Sense of Beauty

ISBN-10: 0486202380

ISBN-13: 9780486202389

Edition: N/A

Authors: George Santayana

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Masterfully written discussion of nature of beauty, form, expression; art, literature, social sciences all involved. Santayana covers the nature and materials of beauty, form, expression, and much more.
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Book details

List price: $11.95
Publisher: Dover Publications, Incorporated
Publication date: 6/1/1955
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 192
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.00" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.440

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 His last book, The Poet's Testament (1953), contains a few unpublished lyrics, several translations, and two plays in blank verse.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.

Introduction to the Transaction Edition
The Nature of Beauty
The philosophy of beauty is a theory of values
Preference is ultimately irrational
Contrast between moral and aesthetic values
Work and play
All values are in one sense aesthetic
AEsthetic consecration of general principles
Contrast of aesthetic and physical pleasures
The differentia of aesthetic pleasure not its disinterestedness
The differentia of aesthetic pleasure not its universality
The differentia of aesthetic pleasure: its objectification
The definition of beauty
The Materials of Beauty
All human functions may contribute to the sense of beauty
The influence of the passion of love
Social instincts and their aesthetic influence
The lower senses
Materials surveyed
There is a beauty of form
Physiology of the perception of form
Values of geometrical figures
Form the unity of a manifold
Multiplicity in uniformity
Example of the stars
Defects of pure multiplicity
AEsthetics of democracy
Values of types and values of examples
Origin of types
The average modified in the direction of pleasure
Are all things beautiful?
Effects of indeterminate form
Example of landscape
Extensions to objects usually not regarded aesthetically
Further dangers of indeterminateness
The illusion of infinite perfection
Organized nature the source of apperceptive forms
Utility the principle of organization in nature
The relation of utility to beauty
Utility the principle of organization in the arts
Form and adventitious ornament
Form in words
Syntactical form
Literary form. The plot
Character as an aesthetic form
Ideal characters
The religious imagination
Expression defined
The associative process
Kinds of value in the second term
AEsthetic value in the second term
Practical value in the same
Cost as an element of effect
The expression of economy and fitness
The authority of morals over aesthetics
Negative values in the second term
Influence of the first term in the pleasing expression of evil
Mixture of other expressions, including that of truth
The liberation of self
The sublime independent of the expression of evil
The comic
The grotesque
The possibility of finite perfection
The stability of the ideal
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