George Santayana Quotes

George Santayana

US (Spanish-born) philosopher (1863 - 1952)

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Experience seems to most of us to lead to conclusions, but empiricism has sworn never to draw them.

Categorized under Experience

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Friendship is almost always the union of a part of one mind with the part of another; people are friends in spots.

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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.

Categorized under Happiness

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Religion in its humility restores man to his only dignity, the courage to live by grace.

Categorized under Religion

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Wisdom comes by disillusionment.

Categorized under Wisdom

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Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

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Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

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Skepticism is the chastity of the intellect, and it is shameful to surrender it too soon or to the first comer: there is nobility in preserving it coolly and proudly through long youth, until at last, in the ripeness of instinct and discretion, it can be safely exchanged for fidelity and happiness.

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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 enabline it to make its peace with its destiny.

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Before he sets out, the traveler must possess fixed interests and facilities to be served by travel.

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Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

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The need of exercise is a modern superstition, invented by people who ate too much and had nothing to think about.

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Advertising is the modern substitute for argument; its function is to make the worse appear the better.

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There is no cure for birth and death save to enjoy the interval

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America is the greatest of opportunities and the worst of influences.

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It takes a wonderful brain and exquisite senses to produce a few stupid ideas.

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Music is essentially useless, as life is.

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The wisest mind has something yet to learn.

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Before you contradict an old man, my fair friend, you should endeavor to understand him.

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To knock a thing down, especially if it is cocked at an arrogant angle, is a deep delight of the blood.

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Whoever it was who searched the heavens with a telescope and found no God would not have found the human mind if he had searched the brain with a microscope.

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Skepticism, like chastity, should not be relinquished too readily.

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The world is not respectable; it is mortal, tormented, confused, deluded forever; but it is shot through with beauty, with love, with glints of courage and laughter; and in these, the spirit blooms timidly, and struggles to the light amid the thorns.

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Sanity is a madness put to good use.

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Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

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Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness. When change is absolute there remains no being to improve and no direction is set for possible improvement: and when experience is not retained, as among savages, infancy is perpetual. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. In the first stage of life the mind is frivolous and easily distracted, it misses progress by failing in consecutiveness and persistence. This is the condition of children and barbarians, in which instinct has learned nothing from experience.

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Music is essentially useless, as life is.

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Advertising is the modern substitute for argument; its function is to make the worse appear the better.

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Those who speak most of progress measure it by quantity and not by quality.

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The young man who has not wept is a savage,
and the old man who will not laugh is a fool.

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Fanaticism consists in redoubling your effort when you have forgotten your aim.

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Happiness is the only sanction of life; where happiness fails, existence remains a mad and lamentable experiment.

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Music is essentially useless, as life is: but both have an ideal extension which lends utility to its conditions.

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An artist is a dreamer consenting to dream of the actual world.

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Nothing is really so poor and melancholy as art that is interested in itself and not in its subject.

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The truth is cruel, but it can be loved, and it makes free those who have loved it.

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For an idea ever to be fashionable is ominous, since it must afterwards be always old-fashioned.

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Intolerance itself is a form of egoism, and to condemn egoism intolerantly is to share it.

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A child only educated at school is an uneducated child.

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The body is an instrument, the mind its function, the witness and reward of its operation.

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Our character...is an omen of our destiny, and the more integrity we have and keep, the simpler and nobler that destiny is likely to be.

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America is a young country with an old mentality.

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Science is nothing but developed perception, interpreted intent, common sense rounded out and minutely articulated.

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The wisest mind has something yet to learn.

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Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

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Society is like the air; necessary to breathe, but insufficient to live on.

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Sanity is a madness put to good use.

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Fanaticism consists in redoubling your effort when you have forgotten your aim.

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There is no cure for birth and death save to enjoy the interval.

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Beauty as we feel it is something indescribable; what it is or what it means can never be said.

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There is no cure for birth and death save to enjoy the interval.

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A man is morally free when, in full possession of his living humanity, he judges the world, and judges other men, with uncompromising sincerity.

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Friends need not agree in everything or go always together, or have no comparable other friendships of the same intimacy. On the contrary, in friendship union is more about ideal things: and in that sense it is more ideal and less subject to trouble than marriage is.

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Happiness is the only sanction of life; where happiness fails, existence remains a mad and lamentable experiment.

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That life is worth living is the most necessary of assumptions, and, were it not assumed, the most impossible of conclusions.

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The lover knows much more about absolute good and universal beauty than any logician or theologian, unless the latter, too, be lovers in disguise.

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Matters of religion should never be matters of controversy. We neither argue with a lover about his taste, not condemn him, if we are just, for knowing so human a passion.

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