Read e-book online A Philosophical Novelist: George Santayana and the Last PDF

By Associate Professor H. T. Kirby-Smith A.B. M.A.

ISBN-10: 0585187010

ISBN-13: 9780585187013

ISBN-10: 0809321130

ISBN-13: 9780809321131

H. T. Kirby-Smith makes use of Santayana’s 1936 novel, The final Puritan, as either an get together and a way for bringing into concentration the advanced family among Santayana’s lifestyles, his character, and his philosophy. starting with an account of Santayana’s quite a few literary types and arguing for the importance of Santayana’s writing of philosophy as literature, Kirby-Smith notes that Santayana observed the rational lifestyles as a continuous adjustment and lodging of contradictory claims. And he observed a literary variety as an lodging of the writer to the reader.Chapters 2 via five give you the philosophical heritage for a attention of The final Puritan, summarizing precisely how Santayana assimilated different philosophies into his own.Chapters 6 and seven comprise Santayana’s three-volume autobiography, his letters and memoirs, and biographical experiences through others right into a mental portrait of the writer. All of this can be in guidance for chapters eight and nine, which specialise in The final Puritan. Kirby-Smith closes with a bankruptcy that serves as a felony short in safeguard of the writer opposed to the cruel, occasionally malicious assaults of his critics.

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Essences might be for Santayana eternal and nonexistent, but he saw his own life and development as a philosopher as one intricate trope. The give-and-take of the extant world, including the world of philosophical discourse, provided the grounds of existence for his thought, even as matter itself gave birth to spirit. This very reasonableness and accommodativeness explains why his writings lent themselves to controversy and attack. The words of Jesus, "Ye who are not for me are against me," seem explicitly to rebuke Santayana; there are many who find him neither warm nor cold, and who also detect some flavor not to their liking, and who therefore spew him out of their mouths.

Few human beings have ever beenwhen they reached middle ageas thoroughly secure as William James. Santayana thought otherwise, saying that "There was a deep sense of insecurity in him; a mixture of humility with romanticism" (Character and Opinion 66), but we may interpret this as meaning that James was insecure in his philosophy, not in his person. In person, he could well afford to sympathize with misfits, enthusiasts, and outright cranks. It was a happy accident for Santayana that James viewed him as such an oddity, though Santayana did not enjoy it, complaining that he was, in James's mind, some kind of manikin whom Santayana could not recognize.

The consequences of this change were important. . The pocket universe of Hegel opened out to the stars, so hateful to that philosopher. Man lost his importance and at the same time the insufferable burden of his false pretensions. . . . Schopenhauer was led into his pessimism also by the spirit of opposition; his righteous wrath was aroused by the sardonic and inhuman optimism of Hegel, the arguments for which were so cogent, so Calvinistic, and so irrelevant that they would have lost none of their force if they had been proposed in hell.

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A Philosophical Novelist: George Santayana and the Last Puritan by Associate Professor H. T. Kirby-Smith A.B. M.A.


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