THE ESSENTIAL WISDOM OF GEORGE SANTAYANA by Thomas N. (S.J.O.) Munson

THE ESSENTIAL WISDOM OF GEORGE SANTAYANA

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KIRKUS REVIEW

of Santayana will owe a debt to Father Munson: from a beautifully phrased, modulated and intensely difficult philosophy, he has made a notably no nonsense , comprehensive and clear. The ambiguities of Santayana are immediately thrashed out his shuffling between a realism of universals and an idealistic interpretation of mind, his taking alternately now the transcendental view, now the naturalistic, yet insisting that the realm of matter is prior to all other realms of Being. Santayana, then, had no system, nor was he ""existential""; all his works were criticisms or descriptions, his epistemology assuming a bona fide formulation of them, designating ideas as names, and knowledge as naming. Thus the antecedents in Lucretius and Democritus, the Spinose, the troubling Spain-Boston axis, the Harvard days of stoical the continental ones of religion as ""poetry intervening in life"", culmination in the last Puritan's from Golgotha to Mother Earth"". Like a good Jesuit, Father finds to Catholic sentiments thoroughly incongruous when completely from faith, nor can he sanction Santayana's transformations of the into an entology on his treatment of creation's fabled problems as one of language rather than was an atheist, yet he believed ""all roads still lead to Rome"", he tended by his philosophy was personal, pessimistic and paradoxical; he lived a lay religion like a sort of saint And on that ""darkness"" Father Munson throws compassionate light.

Pub Date: March 28th, 1962
Publisher: Columbia Univ. Press