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Ideas of George Santayana, by Text

[American, 1863 - 1952, Born in Madrid. Taught by William James. Professor at Harvard University. Moved to Rome in 1912.]

1906 The Life of Reason
p.3 He who is ignorant of the history of philosophy is doomed to repeat it
     Full Idea: Santayana remarked that he who is ignorant of the history of philosophy is doomed to repeat it.
     From: report of George Santayana (The Life of Reason [1906]) by Alasdair MacIntyre - A Short History of Ethics Ch.1
     A reaction: Santayana's remark seems to have been about history in general, so this is a Macintyre thought. It obviously has a lot of truth, and most great philosophers seem hugely knowledgeable. However, ignorance brings a kind of freedom.
1930 The Realm of Matter
p.107 p.53 The criterion of existence is the possibility of action
     Full Idea: The possibility of action ...is the criterion of existence, and the test of substantiality.
     From: George Santayana (The Realm of Matter [1930], p.107), quoted by John Heil - The Universe as We Find It
     A reaction: I rather like this. I think I would say the power is the criterion of existence.