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    The Philosophy of Ge...

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The Philosophy of George Santayana

by: Dilip Kumar Roy

This book discusses the quintessential aspects of George Santayana’s wide and comprehensive philosophy. Its critical and comparative discussions have taken place centring round the problems of Epistemology, Metaphysics, Aesthetics, Ethics and Religion, thereby making it all the more interesting.



ISBN: 9789392443060
Year Of Publication: 2023
Edition: 1st
Pages : xxvi,301
Bibliographic Details : Bibliography, Index
Language : English
Binding : Hardcover
Publisher: D.K. Printworld Pvt. Ltd.
Foreword By : Pritibhusan Chatterji
Size: 23
Weight: 0.550


This book discusses the quintessential aspects of George Santayana’s wide and comprehensive philosophy. Its critical and comparative discussions centre round the problems of Epistemology, Metaphysics, Aesthetics, Ethics and Religion. This makes it all the more interesting.
What is noteworthy about this book is that it shows how naturalism serves as a basis of the idealistic philosophy of George Santayana. Moreover, the illustrious part of this treatise is that essence, as discovered by Santayana by the doubting process, serves as the keynote of his whole philosophy.
The exposition of Santayana’s philosophy on the basis of the above two points is an outstanding feature of the present work. What is captivating about this book is that it shows how the natural gets reconciled with the ideal by making the former the ground of the latter.


