Santayana's Life of Reason, published in five books from 1905 to 1906, ranks as one of the greatest works in modern philosophical naturalism. Acknowledging the natural material bases of human life, Santayana traces the development of the human capacity for appreciating and cultivating the ideal. It is a capacity he exhibits as he articulates a continuity running through animal impulse, practical intelligence, and ideal harmony in reason, society, art, religion, and science. The work is an exquisitely rendered vision of human life lived sanely.
This final volume of Santayana's letters spans the last five years of the philosopher's life. Despite the increasing infirmities of age and illness, Santayana continued to be remarkably productive during these years, working steadily until September 1952, when he died of stomach cancer, just three months short of his eighty-ninth birthday.
This penultimate volume of Santayana’s letters chronicles Santayana’s life during a difficult time—the war years and the immediate postwar period. The advent of World War II left Santayana isolated in Rome, and the difficulties of wartime travel across borders forced him to abandon plans to move to more agreeable locations in Switzerland or Spain.
The eight books of The Letters of George Santayana bring together over 3,000 letters, many of which have been discovered in the fifty years since Santayana's death. This sixth book covers four years of Santayana's life in Rome, his permanent residence since the late 1920s. During these years, Santayana, in his seventies, saw the publication of the remaining nine volumes of the Triton Edition of his work as well as the last two books of his Realms of Being: The Realm of Truth and The Realm of Spirit.