The Truth about Life and Who You Really Are (The Common Sense Philosopher Book 1)

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Santayana advocates such a mix of aristocracy and democracy, and believes that under such a system art and science would flourish, and corruption be minimized. Corruption abounds in common governments, which often become a vehicle for war, the worst of all crimes of the state. Over- Patriotism too is abject to him, and he sees it responsible for many of the crimes of the state.

Though he proposes no philosophy of international relations, he muses that the development of international sports could provide something of "a moral equivalent for war" and that finance and trade between nations may help foster more peace between them.

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At last, he laments the rise of industrialism; quoting Emerson: "things are in the saddle and ride mankind. Though a philosophical atheist , Santayana is often described as an aesthetic Catholic. Influenced by his Spanish Roman Catholic heritage, he laments his own loss of faith , calling religious especially Catholic belief a "splendid error, which conforms better to the impulses of the soul " [1] than life.


Durant says he: "achieves his masterpiece in 'Reason in Religion', filling his skeptical pages with a tender sadness, and finding in the beauty of Catholicism plentiful cause for loving it still. With the touch of a poet, he lauds the beauty of religious myths while condemning literal treatment of religion to the flames [ citation needed ]. He especially derides the "northern barbarians" [2] who are responsible for Protestantism , and believes they are mostly responsible for its literal interpretation and the loss of Christianity's poetry.

Santayana holds that reason bases itself on science, as "science contains all trustworthy knowledge.

Proposing no technically new metaphysic, Santayana instead applies old philosophies to the modern day. He admires the atomism of Democritus and emphasis upon technically reason of Aristotle. Santayana is a materialist and a naturalist , and strongly dislikes the more mystical metaphysics of many of his contemporaries; he rejects even the pantheism of Spinoza , saying that "the word nature is poetical enough; it suggest sufficiently the generative and controlling function, the endless vitality and changeful order of the world in which I live.

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Materialism and mechanism are the governing forces of the universe; there is nothing outside their laws, and nothing exempt—humans included. Staying true to this materialism, Santayana rejects the existence of a transcendent soul , instead positing that "the soul is only a fine quick organization within the material animal.

No doubt the spirit and energy of the world is what is acting in us, as the sea is what rises in every little wave; but it passes through us; and, cry out as we may, it will move on. Our privilege is to have perceived it as it moved. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. Now that I show less sympathy with it, will they be better satisfied?

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I fear the opposite is the case. Pinkard points out that it is not true, as Hegel suggested in a letter, that the book was completed on the eve of the Battle of Jena. But what did Hegel do? He was a private tutor, headmaster at a high school, briefly the editor of a provincial newspaper, and for most of his career a university professor: at Heidelberg from to , and then at Berlin until his death. Pinkard notes that after Hegel was married in and had two other sons, he arranged for Ludwig to live with his family. It ended badly. Ludwig wished to study medicine, but Hegel refused to pay for his education.

In general, it seems that he treated Ludwig as a second-class citizen. T he tone and embonpoint of Mr. It is a common feeling. Another Hegel commentator, J. For my own part, I believe that when you finish working your way through Hegel what you have are two things: a handful of scattered insights about philosophy, art, and society; and acquaintance with—often contamination by—one of the most powerfully obfuscating philosophical methodologies ever devised. I am perfectly happy to acknowledge that Hegel was a genius.

But so what? Hegel wrote a great deal of nonsense. Yet he did not do it on purpose. But I believe that Schopenhauer was wrong to attribute mystifying motives to Hegel. He said a lot of loopy things. He believed them all. On the first page of his preface, Mr. Nature is, however, only implicitly the Idea, and Schelling therefore called her a petrified intelligence. Which leaves us—where? Between a rock and a hard place, anyway. All that is needed is sound common sense, a fund of humor, and a little Greek ataraxy [tranquillity].

The problem is that the individual seems to get lost in the process. Kierkegaard saw the unintended comedy of a system picturing the development of self-consciousness in which the self in any recognizable form is shuffled off rather early. This after all is the famous dialectical process whereby each level of development is said to contain its opposite and is aufgehoben. There is, I am happy to say, no English equivalent for that participle. If the essence of X is not-X, what then? S o why read Hegel? For one thing, he has startling flashes of insight—about the nature of modernity, the relationship between the state and civil society, the self-enchantments of freedom.

Hegel is deep. He is also muddy. Many never return. A second reason to read Hegel has to do with that treacherousness. Just as doctors learn a lot about health by studying diseases, so we can learn a lot about philosophical health by studying Hegel. A third reason to read Hegel is his influence, which everybody—friend as well as foe—admits was enormous.

It must be turned right side up again, if you would discover the rational kernel within the mystical shell.

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But then Hegel has always been especially popular among people whose entire livelihood is bound up with verbal legerdemain—I mean academic professors of philosophy. He has been extremely helpful in keeping the mills of academic industry grinding away. After all, his philosophy puts them and their profession at the very apex of creation. F inally, Hegel has been immensely influential on the development of post-Kantian idealism.

What is idealism? Idealism exercises a variety of attractions. For one thing, it is deeply flattering to its proponents, for it suggests that reality is in some obscure way dependent on them. The basic procedure is quite simple. In every idealist manual after Kant, the first lesson is the same: kick Berkeley. It is objective, or public, or Absolute, Thought.

Hegel was a supreme master at this sort of thing.

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Fair enough, you say. Perhaps the following passages will clear things up. The first is from the preface to the Phenomenology , the second from its last chapter:. The True is the whole. But the whole is nothing other than the essence consummating itself through its development. Of the Absolute it must be said that it is essentially a result , that only in the end is it what it truly is; and that precisely in this consists its nature, viz. Though it may seem contradictory that the Absolute should be conceived essentially as a result, it needs little pondering to set this show of contradiction in its true light.

The beginning, the principle, or the Absolute, as at first immediately enunciated, is only the universal. Spirit, therefore, having won the Notion, displays its existence and movement in this ether of its life and is Science. It is the rationality of spirit in its world existence.

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