Cover image for George Santayana, literary philosopher
George Santayana, literary philosopher
Singer, Irving.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New Haven: Yale University Press, [2000]

Physical Description:
xiii, 217 pages ; 22 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library B945.S24 S56 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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George Santayana wrote not only important works of philosophy but also a novel, poetry and much literary criticism. In this portrait of Santayana's thought and complex personality, Irvine Singer explores the full range of his harmonisation of the literary and the philosophical.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Placing Santayana squarely in the humanities tradition--"a person saturated by the Humanities"--Singer (MIT) explores him as a literary philosopher, a person who could fuse great thinking with great writing. In Santayana's novel The Last Puritan, "philosophy and literary awareness ... are organically interrelated." Singer sees this approach as essential in Santayana's opposition to pragmatism--that there is something called "spirit." Singer also explores Santayana's concept of love as idealization: first in contrast to Freud and then on his own as a twentieth-century Platonist and materialist. Santayana was the "rare genius who can combine good philosophy with good literary criticism" and it is because of this that Santayana concerned himself with aesthetics and moral criticism. In all of this text Singer is critical of, but sympathetic to, his subject. He sees Santayana as an original thinker and writer from whom one can go on to find one's own voice. A very readable text; highly recommended for all students of Santayana, pragmatism, and American philosophy. General readers and all academic levels. W. F. Desmond Black Hawk College

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