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Scholarly interest in Santayana today remains modest but diverse.Santayana was a thinker of rare stature whose work deserves the highest compliment of all: it can and may well still be read millennia from now.George Santayana was an influential 20th century American thinker whose philosophy connected a rich diversity of historical perspectives, culminating in a unique and unrivaled form of materialism, one recommending a bold reconciliation of spirit and nature.
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George Santayana was born on December 16, 1863 in Madrid, Spain.
He lived his first eight years in Spain, his next forty years in Boston, and his last forty years in Europe.
Accordingly, Santayana arranged his life in his autobiography, in three parts: (1) “Background,” (2) “On Both Sides of the Atlantic,” and (3) “All on One Side.” The Background (1863-1886) encompassed his childhood in Ávila, Spain, through his undergraduate years at Harvard. The third period (1912-1952) was that of the retired professor writing and traveling in Europe, and eventually adopting Rome as his center of activity.
The second period, during which Santayana traveled between the U. and Europe, covered his Harvard years (1886-1912), both as graduate student (Ph. Santayana’s birth name was Jorge Agustín Nicolás Ruiz de Santayana.
Displaying in both composition and criticism a prodigious literary imagination, Santayana’s writings appealed to a wide audience, and he remains to this day one of the most quoted of twentieth century thinkers.