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25 George Santayana Quotes About Life and Happiness

There are many wise lessons to learn from these George Santayana quotes.

Share in the comments which one you can relate with the most.

George Santayana was a Spanish-American philosopher and critic who is known for spouting short, memorable expressions of truth, many of which are still used today.

Born in December of 1863 in Spain, Santayana immigrated to the United States when he was a young boy.

He would grow up to attend Harvard College and, after completing his doctoral thesis, he became a professor of philosophy there as well.

A novelist, essayist, poet, and philosopher, Santayana became known as one of the greatest philosophical minds of the 20th century.

His review on a broad range of subjects combined with his commentary on controversial beliefs and occasionally inconsistent writings left Santayana and his philosophy to be criticized by others as well.

We’ve collected 50 of Santayayan’s most famous quotes below.

Don’t forget to also check out these Paulo Freire quotes from the great educator.

Check out our most popular quote article, a list of short inspirational quotes for daily inspiration.

Explore our complete collection of motivational quotes here.

Wise George Santayana quotes and sayings

1. “The wisest mind has something yet to learn.” — George Santayana

2. “Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” — George Santayana

3. “An artist is a dreamer consenting to dream of the actual world.” — George Santayana

4. “Intelligence is quickness in seeing things as they are.” — George Santayana

5. “A child educated only at school is an uneducated child.” — George Santayana

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6. “To know what people really think, pay regard to what they do, rather than what they say.” — George Santayana

7. “Chaos is a name for any order that produces confusion in our minds.” — George Santayana

8. “Wisdom comes by disillusionment.” — George Santayana

9. “The highest form of vanity is love of fame.” — George Santayana

10. “Habit is stronger than reason.” — George Santayana

11. “Before you contradict an old man, my fair friend, you should endeavor to understand him.” — George Santayana

12. “The passions grafted on wounded pride are the most inveterate; they are green and vigorous in old age.” — George Santayana

13. “Nonsense is so good only because common sense is so limited.” — George Santayana

14. “Almost every wise saying has an opposite one, no less wise, to balance it.” — George Santayana

Famous George Santayana quotes about happiness

15. “Character is the basis of happiness and happiness the sanction of character.” — George Santayana

16. “To be interested in the changing seasons is a happier state of mind than to be hopelessly in love with spring.” — George Santayana

17. “Knowledge of what is possible is the beginning of happiness.” — George Santayana

18. “To be happy you must have taken the measure of your powers, tasted the fruits of your passion, and learned your place in the world.” — George Santayana

19. “A string of excited, fugitive, miscellaneous pleasures is not happiness; happiness resides in imaginative reflection and judgment, when the picture of one’s life, or of human life, as it truly has been or is, satisfies the will, and is gladly accepted.” — George Santayana

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20. “Depression is rage spread thin.” — George Santayana

21. “It takes patience to appreciate domestic bliss; volatile spirits prefer unhappiness.” — George Santayana

22. “It is always pleasant to be urged to do something on the ground that one can do it well.” — George Santayana

23. “Repetition is the only form of permanence that nature can achieve.” — George Santayana

24. “There is nothing sweeter than to be sympathized with.” — George Santayana

25. “If artists and poets are unhappy, it is after all because happiness does not interest them.” — George Santayana

What did you learn from these George Santayana quotes?

George Santayana died in 1952 at the age of 88.

Since his death, his legacy has lived on and his writings are still being quoted in the modern-day, though many might not know who they are quoting.

Santayana was famous for writing aphorisms — short, memorable expressions that speak truth or principle.

Some of Santayana’s quotes have been repeated so often that they have become cliche.

For instance, who hasn’t heard the quote, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”?

Have you ever quoted Santayana before without knowing it?

Which George Santayana quotes and sayings are your favorites?

Let us know in the comments below.

Sckylar Gibby-Brown
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