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George Santayana quotes (119)

A child educated only at school is an uneducated child.
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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.
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A man's feet should be planted in his country, but his eyes should survey the world.
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A soul is but the last bubble of a long fermentation in the world.
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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.
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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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All living souls welcome whatever they are ready to cope with; all else they ignore, or pronounce to be monstrous and wrong, or deny to be possible.
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All thought is naught but a footnote to Plato.
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Almost every wise saying has an opposite one, no less wise, to balance it.
George Santayana   Category: Wisdom

America is a young country with an old mentality.
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An artist is a dreamer consenting to dream of the actual world.
George Santayana   Category: Art

Before you contradict an old man, my fair friend, you should endeavor to understand him.
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Bid, then, the tender light of faith to shine By which alone the mortal heart is led Unto the thinking of the thought divine.
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By nature's kindly disposition most questions which it is beyond a man's power to answer do not occur to him at all.
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Chaos is a name for any order that produces confusion in our minds.
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Character is the basis of happiness and happiness the sanction of character.
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Depression is rage spread thin.
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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.
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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 enabling it to make its peace with its destiny.
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Emotion is primarily about nothing and much of it remains about nothing to the end.
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Experience seems to most of us to lead to conclusions, but empiricism has sworn never to draw them.
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Fanaticism consists of redoubling your effort when you have forgotten your aim.
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Fashion is something barbarous, for it produces innovation without reason and imitation without benefit.
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For a man who has done his natural duty, death is as natural as sleep.
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For gold is tried in the fire and acceptable men in the furnace of adversity.
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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.
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Friends need not agree in everything or go always together, or have no comparable other friendships of the same intimacy.
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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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Fun is a good thing but only when it spoils nothing better.
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Graphic design is the paradise of individuality, eccentricity, heresy, abnormality, hobbies and humors.
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Habit is stronger than reason.
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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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History is a pack of lies about events that never happened told by people who weren't there.
George Santayana   Category: History

I believe in general in a dualism between facts and the ideas of those facts in human heads.
George Santayana   Category: Science

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.
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If pain could have cured us we should long ago have been saved.
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In Greece wise men speak and fools decide.
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Intelligence is quickness in seeing things as they are.
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Intolerance is a form of egotism, and to condemn egotism intolerantly is to share it.
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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.
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It is always pleasant to be urged to do something on the ground that one can do it well.
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It is easier to make a saint out of a libertine than out of a prig.
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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.
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It is veneer, rouge, aestheticism, art museums, new theaters, etc. that make America impotent. The good things are football, kindness, and jazz bands.
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It takes patience to appreciate domestic bliss; volatile spirits prefer unhappiness.
George Santayana   Category: Marriage

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.
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Knowledge is recognition of something absent; it is a salutation, not an embrace.
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Knowledge of what is possible is the beginning of happiness.
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Language is like money, without which specific relative values may well exist and be felt, but cannot be reduced to a common denominator.
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Let a man once overcome his selfish terror at his own infinitude, and his infinitude is, in one sense, overcome.
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Life is not a spectacle or a feast; it is a predicament.
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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.
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Music is a means of giving form to our inner feelings, without attaching them to events or objects in the world.
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Music is essentially useless, as is life.
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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.
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Never build your emotional life on the weaknesses of others.
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Nonsense is so good only because common sense is so limited.
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Nothing can so pierce the soul as the uttermost sigh of the body.
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Nothing so much enhances a good as to make sacrifices for it.
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Oaths are the fossils of piety.
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One's friends are that part of the human race with which one can be human.
George Santayana   Category: Friendship

Only the dead have seen the end of the war.
George Santayana   Category: War

Oxford, the paradise of dead philosophies.
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Parents lend children their experience and a vicarious memory; children endow their parents with a vicarious immortality.
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Perhaps the only true dignity of man is his capacity to despise himself.
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Periods of tranquillity are seldom prolific of creative achievement. Mankind has to be stirred up.
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Philosophers are very severe towards other philosophers because they expect too much.
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Prayer, among sane people, has never superseded practical efforts to secure the desired end.
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Religion in its humility restores man to his only dignity, the courage to live by grace.
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Sanity is a madness put to good use.
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