American Philosophy

George Herbert Mead

Who was George Santayana?

George Santayana (born Jorge Agustín Nicolás Ruíz de Santayana y Borrás; 1863–1952) was a philosopher, poet, art critic, and author of the international best selling novel The Last Puritan (1935; new edition, 1936). His father was Spanish and he was born in Madrid, but his Scottish mother brought him to the United States when he was nine and enrolled him in the Boston Latin School. In 1889 he received a Ph.D. in philosophy from Harvard, with Josiah Royce (1855–1916) as his advisor. In 1892 he accepted an instructorship at Harvard and later became professor of philosophy, teaching there for 20 years. Santayana’s students included authors Conrad Aiken, T.S. Eliot, Robert Frost, Wallace Stevens, and Walter Lippman, as well as U.S. Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter.


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