By George Santayana, William G. Holzberger, Herman J. Saatkamp Jr.
edited and with an advent via William G. Holzberger because the first choice of George Santayana's letters used to be released in 1955, presently after his dying, many extra letters were positioned. The Works of George Santayana, quantity V, brings jointly a complete of 3,081 letters. the quantity is split chronologically into 8 books of approximately related size. booklet One covers the longest interval of time, in impression spanning Santayana's correspondence from the Eighteen Eighties via so much of the 1st decade of the 20th century. It illuminates Santayana's existence from the age of 19 till good into his center years, whilst he had demonstrated his specialist profession as an entire professor at Harvard.In his advent, William Holzberger summarizes their importance as follows: "We locate in Santayana's letters not just a distillation of his philosophy but additionally a mess of recent views at the released paintings. The responses to his correspondents are jam-packed with spontaneous reviews on and restatements of his basic philosophical rules and ideas. simply because Santayana's philosophy used to be now not for him a specific thing aside, yet quite the basis of his life, the letters point out the ways that his complete lifestyles was once permeated and directed by way of that philosophy."
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Additional info for The Letters of George Santayana, Book 1: -1909
I recall Paul Arthur Schilpp espousing this view in class at Northwestern University during the 1950s. Schilpp made a point of reserving the term “philosopher” for the great figures of the history of philosophy and for contemporary theorists of international reputation. 32 16 Dec 1926, Lewis Mumford, The Golden Day (New York: Boni and Liveright, 1926). ” (6 Apr 1918 to Mrs. Winslow); “I think [Soviet Russian communism] is a splendid experiment. Lenin is as good as Lycurgus or Pythagoras. ” (4 Oct 1931 to George Sturgis); “I … agree with … [Karl Marx’s] low opinion of capitalism.
He was a true modern in terms of the bleakness of his outlook and in his chronic detachment. There is also something very Spanish in the essential starkness of his view of life. In 1917, during World War I, Santayana wrote a letter to Bertrand Russell that Russell quoted from in his autobiography to demonstrate Santayana’s lack of feeling: As for deaths and loss of capital, I don’t much care. 28 This letter suggests that Santayana did not consider the anguish suffered by the families, sweethearts, and comrades of the soldiers killed in the war, or indeed the loss of life to the soldiers themselves.
Other letters illuminate Santayana’s philosophical system. The 1 Mar 1949 letter to Richard C. Lyon is an excellent example of the “philosophical” letters. In it Santayana states his views on matter, idea, the self, intuition, and other perennial philosophical issues, relative to the views of philosophers such as Plato, Descartes, Kant, Berkeley, Fichte, Kierkegaard, Bergson, and Russell. 3 In fact, we find in Santayana’s letters not only a distillation of his philosophy but also a multitude of new perspectives on the published work.