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

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

H. T. Kirby-Smith makes use of Santayana’s 1936 novel, The final Puritan, as either an celebration and a method for bringing into concentration the advanced kinfolk among Santayana’s lifestyles, his character, and his philosophy. beginning with an account of Santayana’s numerous literary types and arguing for the importance of Santayana’s writing of philosophy as literature, Kirby-Smith notes that Santayana observed the rational existence as a continuing 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 historical past for a attention of The final Puritan, summarizing precisely how Santayana assimilated different philosophies into his own.Chapters 6 and seven include Santayana’s three-volume autobiography, his letters and memoirs, and biographical stories by means of others right into a mental portrait of the writer. All of this is often in practise for chapters eight and nine, which specialize in The final Puritan. Kirby-Smith closes with a bankruptcy that serves as a felony short in protection of the writer opposed to the cruel, occasionally malicious assaults of his critics.

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The Aesthetic value of vital functions differs according to their physiological concomitants: those that are favorable to ideation are of course more apt to extend something of their intimate warmth to the pleasures of contemplation, and thus to intensify the sense of beauty and the interest of thought. (5455) When he returned to aesthetic questions in Reason in Art, we find him employing a vocabulary that sounds like James, the clinical enthusiast: "The difference flows from the greater or lesser affinity that happens to exist between expectation and instinct.

Santayana, thenas in many other aspects of his writingis harking back to a world whose values have not been battered by the threefold wave of Reformation, Romanticism, and German transcendentalismnot to speak of any improper claims of logic, mathematics, or the natural sciences. It is a world that was more hospitable to multiple viewpoints, more tolerant of the older godsa world that is willing to assimilate local divinities and turn them into saints. In such a world, the contemplative life is not scornednor supplanted by casual mysticisms.

In such a world, the contemplative life is not scornednor supplanted by casual mysticisms. In such a world, one's personal style is often borrowed from one's company. Style, conceived in this way, is cosmopolitan, urbane, accommodative, and assimilative. It is a concession to, and a recognition of, the legitimacy of a multiplicity of points of viewnot an effort at imposing one single, possibly barbaric, transcendental ego. " Style, as an assertion of personal existence, is presumptuous, overbearing, egotistical.

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