Posted by Bob on October 24, 2006
In Reply to: If tou don't know your history,it will repeat it's self posted by Smokey Stover on October 24, 2006
: : : : who is responsible for writing the saying:if tou don't know your history,it will repeat it's self
: : : It's from a book by George Santayana: The Life of Reason (1905-1906), vol. 1, Reason in Common Sense. "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."
: : : George (Jorge) Santayana (1863-1952) was born in Spain, moved to the U.S. when he was nine, graduated from Harvard where he became a professor of philosophy, although his writings show many other interests as well. He lived mostly in the U.S. until 1912, when he resigned his position at Harvard and moved to Europe, where he lived until his death in Rome.
: : : SS
: : Wild variations of this truism have sprung up so often (witness the original post) that it has been said "those who cannot remember Santayana are condemned to misquote him."
: Thanks for that, Bob. I hadn't heard it. I've now entered it in my Commonplace Book.
My other Santyana story is a wag's remark. Santayana had an sentimental attachement to the Virgin Mary, despite his agnostic beliefs. Someone (I con't remember who now) oops. strike that. I found a source:
In a relatively recent biography of Robert Lowell, the author awkwardly describes Santayana's attitude towards Catholicism, and attributes a well-known quip on the matter to Lowell:
An affirmed agnostic, Santayana had nevertheless maintained a rather decorous love affair over the years with the Catholicism of his youth. "There is no God, and Mary is His Mother," would be Lowell's way of summing up Santayana's stance.