Life of Reason

ISBN-10: 1573922102

ISBN-13: 9781573922104

Edition: 1998 (Unabridged)

Authors: George Santayana
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Description: Comparing the lived world with the ideal world, noted American philosophical naturalist, poet, and literary critic George Santayana (1863-1952) seeks in this influential compilation of his earlier works to outline the ancient ideal of a well-ordered life, one in which reason is the organizing force that recognizes the need to allocate science, religion, art, social concerns, and practical wisdom their proper role and appropriate emphasis within the fully developed human experience.

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Book details

List price: $14.99
Copyright year: 1998
Publisher: Prometheus Books, Publishers
Publication date: 5/1/1998
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 504
Size: 5.75" wide x 8.50" long x 1.50" tall
Weight: 1.342
Language: English

A gentle philosopher-poet, born and reared in Spain, educated at Harvard University and later professor of philosophy there, George Santayana resided in England, France, and Italy after 1914. At the beginning of World War II, he entered the nursing home in Rome managed by nuns known as the Blue Sisters and remained there until his death. His last book, The Poet's Testament (1953), contains a few unpublished lyrics, several translations, and two plays in blank verse. The title comes from the poem read at his funeral, which begins: "I give back to the earth what the earth gave/All to the furrow, nothing to the grave." Santayana wrote philosophy in an inimitable prose, enriched with imagery and metaphor. His meanings were always complex and often ironic. In this style, so untypical of the professionalized philosophy common in the English-speaking world during his lifetime, Santayana nevertheless articulated an epistemological critical realism and an ontology of essence and matter that drew the attention and admiration of philosophers and scholars. His first published philosophical book, The Sense of Beauty (1896), was an important contribution in aesthetics, a classic text that is still in use. His multivolume work The Life of Reason expresses his naturalistic philosophy of history and culture. It states the essence of his attitude toward nature, life, and society. Scepticism and Animal Faith (1923) presents his theory of knowledge and also serves as an introduction to his system of philosophy, Realms of Being (1927--40). The titles of the separate volumes of this remarkable work, now out of print, reveal the lineaments of his system: Realm of Essence (1927), Realm of Matter (1930), Realm of Truth (1937), and Realm of Spirit (1940). His ideas were "popularized" in his only novel, The Last Puritan, which became a surprise bestseller overnight. According to the New York Times, "He came into a changing American scene with a whole group of concepts that enormously enriched our thinking. He gave a moving vitality to what had often been obscure abstractions . . . he made the whole relationship of reason and beauty, each to the other, come alive and stay alive." Although Santayana's Complete Poems (1975) is out of print, several volumes of his poetry are available and are listed below. Publication of The Complete Works of George Santayana, under the general editorship of Herman J. Saatkamp, Jr., is in progress. Conforming to the guidelines of a critical edition, The Complete Works is a long-range multivolume project of which a few volumes have already appeared to critical acclaim.

Preface
Reason in Common Sense
The Birth of Reason
First Steps and First Fluctuations
The Discovery of Natural Objects
Nature Unified and Mind Discerned
Discovery of Fellow-Minds
Concretions in Discourse and in Existence
On the Relative Value of Things and Ideas
The Measure of Values in Reflection
Some Abstract Conditions of the Ideal
Flux and Constancy in Human Nature
Reason in Society
Love
The Family
Industry, Government, and War
The Aristocratic Ideal
Democracy
Free Society
Patriotism
Ideal Society
Reason In Religion
How Religion May Be an Embodiment of Reason
Rational Elements in Superstition
Magic, Sacrifice, and Prayer
Mythology
The Hebraic Tradition
The Christian Epic
Pagan Custom and Barbarian Genius Infused into Christianity
Conflict of Mythology with Moral Truth
The Christian Compromise
Piety
Spirituality and Its Corruptions
Charity
The Belief in a Future Life
Ideal Immortality
Reason in Art
The Basis of Art
Rationality of Industrial Art
Emergence of Fine Arts
Music
Speech and Signification
Poetry and Prose
Plastic Construction
Plastic Representation
Justification of Art
The Criterion of Taste
Art and Happiness
Reason in Science
Types and Aims of Science
History
Mechanism
Psychology
The Nature of Intent
Dialectic
Pre-Rational Morality
Rational Ethics
Post-Rational Morality
The Validity of Science
Index
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