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George Santayana's Quotes

George Santayana profile photo

Born: 1970-01-01
Profession: Philosopher
Nation: Spanish
Biography of George Santayana

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Friends are generally of the same sex, for when men and women agree, it is only in the conclusions; their reasons are always different.

Tags: Men, Sex, Women

Periods of tranquillity are seldom prolific of creative achievement. Mankind has to be stirred up.

Tags: Creative, Mankind, Seldom

To me, it seems a dreadful indignity to have a soul controlled by geography.

Tags: Patriotism, Seems, Soul

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

Tags: Happiness, Life, Mad

In Greece wise men speak and fools decide.

Tags: Men, Speak, Wise

Nonsense is so good only because common sense is so limited.

Tags: Good, Nonsense, Sense

Sanity is madness put to good use.

Tags: Good, Madness, Put

Fun is a good thing but only when it spoils nothing better.

Tags: Fun, Good, Spoils

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.

Tags: Human, Irrational, Terrible

A man's feet should be planted in his country, but his eyes should survey the world.

Tags: Country, Eyes, Feet

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

Tags: Condemn, Egotism, Share

The Bible is a wonderful source of inspiration for those who don't understand it.

Tags: Bible, Understand, Wonderful

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

Tags: Free, Makes, Truth

The wisest mind has something yet to learn.

Tags: Learn, Mind, Wisest

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.

Tags: Best, Friends, Men

Fashion is something barbarous, for it produces innovation without reason and imitation without benefit.

Tags: Fashion, Imitation, Reason

Graphic design is the paradise of individuality, eccentricity, heresy, abnormality, hobbies and humors.

Tags: Design, Hobbies, Paradise

Habit is stronger than reason.

Tags: Habit, Reason, Stronger

Intelligence is quickness in seeing things as they are.

Tags: Quickness, Seeing

The spirit's foe in man has not been simplicity, but sophistication.

Tags: Foe, Simplicity, Spirit

To be brief is almost a condition of being inspired.

Tags: Almost, Condition, Inspired

Friends need not agree in everything or go always together, or have no comparable other friendships of the same intimacy.

Tags: Agree, Friends, Together

For gold is tried in the fire and acceptable men in the furnace of adversity.

Tags: Adversity, Fire, Men

Prayer, among sane people, has never superseded practical efforts to secure the desired end.

Tags: Among, End, Prayer

The Bible is literature, not dogma.

Tags: Bible, Dogma, Literature

The primary use of conversation is to satisfy the impulse to talk.

Tags: Impulse, Satisfy, Talk
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Before you contradict an old man, my fair friend, you should endeavor to understand him.

Tags: Friend, Him, Understand

Let a man once overcome his selfish terror at his own infinitude, and his infinitude is, in one sense, overcome.

Tags: Once, Selfish, Sense

The effort of art is to keep what is interesting in existence, to recreate it in the eternal.

Tags: Art, Effort, Keep

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

Tags: Beauty, Good, Knows

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

Tags: Argument, Modern, Worse

Character is the basis of happiness and happiness the sanction of character.

Tags: Basis, Character, Happiness

Emotion is primarily about nothing and much of it remains about nothing to the end.

Tags: Emotion, End, Remains

I believe in general in a dualism between facts and the ideas of those facts in human heads.

Tags: Between, Human, Science

Knowledge of what is possible is the beginning of happiness.

Tags: Beginning, Happiness, Knowledge

Life is not a spectacle or a feast; it is a predicament.

Tags: Feast, Life, Spectacle

Perhaps the only true dignity of man is his capacity to despise himself.

Tags: Dignity, Himself, True

Philosophers are very severe towards other philosophers because they expect too much.

Tags: Expect, Severe, Towards

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

Tags: Courage, Humility, Religion

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

Tags: Chastity, Readily, Skepticism

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

Tags: Air, Necessary, Society

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

Tags: Body, Mind, Reward

The Difficult is that which can be done immediately; the Impossible that which takes a little longer.

Tags: Difficult, Done, Impossible

The diseases which destroy a man are no less natural than the instincts which preserve him.

Tags: Him, Less, Natural

The existence of any evil anywhere at any time absolutely ruins a total optimism.

Tags: Evil, Optimism, Time

The highest form of vanity is love of fame.

Tags: Fame, Love, Vanity

The mind of the Renaissance was not a pilgrim mind, but a sedentary city mind, like that of the ancients.

Tags: City, Mind, Pilgrim

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.

Tags: Mockery, Moment, Pretending

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

Tags: Fool, Laugh, Young

Theory helps us to bear our ignorance of facts.

Tags: Facts, Ignorance, Theory

There is a kind of courtesy in skepticism. It would be an offense against polite conventions to press our doubts too far.

