Famous Quotes By George Santayana


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Almost every wise saying has an opposite one, no less wise, to balance it.
  4. An artist is a dreamer consenting to dream of the actual world.
  5. Bid, then, the tender light of faith to shine By which alone the mortal heart is led Unto the thinking of the thought divine.
  6. By nature's kindly disposition most questions which it is beyond a man's power to answer do not occur to him at all.
  7. Character is the basis of happiness and happiness the sanction of character.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Experience seems to most of us to lead to conclusions, but empiricism has sworn never to draw them.
  11. For a man who has done his natural duty, death is as natural as sleep.
  12. Friends are generally of the same sex, for when men and women agree, it is only in the conclusions their reasons are always different.
  13. Friendship is almost always the union of a part of one mind with the part of another people are friends in spots.
  14. Graphic design is the paradise of individuality, eccentricity, heresy, abnormality, hobbies and humors.
  15. Happiness is the only sanction of life where happiness fails, existence remains a mad and lamentable experiment.
  16. History is a pack of lies about events that never happened told by people who weren't there.
  17. I believe in general in a dualism between facts and the ideas of those facts in human heads.
  18. Intelligence is quickness in seeing things as they are.
  19. 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.
  20. It is veneer, rouge, aestheticism, art museums, new theaters, etc. that make America impotent. The good things are football, kindness, and jazz bands.
  21. It takes patience to appreciate domestic bliss volatile spirits prefer unhappiness.
  22. 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.
  23. Knowledge is recognition of something absent it is a salutation, not an embrace.
  24. Knowledge of what is possible is the beginning of happiness.
  25. Language is like money, without which specific relative values may well exist and be felt, but cannot be reduced to a common denominator.
  26. 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.
  27. Music is a means of giving form to our inner feelings, without attaching them to events or objects in the world.
  28. Music is essentially useless, as is life.
  29. Never build your emotional life on the weaknesses of others.
  30. One's friends are that part of the human race with which one can be human.
  31. Only the dead have seen the end of the war.
  32. Parents lend children their experience and a vicarious memory children endow their parents with a vicarious immortality.
  33. Religion in its humility restores man to his only dignity, the courage to live by grace.
  34. Society is like the air, necessary to breathe but insufficient to live on.
  35. That fear first created the gods is perhaps as true as anything so brief could be on so great a subject.
  36. The degree in which a poet's imagination dominates reality is, in the end, the exact measure of his importance and dignity.
  37. The dreamer can know no truth, not even about his dream, except by awaking out of it.
  38. The effort of art is to keep what is interesting in existence, to recreate it in the eternal.
  39. The family is one of nature's masterpieces.
  40. The great difficulty in education is to get experience out of ideas.
  41. The hunger for facile wisdom is the root of all false philosophy.
  42. The love of all-inclusiveness is as dangerous in philosophy as in art.
  43. The lover knows much more about absolute good and universal beauty than any logician or theologian, unless the latter, too, be lovers in disguise.
  44. The passions grafted on wounded pride are the most inveterate they are green and vigorous in old age.
  45. The truth is cruel, but it can be loved, and it makes free those who have loved it.
  46. The word experience is like a shrapnel shell, and bursts into a thousand meanings.
  47. There is no cure for birth and death save to enjoy the interval.
  48. Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
  49. To be interested in the changing seasons is a happier state of mind than to be hopelessly in love with spring.
  50. To delight in war is a merit in the soldier, a dangerous quality in the captain, and a positive crime in the statesman.
  51. To me, it seems a dreadful indignity to have a soul controlled by geography.
  52. We must welcome the future, remembering that soon it will be the past and we must respect the past, remembering that it was once all that was humanly possible.
  53. Wealth, religion, military victory have more rhetorical than efficacious worth.
  54. When men and women agree, it is only in their conclusions their reasons are always different.
  55. Wisdom comes by disillusionment.

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