Dear Friends of the George Santayana Society,

Greetings for 2017!

This is the first of a series of letters about the George Santayana Society, its activities, and Santayana related events. Followup letters will come out over the course of the coming week.

Annual meeting

The George Santayana Society’s annual meeting took place on January 6, 2017 in Baltimore in conjunction with the 2017 meeting of the Eastern Division of the APA. The first speaker was Diana Heney, who presented her Kerr-Lawson Prize-winning essay, “Metaethics for Mavericks: Santayana and Nietzsche on False Idols and True Poetry.”

John Lachs, who has supported the efforts of the Society and the Edition from the beginning and has made major contributions to Santayana scholarship, had been scheduled to appear jointly with Herman Saatkamp, but Professor Lachs was unable to be there. We were fortunate to have, in the place of his material presence, a video of an interview that Martin Coleman conducted several years ago, in which Lachs presents his views on Scepticism and Animal Faith and several other works by Santayana. Herman Saatkamp, who was in attendance, followed this video with his presentation, “Is Animal Faith the Death of Philosophy?” We expect to publish the Lachs interview and the Saatkamp and Heney papers next fall in Overheard in Seville.

Herman Saatkamp was the first editor of Overheard in Seville. He was one of the founders of the Society and was the Founding Editor of the Santayana Edition. The Edition, which produces critical editions of Santayana’s writings, is now at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis. Dr Saatkamp, having retired as President of Stockton University in New Jersey, is now a researcher at the IUPUI Institute for American Thought. We are grateful to him for participating in our meeting.

Santayana in Kansas City at the APA Central – 2 March 2017

On Thursday, March 2, 2017 at 7:40 pm the George Santayana Society will host two panel discussions in a session at the meeting of the Central Division of the APA. One discussion will be on Santayana’s short work Platonism and the Spiritual Life. The other will be an author-meets-critics discussion of Jessica Wahman’s Narrative Naturalism. The panels are not yet complete. If anyone is interested in participating, please let me know.

The Life of Reason at Harvard – 13 April March 2017

In honor of the enduring significance of Santayana’s work, the Observatory of the Instituto Cervantes at Harvard University will host a roundtable discussion on Santayana’s The Life of Reason on 13 April 2017. We shall keep you informed as we get more information about this event.

New George Santayana Society Officers

The two-year term of Matt Flamm as president of the Society ended with the January meeting in Baltimore. We thank Dr Flamm for his dedication to the Society and for inaugurating the Angus Kerr-Lawson prize (look for another email about the prize). The members at the meeting approved the nominating committee’s recommendations. Michael Brodrick moved from the position of secretary-treasurer to vice president, Diana Heney became the secretary-treasurer, and I am now the president.

Richard M. Rubin
President, George Santayana Society