1863, December 16: In the middle of the Civil War, far away, George Santayana is born in Madrid, Spain.

He is remembered most, I believe, for a single line, which has become almost cliched: “Those who do not remember history, are condemned to repeat it.”

Yet I found another quotation from Santayana, just pithy, just as meaningful and certainly appropriate for any look back into slavery’s dark days.

“”Loyalty to our ancestors does not include loyalty to their mistakes.”

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jorge Agustín Nicolás Ruiz de Santayana y Borrás

A drawing of George Santayana from the early 20th century

Full nameJorge Agustín Nicolás Ruiz de Santayana y Borrás

BornDecember 16, 1863(1863-12-16)

Madrid, Community of Madrid, Spain

DiedSeptember 26, 1952(1952-09-26) (aged 88)

Rome, Lazio, Italy

Era20th century philosophy

RegionWestern Philosophy

SchoolPragmatism, Naturalism

Notable ideasLucretian materialism, skepticism, natural aristocracy, The Realms of Being

Influenced by[show]Democritus, Plato, Aristotle, Lucretius, Baruch Spinoza, Arthur Schopenhauer, Hippolyte Taine, Ernest Renan, William James, Ralph Waldo Emerson

Influenced[show]Naturalism, William James, Bertrand Russell, Wallace Stevens, John Lachs

George Santayana (born Jorge Agustín Nicolás Ruiz de Santayana y Borrás in Madrid, December 16, 1863; died September 26, 1952, in Rome) was a Spanish American philosopher, essayist, poet, and novelist. A lifelong Spanish citizen, Santayana was raised and educated in the United States, wrote in English and is generally considered an American man of letters. Santayana is perhaps best known today for his remark that “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”,[1] and the line “only the dead have seen the end of war”[2]—the latter often falsely attributed to Plato. The philosophical system of Santayana is broadly considered Pragmatist due to having similar concerns as his fellow Harvard University associates William James and Josiah Royce, but he did not accept this label for his writing and eschewed any association with a philosophical school; he declared that he stood in philosophy “exactly where [he stood] in daily life.”[3]

via George Santayana – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.