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By Robert C. Baldwin, James A. McPeek

ISBN-10: 0826006507

ISBN-13: 9780826006509

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Page 14 Typical also of James was a stress on the relations and activities between the transitory agglomerations in that vast stream of existence; a particular thing was not self-contained, but was an entity because of its relations with other things. Santayana, however, felt that separateness from other things defined an entity; he distrusted the notion of the mystical relations of one thing to another, and he distrusted intimacy of any sort. But when James talks about awareness or consciousness, he uses a term that one finds everywhere in Santayana's writings: attention.

Collected Essays and Reviews 128) The "womb of unimagined other possibility" sounds somewhat like Santayana's realm of essence, though essence, for Santayana, was never tinged with the faintest hue of actuality or potentiality. Santayana, however, was more in agreement with James about empiricism, although he felt that the empiricists had already carried their "anthropomorphic affirmations" rather far into their investigations. In discussing the course in English philosophy that he took from James, Santayana admits that neither James himselfhowever hearty and friendly his approachnor Santayana, when he later taught the same course, could extract much of value from Locke, Berkeley, and Hume.

His suasive eloquence drew readers to his work and prompted assent, often in the absence of comprehension. But whether you favor Santayana or oppose him, it will not do to speak of his style in the singular. He had numerous styles. As he composed, he was always conscious of putting on a literary performance. This is exactly the problem with his poetry: it is usually occasional, always self-conscious, always mannered, always derivative. " Jumbled together in Santayana's collected poems are high-flown meditations, comic verses improvised for club meetings, Hudibrastic (or perhaps Oliver Wendell Holmesian) satire, and other nonce genres.

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An Introduction to Philosophy through Literature by Robert C. Baldwin, James A. McPeek


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