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The Life of Reason (Great Books in Philosophy) Paperback – May 1, 1998
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About the Author
GEORGE SANTAYANA was born in Madrid, Spain, on December 16, 1863. When his parents were separated nine years later, in 1872, his mother took him to Boston, Massachusetts, where he attended the prestigious Boston Latin School and Harvard College. Upon graduation from Harvard in 1886, Santayana spent two years studying in Berlin, but he returned to the United States to pursue a doctorate in philosophy at Harvard, where he studied under William James. After earning his degree, Santayana joined the university faculty.
In 1912, however, the philosopher received a legacy from his mother's estate which allowed him to retire from teaching. He traveled to Europe, spending time first in England and Paris and later settling in Rome. He remained there until his death on September 26, 1952.
A poet and literary critic as well as a philosopher, Santayana made significant contributions to aesthetics, primarily through the publication of his earliest major work in this area, The Sense of Beauty (1896), which focuses on the imaginative life of humanity rather than on the underlying structures of reality or on humankind's methods of grasping reality. This theme is continued and expanded upon in Santayana's most famous work, The Life of Reason (5 vols., 1905-1906). Santayana retained a naturalistic approach in. all his writing, holding that everything ideal has a natural basis and that everything natural has an ideal development.
Santayana's other works include Skepticism and Animal Faith (1923) and the Realms of Being (4 vols., 1927-1940), as well as his critically acclaimed novel, The Last Puritan (1935), and his autobiography, Persons and Places (3 vols., 1944-1953).
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Looks like it was copied over and over on copiers rather than printed directly to these pages. Very strange, I have not encountered this issue before.
I did not return because it was not worth the effort - it was indeed inexpensive ($4). I found another revised edition of this book on Amazon: the abridged, one volume version - at higher price ($30) but well worth - the lettering is crisp as expected and it is easy to read
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.