright. Not so a mind. Madness and suffering set themselves no limit.
    A Californian who I had recently the pleasure of meeting observed that if the philosophers had lived among your mountains, their systems would have been different from what they are. Certainly very different from what those systems are which the European genteel tradition has handed down since Socrates; for these systems are egotistical; directly or indirectly they are anthropocentric, and inspired by the conceited notion the man, or human reason, or the human distinction between good and evil, is the center and pivot of the universe. That is what the mountains and the woods should make you at last ashamed to assert.
    A child educated only at school is an uneducated child.
    A conceived thing is doubly a product of mind, more a product of mind, if you will, than an idea, since ideas arise, so to speak, by the mind's inertia and conceptions of things by its activity. Ideas are mental sediment; conceived things are mental growths.
    A conception not reducible to the small change of daily experience is like a currency not exchangeable for articles of consumption; it is not a symbol, but a fraud.
    A country without a memory is a country of madmen.
    A dramatic centre of action and passion… utterly unlike what in modern philosophy we call consciousness. The soul causes the body to grow, to assume its ancestral shape, to develop all its ancestral instincts, to wake and to sleep by turns… and at the same time determines the responses that the living body shall make to the world.
    A fanatical imagination cannot regard God as just unless he is represented as infinitely cruel.
    First Name: 
    George
    Last Name: 
    Santayana
    Birth Date: 
    1863
    Death Date: 
    1952
    Bio: 
    Spanish-born American Philosopher, Essayist, Poet, Novelist, Critic, Philosophy Professor at Harvard University