Works of George Santayana
Winds of Doctrine, critical edition
Studies in Contemporary Opinion
448 pp., 6 x 9 in, 1 b&w illus.
- Published: August 1, 2023
- Publisher: The MIT Press
A critical edition of a classic work by the renowned philosopher George Santayana evaluating key movements in American intellectual history.
Winds of Doctrine presents six essays by the internationally recognized critic and philosopher George Santayana. The essays, edited by David E. Spiech, Martin A. Coleman, and Faedra Lazar Weiss, and introduced by Paul Forster, address the broad sweep of intellectual trends—or, as the title suggests, the ever-changing winds of thought—of the Spanish-born American thinker's time. The topics range from the secularization of American culture to the rise of religious modernism to the “genteel tradition” in American philosophy, the subject of Santayana's final lecture in America and perhaps his best known essay.
The original Winds of Doctrine, published in 1913, was the first book published after Santayana's 1912 departure for Europe. Santayana had felt stifled at Harvard for some time, and his long-contemplated resignation from academia released him from previous obligations and allowed him a new freedom to think and write. Much later, Santayana remarked on the significance of that choice to step away: “In Winds of Doctrine and my subsequent books, a reader of my earlier writings may notice a certain change of climate. . . . It was not my technical philosophy that was principally affected, but rather the meaning and status of philosophy for my inner man.”
An insightful document of American intellectual history, supplemented with annotations and rich textual commentary, Winds of Doctrine is a vital and engaging survey of the religious, political, philosophical, and literary trends of the twentieth century.