- Series: Great Books in Philosophy
- Paperback: 504 pages
- Publisher: Prometheus Books (May 1, 1998)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1573922102
- ISBN-13: 978-1573922104
- Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 1.2 x 8.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #234,904 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Life of Reason (Great Books in Philosophy) Paperback – May 1, 1998
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Top Customer Reviews
In "The Life of Reason," Santayana sought to explain how reason emerges in five separate areas of human existence: thought, society, religion, art and science. Originally, Santayana devoted one book to each subject. In this present edition, all five books have been abridged by the author and made into a single volume. The unabridged version is superior to this one. The abridged version is more difficult to follow, because in the process of condensing five books into one, gaps have been created in the exposition of Santayana's thought.Read more ›
There is ANOTHER Kindle edition from Dover which is a heck of a lot better!
Check it out yourself: download a sample and see what you get!
Now, as for "The Life of Reason" itself, you need to know that this philosophical masterpiece was originally published in five volumes, and that the one-volume version involved (of course) serious re-writing.
But where can you find the original five-volume edition?! It's out of print.
The Kindle edition from Dover has all five volumes, and it's a great deal. But I grew frustrated at trying to deal with this huge masterpiece on the Kindle, and finally found a bookshop offering the five Dover volumes used (for about $50). If you come to like Santayana, you may well go this route yourself. The Kindle is a great invention, but it's not so hot for constant page-flipping, comparison, and all that. For some things, you will want the actual printed books.
The Life of Reason is surely the work of an author comfortable with an astonishingly broad range of commonplace and simple, as well as sophisticated and complex material that he discusses masterfully at a very high level of abstraction. His style is well suited to a cosmopolitan intellectual who approaches his work as a rigorously disciplined scholar. His wide sweep of interests and attainments is consistent with the breadth and nature of his objective, covering just about every organization and activity that bears, for good or ill, on attaining human happiness and thereby living a life of reason.
The specific issues dealt with, as a result, are sometimes ones that today's readers will find familiar: the family, politics, religion, sex roles, and ethnic differences are among them. Santayana's remarkably candid and accurate account of the over-time changes in feelings and objectives that characterize the contemporary family is one of the best things I've read on this mundane topic.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A must read, great for philosophy majors. A awesome basis for learning philosophy. Buy it now you won't regret it.Published on January 29, 2014 by Deliesha Brown
Good thing this was for free. All that was sent to my Kindle was the first page, a blank cover. The site will not allow me to reorder.Published on December 25, 2009 by Eagle
This is not a book for the uneducated, the young, or those who have not spread their intellectual endeavors definitively over a wide range of subjects.Published on October 10, 2009 by B. Thornton
I am curious if anybody that is politically correct has read enough of this classic to condemn Santayana for his comments on women and blacks. Read morePublished on January 26, 2007 by peter fairley
Santayana is known broadly as the guy who said that those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it -- whatever that means. Read morePublished on August 10, 2006 by T. Porges