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George Santayana

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Katie Coles

on 15 January 2013

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Transcript of George Santayana

1863-1952 George Santayana The Life of George Sources George was born in Madrid, Spain in 1863 where he spent the first nine years of his life until his family moved to Boston, where he settled for 40 years. In Boston, George attended Harvard and received his Bachelor of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy. Along with these achievements, he was also president of the philosophy club. He later assumed a career as a philosophy professor at Harvard where he was a respectable staff member and teacher. Although he was good at his work, George valued education for its freedom of interest and curiosity, and he feared that the professor life was ruining that and he anticipated an early retirement. In 1893, George experienced a turning point in his life and moved on from being a professor to living a life of celebration. There are three events that caused this change of heart: the unexpected death of a young student, witnessing the death of his father, and his sister's marriage. George spent the last 40 years of his life living in Europe. He is author of the novels The Sense of Beauty, The Life of Reason, Scepticism and Animal Faith, and The Last Puritan. The Life of George A few words that can describe George's philosophical beliefs are skepticism, materialism, and existentialism. He was skeptical about the belief systems he believed in and he believed that no system could be fully trusted. George focused on human existence and explored aesthetics, reality, and human nature. He held the firm belief that matter and spirit are two separated things, and our spirit is what gives meaning to our experiences. However, he believed our behaviors depends on the environment around us, and it adjusts to our environment. Who we are is made up of our experiences, and our fate is in our own hands. What happens to us depends on our own actions. When it comes to religion, George denies it is an expression of truth, but sees it as a poetic transformation of the natural life with the purpose of expressing moral values and ideas. His Philosophy George identified four realms of being; matter, spirit, essence, and truth.
Matter is our physical substance and surroundings
Spirit is the principle of conscious life that contains emotions and character
Essence is anything that is or has character
Truth is a part of essence that is in accordance with reality His Philosophy http://suite101.com/article/the-last-puritan-george-santayanas-philosophical-novel-a391120
http://www.iep.utm.edu/santayan/#SH3b Why I Chose George Santayana I didn't really choose this particular philosopher on purpose because in order for me to choose one personally, I would have to look up a little bit of information on each one and then choose. There wasn't enough time to this so I selected just a few and chose from them. Out of the few I learned a little bit about, George's philosophy seemed much more understandable and also showed understanding of life on both a physical and spiritual level. He is a materialist but he still shows importance of the spirit, and I appreciate that he is neither black or white on this subject. As well, he seems to have an appreciation for religious ideas although he is an atheist, and he shows open mindedness.
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