George Santayana, Philosopher, Writer and Poet

The philosopher, poet, and writer Jorge Agustin de Santayana, known as George Santayana, was born in Madrid, Spain on December 16, 1863.  Santayana’s early life and childhood were complicated, with his mother’s world travels, his North American half-brothers, and his father’s residence in Spain.  He reflected that he never felt at home anywhere, and was “a stranger at heart”.  He studied at Harvard University, where he earned his doctorate in philosophy. He taught at Harvard until his early retirement in 1912. Santayana devoted his life to travel, philosophy, and writing, noting that, “My career was not my life.  Mine has been a life of reflection.” He questioned the Catholic religion and based his philosophy on skepticism, materialism, and humanism. His reputation and influence grew considerably after his death, as thoughtful readers began to appreciate the gracefulness of his prose and the courage of his inquiries. Among his memorable aphorisms that have become part of the North American philosophical vernacular is: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it;”

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *