Born Jorge Agustín Nicolás Ruiz de Santayana y Borrás, George Santayana was a philosopher, essayist, poet, and novelist. A lifelong Spanish citizen, Santayana was raised and educated in the United States and identified himself as an American. He wrote in English and is generally considered an American man of letters. At the age of forty-eight, Santayana left his position at Harvard and returned to Europe permanently, never to return to the United States. His last will was to be buried in the Spanish Pantheon of the Cimitero Monumentale del Verano in Rome.
Santayana is known for his (often-misquoted) comments: "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it", and "[O]nly the dead have seen the end of war." The latter sentence has often been falsely attributed to Plato; The former appears in his book, Reason in Common Sense, the first volume of the five-volume Life of Reason. (In the 1905 Charles Scribner's Sons edition, it is found on page 284.) The philosophical system of Santayana is broadly considered as pragmatist due to his concerns shared with fellow Harvard University associates William James and Josiah Royce. Santayana did not accept this label for his writing and eschewed any association with a philosophical school; he declared that he stood in philosophy "exactly where [he stood] in daily life."
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