Foreword vii
Preface to the Second Edition ix
Preface to the First Edition xi
Part One
Metaphysics and Epistemology
1. An Historical Background 3
Introduction 3
Philosophical Traditions of Santayana’s Essentialism 7
Platonism of Santayana, The Poet 7
Essentialism as Distinguished from 9
Platonic Idealism
The Influence of Catholicism Upon Santayana’s 11
Santayana’s Debt to Medieval Scholas­ticism 13
Santayana’s Debt to Early Modern Philo­sophy 14
Santayana’s Debt to B. Russell and G.E. Moore 15
Santayana’s Acquaintance with Indian Philosophy 15
Conclusion 17
Santayana’s Essentialism and Current Thought 18
Santayana’s Essentialism and Modern Phenomenology 18
Santayana and René Guénon 20
Santayana and Common Sense Philosophy 21
2. Method 25
Scepticism 25
Santayana and Descartes 25
Santayana’s Sceptical Procedure 27
Dialectic 33
Santayana and Hegel 34
Aesthetic Experience 35
Why Does Santayana Choose the Sceptical Method? 35
Personal Background 36
Philosophical Background 36
Descartes and Santayana 37
Hume and Santayana 37
Santayana’s Method Examined 39
Impossibility of Universal Scepticism 39
Dogmatism in Santayana’s Philosophy 41
3. Notion of Essence 45
Genesis of the Notion of Essence in Santayana 45
“Realm” of Essence 45
Self-Identity: Essence and the Monad 46
Eternity of Essence 47
Eternity and Subsistence 48
Russell and Santayana 48
Infinity of Essence 49
Individuality and Universality of Essence 49
Santayana, Plato and Russell 50
Pure Being and Essence 51
Plato and Santayana 52
Plotinus and Santayana 52
Santayana and the Advaita Vedānta in 53
Non-Being and Essence 54
What Essences Are Not 55
Essences Are Not Facts 55
Essences Are Not Images 55
Essences Are Not Sensations or Thoughts 56
Essences Are Not Forms 57
Essence Is Not Possible Being 58
Essences Are Not the Constituents of Things 58
Essences Are Not Abstractions 59
Essence and Intuition 60
Summary 62
Difficulties in Santayana’s Notion of Essence 63
Santayana Confuses Essence with Being 63
Paradoxes and Contradictions 64
4. Essence and Existence 67
Materialism 67
Materialism: Naturalism 67
Materialism as a Necessary Presupposition 68
Matter and Substance Are Interchangeable 69
Santayana’s Materialism in His Earlier and 69
Later Works
Santayana and Democritus 70
Santayana, Modern Science and Heraclitus 70
Consistency between Earlier and Later 71
Phases of Santayana’s Materialism
Is Santayana an Agnostic? 74
Scepticism and Animal Faith 75
Santayana’s Conception of Matter, 75
Psyche and Spirit
Substance or Matter Is Physical 75
Dynamic Nature of Matter 76
Habits of Matter 77
Reproduction and Evolution of Dynamic Matter 77
Psyche as a Trope of Matter 78
Psyche or Self 79
Psyche and Spirit 79
Santayana’s Charge Against the Indians 80
Realm of Spirit 81
Criticism 82
Santayana and Dialectical Materialism 82
Essence and Existence 84
Distinction between Essence and Existence 84
Plato and Aristotle 84
St. Thomas 85
Santayana’s Distinction between Essence 86
and Existence
Santayana and Existentialism 89
Santayana and W. Norris Clarke 91
Santayana and Henri Bergson 92
Santayana and A.n. Whitehead 94
Criticism 96
5. Epistemology 99
Development of American Realism 99
Neo-Realism 99
Critical Realism 101
Bertrand Russell and Epistemological 102
Monism of Neo-Realism
Russell and Epistemological Dualism of 104
Critical Realism
Santayana’s Place in the Critical Realist Movement 106
Santayana’s Theory of Knowledge 107
Intuition Is Not Knowledge 108
Intuition of Essence and Knowledge of Existence 109
Origin of Knowledge 111
Santayana’s Representative Theory of 114
Knowledge as Compared with That of Locke
Indirect Knowledge of Essence 115
Knowledge Is Belief 115
Limit of Knowledge 117
What Is Truth? 117
Truth and Opinion 118
There Are No Necessary Truths 119
Validity of Knowledge 120
Critical Reflection 121
Further Observations 123
Part Two
6. The Sense of Beauty 129
Introduction 129
The Sense of Beauty 133
The Theory of Beauty: 133
“Criticism” and “Aesthetics”
Emotional Consciousness Is Necessary 134
for the Perception of Value
Aesthetic Experience and Aesthetic Value 135
Irving Singer 137
Is Aesthetic Experience True or False? 139
Keats, Bergson, Rabindranath and Santayana 140
Moral, Aesthetic and Intellectual Judgements 143
Aesthetic Pleasure Is Not Physical Pleasure 145
Is Disinterestedness the Differentia of 146
Aesthetic Pleasure?
Santayana, Kant and Schopenhauer 146
Is Universality the Differentia of 148
Aesthetic Pleasure?
Santayana, Kant and Lotze 148
Aesthetic Experience as Objectification of 149
Criticism 150
7. Aesthetic Elements 157
Introduction 157
Sensuous Element 158
The Basic Material for the Sense of Beauty 158
Beauty Rests on Definite Imagination 159
and Pleasant Experience
Conflict of Aesthetic Principles 160
The Aesthetic Effect of Colour 161
Importance of Sensuous Beauty 162
Formal Element 162
Form as “the Unity of a Manifold” 162
Symmetry and Multiplicity in Uniformity 163
Indeterminate, Discursive and 164
Determinate Organization
The Element of Expression 166
Croce and Santayana 167
Santayana and Collingwood 169
Santayana and B. Bosanquet 169
Criticism 173
8. The Theory of Art 177
Introduction 177
The Nature of Art 177
Art is Purposive 177
Art is Practical 178
Types of Artistic Process: Fine Art and Servile Art 178
The Disadvantage of Servile Art 179
Harmony between Servile and Fine Arts 179
Fine Art 180
Music 180
Barbaric and Modern Music 181
The Transcendental Aspect of Music 181
Its Affinity to Life 181
Poetry 182
Three Requirements of Great Poetry 182
Is Rational Poetry a Fine Art? 182
Great Poetry vs Greatest Poetry 183
Santayana’s Final Statement of Poetry 184
Answer to Santayana’s Statement 184
Plastic Art 185
Constructive Art 185
Cases Where Plastic Construction 185
Faces Obstruction
Representative Art 186
Critical Review 187
9. Santayana and the Indian View of Beauty and Art 191
Introduction 191
Santayana’s Aesthetics and Indian Aesthetics 192
of the Past
The Theory of Rasa 192
The Aesthetical Theory of Rabindranath Tagore 195
Rabindranath and Santayana 197
Part Three
Ethics and Religion
10. Moral Philosophy and Theory of Value 205
Introduction 205
Development of Santayana’s Moral Philosophy 206
Pre-Rational Morality 206
The Cynics, the Stoics, Kant and Santayana 207
Rational Morality 208
Rational Morality and Art 209
The Ideal to Be Followed in Our Rational Life 210
Santayana and Emerson 211
Moral Judgement 212
Santayana’s Naturalistic Ethics 214
Santayana’s Moral Philosophy and Hedonism 215
Post-Rational Morality 217
The Life of Reason and the Life of Spirit 218
Critical Review 219
Humanism in Santayana’s Moral Philosophy 221
Santayana’s Theory of Value 227
Conclusion 233
11. Theory of Religion 237
Introduction: Nature and Supernature 237
Santayana’s Religious Theory 238
Religion as an Embodiment of Reason 238
Imaginative Approach of Religion 240
Religion and Poetry 241
Validity of Religion 243
Superstition 243
Mythology 245
Sacrifice 247
Prayer 249
The Major Religions 250
The Hebrew Religion 250
The Christian Religion 250
Phases of Religion 253
Piety 253
Spirituality 258
Mysticism 263
12. A Critique of Santayana’s Religious Theory 265
God or the External World 265
Place of Revelation in Santayana 266
Is Matter the Only Existent Reality? 268
Santayana’s View of Immortality 270
Santayana’s Theory of Spirituality vs 271
Our Theory of the Same
Santayana’s Religious Standpoint 277
Appendix: On Santayana’s Americanism 281
Bibliography 285
• Santayana’s Works 285
• Writings about Santayana 287
Author Index 293
Subject Index 297

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