Wide World of Quotes > George Santayana Quotes


George Santayana
Spanish-born philosopher, essayist, poet and novelist
(1863-1952)



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El fanatismo consiste en redoblar el esfuerzo cuando has olvidado el fin.
Fanaticism consists in redoubling your effort when you have forgotten your aim.
-- La Vida de la Razón, "Volumen 1: La razón en el Sentido Común",1905; translated into English as: The Life of Reason (1905)

El progreso, lejos de ser consistente en el cambio, depende de la retentividad. Cuando el cambio es absoluto no quedan hechos para mejorar y ninguna dirección existe para una posible mejora: cuando no se retiene la experiencia, como entre los salvajes, la infancia es perpetua. Aquellos que no pueden recordar el pasado están condenados a repetirlo. En la primera etapa de la vida la mente es frívola y se distrae fácilmente, pierde progreso al caer en la consecutividad y persistencia. Esta es la condición de los niños y los bárbaros, en la que el instinto no ha aprendido nada de la experiencia.
-- La Vida de la Razón, "Volumen 1: La razón en el Sentido Común",1905.
PARTIAL TRANSLATION INTO ENGLISH:
Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness...Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
-- The Life of Reason (1905)

It takes patience to appreciate domestic bliss; volatile spirits prefer unhappiness.
-- The Life of Reason (1905)

Para una idea es de muy mal agüero estar de moda, pues esto implica que más adelante estará anticuada para siempre.
For an idea ever to be fashionable is ominous, since it must afterwards always be old-fashioned.
-- Winds of Doctrine (1913)

Music is essentially useless, as life is; but both lend utility to their conditions.
-- Little Essays (1920)

Never since the heroic days of Greece has the world had such a sweet, just, boyish master. It will be a black day for the human race when scientific blackguards, conspirators, churls, and fanatics manage to supplant him.
-- Writing of the British Empire, in: Solliloquies in England (1922)

There is no cure for birth or death save to enjoy the interval.
-- Solliloquies in England (1922)

The working of great institutions is mainly the result of a vast mass of routine, petty malice, self interest, carelessness, and sheer mistake. Only a residual fraction is thought.
-- The Crime of Galileo (1955)


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The selection of the above quotes and the writing of the accompanying notes was performed by the author David Paul Wagner.

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