Review of Metaphysics 22 (3):581-582 (1969)

Abstract
The editor has arranged forty-nine essays on and by Santayana into eight chapters representing major areas of Santayana's thought such as "Materialism and Idealism," "Essence, Substance, and Existence," "Art and Beauty." The essays supposedly speak to their chapter titles and to each other to create "the sense of dialogue"; with a few exceptions they were not written as deliberate conversation. This "dialogue" treats the reader to a fine display of the variety of minds and interests at work in philosophy and illustrates the fact that one man's philosophical arena is rarely another man's. From J. H. Randall, Jr. to John Crowe Ransom, a recurring point of contention is Santayana's conception of Essences and their relationship to Matter. The range of interpretation on this issue goes from plaintive objections that "Essences don't do anything!" to appreciative acknowledgment that "Essences don't do anything!". Arguments over "isms" abound; realism, idealism, epiphenominalism are examined from many angles besides Santayana's. Santayana is highlighted nicely, arranged in this way beside his critics. His ability to locate the vital force behind an idea and to indicate where specific thrusts of thought will lead evinces his title of philosopher and master critic. This collection is not limited in appeal to Santayana aficionados.--A. K. T.
Keywords Catholic Tradition  Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
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ISBN(s) 0034-6632
DOI revmetaph196922362
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