Tags: Against, Courtesy, Far

To delight in war is a merit in the soldier, a dangerous quality in the captain, and a positive crime in the statesman.

Tags: Positive, Soldier, War

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.

Tags: Another, Means, Successful

Tyrants are seldom free; the cares and the instruments of their tyranny enslave them.

Tags: Cares, Free, Tyranny

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.

Tags: Change, Daily, Experience

It is a revenge the devil sometimes takes upon the virtuous, that he entraps them by the force of the very passion they have suppressed and think themselves superior to.

Tags: Passion, Revenge, Sometimes

A soul is but the last bubble of a long fermentation in the world.

Tags: Bubble, Last, Soul

All thought is naught but a footnote to Plato.

Tags: Naught, Plato, Thought

Bid, then, the tender light of faith to shine By which alone the mortal heart is led Unto the thinking of the thought divine.

Tags: Alone, Faith, Heart

By nature's kindly disposition most questions which it is beyond a man's power to answer do not occur to him at all.

Tags: Him, Nature, Power

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

Tags: Experience, Lead, Seems

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

Tags: Friends, Friendship, Mind

If pain could have cured us we should long ago have been saved.

Tags: Cured, Pain, Saved

It is always pleasant to be urged to do something on the ground that one can do it well.

Tags: Ground, Pleasant

It is easier to make a saint out of a libertine than out of a prig.

Tags: Easier, Saint

Knowledge is recognition of something absent; it is a salutation, not an embrace.

Tags: Absent, Embrace, Knowledge

Language is like money, without which specific relative values may well exist and be felt, but cannot be reduced to a common denominator.

Tags: Cannot, May, Money

Music is a means of giving form to our inner feelings, without attaching them to events or objects in the world.

Tags: Feelings, Giving, Music

Music is essentially useless, as is life.

Tags: Life, Music, Useless

Nothing can so pierce the soul as the uttermost sigh of the body.

Tags: Body, Sigh, Soul

Nothing so much enhances a good as to make sacrifices for it.

Tags: Enhances, Good, Sacrifices

Oaths are the fossils of piety.

Tags: Fossils, Oaths, Piety

Oxford, the paradise of dead philosophies.

Tags: Dead, Oxford, Paradise

Parents lend children their experience and a vicarious memory; children endow their parents with a vicarious immortality.

Tags: Children, Experience, Parents

That fear first created the gods is perhaps as true as anything so brief could be on so great a subject.

Tags: Fear, Great, True

The degree in which a poet's imagination dominates reality is, in the end, the exact measure of his importance and dignity.

Tags: Dignity, End, Reality

The hunger for facile wisdom is the root of all false philosophy.

Tags: False, Philosophy, Wisdom

The love of all-inclusiveness is as dangerous in philosophy as in art.

Tags: Art, Love, Philosophy

The more rational an institution is the less it suffers by making concessions to others.

Tags: Less, Making, Others

The passions grafted on wounded pride are the most inveterate; they are green and vigorous in old age.

Tags: Age, Old, Pride

The word experience is like a shrapnel shell, and bursts into a thousand meanings.

Tags: Experience, Thousand, Word

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

Tags: Death, Enjoy, Save

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

Tags: Arrogant, Blood, Deep

Wealth, religion, military victory have more rhetorical than efficacious worth.

Tags: Religion, Victory, Worth

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.

Tags: Away, Beautiful, Liberty

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.

Tags: Cannot, Knowledge, Mean

It is possible to be a master in false philosophy, easier, in fact, than to be a master in the truth, because a false philosophy can be made as simple and consistent as one pleases.

Tags: Philosophy, Simple, Truth

It is veneer, rouge, aestheticism, art museums, new theaters, etc. that make America impotent. The good things are football, kindness, and jazz bands.

Tags: Art, Good, Kindness

My atheism, like that of Spinoza, is true piety towards the universe and denies only gods fashioned by men in their own image, to be servants of their human interests.

Tags: Human, Men, True

Many possessions, if they do not make a man better, are at least expected to make his children happier; and this pathetic hope is behind many exertions.

Tags: Behind, Children, Hope

The philosophy of the common man is an old wife that gives him no pleasure, yet he cannot live without her, and resents any aspersions that strangers may cast on her character.

Tags: Character, May, Wife

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.

Tags: Help, Peace, Religion

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.

Tags: Free, Middle, Reflection

Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

Tags: History, Past, Remember

A child educated only at school is an uneducated child.

Tags: Child, Educated, School

The family is one of nature's masterpieces.

Tags: Family, Nature

Never build your emotional life on the weaknesses of others.

Tags: Emotional, Life, Others

Depression is rage spread thin.

Tags: Depression, Rage, Thin

Only the dead have seen the end of the war.

Tags: Dead, End, War

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

Tags: Art, Artist, Dream
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