Welcome to the Santayana Edition

The Santayana Edition, part of the Institute for American Thought (IAT), produces The Works of George Santayana, an unmodernized, critical edition of George Santayana’s published and unpublished writings. The critical editing process aims to produce texts that accurately represent Santayana’s final intentions regarding his works, and to present all evidence on which editorial decisions have been based. The Works of George Santayana is projected to be 20 volumes consisting of at least 35 books. It is published by The MIT Press (Cambridge, Massachusetts, and London, England) and is supported by the Indiana University School of Liberal Arts, Indianapolis and by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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    Letters in Limbo ~ April 21, 1946

    To Ervin Paul Hexner
    Via Santo Stefano Rotondo, 6
    Rome. April 21, 1946

    Dear Professor Hexner,

    The proposed book on politics which you ask about is amorphous; like some others of mine (now all published, thank heaven) it has been on my hands for many years—since before the other war. A mass of manuscript exists, and I have now imposed a plan on it which, though an after-thought, I think will help me to arrange and rewrite the whole, if I live long enough. It was always called “Dominations and Powers”, the point being to distinguish beneficent from vexatious government. This evidently involves defining first who is to be benefitted or vexed; so that much philosophy precedes and accompanies the parts that ought to be, but are not, learned. If you have read the late Professor Collingwood’s “New Leviathan” you may have some notion of the sort of book mine would try to be, although of course our philosophies, temper, and style are very different.

    Yours sincerely

    G Santayana

    From The Letters of George Santayana:  Book Seven, 1941–1947.  Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2006.
    Location of manuscript: The Pennsylvania State University Libraries, University Park PA.

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