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George Santayana Quotes


Santayana Quotes 1 2


The empiricist... thinks he believes only what he sees, but he is much better at believing than at seeing.
There is no cure for birth and death save to enjoy the interval.
That fear first created the gods is perhaps as true as anything so brief could be on so great a subject.
The universe, as far as we can observe it, is a wonderful and immense engine.
The tendency to gather and to breed philosophers in universities does not belong to ages of free and humane reflection: it is scholastic and proper to the Middle Ages and to Germany.
The theatre, for all its artifices, depicts life in a sense more truly than history, because the medium has a kindred movement to that of real life, though an artificial setting and form.
A man's feet must be planted in his country, but his eyes should survey the world.
Almost every wise saying has an opposite one, no less wise, to balance it.
To be interested in the changing seasons is a happier state of mind than to be hopelessly in love with spring.
Knowledge is not eating, and we cannot expect to devour and possess what we mean. Knowledge is recognition of something absent; it is a salutation, not an embrace.
To knock a thing down, especially if it is cocked at an arrogant angle, is a deep delight of the blood.
The primary use of conversation is to satisfy the impulse to talk.
When men and women agree, it is only in their conclusions; their reasons are always different.
In endowing us with memory, nature has revealed to us a truth utterly unimaginable to the unreflective creation, the truth of immortality....The most ideal human passion is love, which is also the most absolute and animal and one of the most ephemeral.
Emotion is primarily about nothing and much of it remains about nothing to the end.
Fun is a good thing but only when it spoils nothing better.
Half our standards come from our first masters, and the other half from our first loves.
Friendship is constant in all other things Save in the office and affairs of love.
The wisest mind has something yet to learn.
Love is only half the illusion; the lover, but not his love, is deceived.
To delight in war is a merit in the soldier, a dangerous quality in the captain, and a positive crime in the statesman.
In endowing us with memory, nature has revealed to us a truth utterly unimaginable to the unreflective creation, the truth of immortality....The most ideal human passion is love, which is also the most absolute and animal and one of the most ephemeral.
Matters of religion should never be matters of controversy. We neither argue with a lover about his taste, nor condemn him, if we are just, for knowing so human a passion.
Oxford, the paradise of dead philosophies.
By nature's kindly disposition most questions which it is beyond a man's power to answer do not occur to him at all.
O World, thou choosest not the better part!  It is not wisdom to be only wise,  And on the inward vision close the eyes,  But it is wisdom to believe the heart.
There is no cure for birth or death save to enjoy the interval.
The irrational in the human has something about it altogether repulsive and terrible, as we see in the maniac, the miser, the drunkard or the ape.
Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
The word experience is like a shrapnel shell, and bursts into a thousand meanings.
A child educated only at school is an uneducated child.
A conception not reducible to the small change of daily experience is like a currency not exchangeable for articles of consumption; it is not a symbol, but a fraud.
A soul is but the last bubble of a long fermentation in the world.
A string of excited, fugitive, miscellaneous pleasures is not happiness; happiness resides in imaginative reflection and judgment, when the picture of one's life, or of human life, as it truly has been or is, satisfies the will, and is gladly accepted.
Advertising is the modern substitute for argument; its function is to make the worse appear the better.
All thought is naught but a footnote to Plato.
Before you contradict an old man, my fair friend, you should endeavor to understand him.
Bid, then, the tender light of faith to shine By which alone the mortal heart is led Unto the thinking of the thought divine.
Do not have evil-doers for friends, do not have low people for friends: have virtuous people for friends, have for friends the best of men.
Each religion, by the help of more or less myth, which it takes more or less seriously, proposes some method of fortifying the human soul and enabling it to make its peace with its destiny.
Fanaticism consists in redoubling your effort when you have forgotten your aim.
Fashion is something barbarous, for it produces innovation without reason and imitation without benefit.
For gold is tried in the fire and acceptable men in the furnace of adversity.
Friends need not agree in everything or go always together, or have no comparable other friendships of the same intimacy.
Friendship is almost always the union of a part of one mind with the part of another; people are friends in spots.
I believe in general in a dualism between facts and the ideas of those facts in human heads.
I like to walk about among the beautiful things that adorn the world; but private wealth I should decline, or any sort of personal possessions, because they would take away my liberty.
Intelligence is quickness in seeing things as they are.
Intolerance is a form of egotism, and to condemn egotism intolerantly is to share it.
It is always pleasant to be urged to do something on the ground that one can do it well.
It is easier to make a saint out of a libertine than out of a prig.
It is veneer, rouge, aestheticism, art museums, new theaters, etc. that make America impotent. The good things are football, kindness, and jazz bands.
Knowledge is recognition of something absent; it is a salutation, not an embrace.
Let a man once overcome his selfish terror at his own infinitude, and his infinitude is, in one sense, overcome.
Music is essentially useless, as is life.
Never build your emotional life on the weaknesses of others.
Nonsense is so good only because common sense is so limited.
Nothing so much enhances a good as to make sacrifices for it.
Philosophers are very severe towards other philosophers because they expect too much.
Prayer, among sane people, has never superseded practical efforts to secure the desired end.
Sanity is a madness put to good use.
Sanity is a madness put to good uses; waking life is a dream controlled.
Skepticism, like chastity, should not be relinquished too readily.
Society is like the air, necessary to breathe but insufficient to live on.
The Bible is literature, not dogma.
The body is an instrument, the mind its function, the witness and reward of its operation.
The Difficult is that which can be done immediately; the Impossible that which takes a little longer.
The effort of art is to keep what is interesting in existence, to recreate it in the eternal.
The family is one of nature's masterpieces.
The lover knows much more about absolute good and universal beauty than any logician or theologian, unless the latter, too, be lovers in disguise.
The more rational an institution is the less it suffers by making concessions to others.
The spirit's foe in man has not been simplicity, but sophistication.
The truth is cruel, but it can be loved, and it makes free those who have loved it.
The world is a perpetual caricature of itself; at every moment it is the mockery and the contradiction of what it is pretending to be.
The young man who has not wept is a savage, and the old man who will not laugh is a fool.
Theory helps us to bear our ignorance of facts.
There is a kind of courtesy in skepticism. It would be an offense against polite conventions to press our doubts too far.
Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
To be brief is almost a condition of being inspired.
To me, it seems a dreadful indignity to have a soul controlled by geography.
To reform means to shatter one form and to create another; but the two sides of this act are not always equally intended nor equally successful.
Tyrants are seldom free; the cares and the instruments of their tyranny enslave them.
We must welcome the future, remembering that soon it will be the past; and we must respect the past, remembering that it was once all that was humanly possible.
Wealth, religion, military victory have more rhetorical than efficacious worth.


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