/Review: Katarzyna Kremplewska, Life as Insinuation: George Santayana’s Hermeneutics of Finite Life and Human Self (Albany: State University of New York Press, 2019), 269 pages./

George Santayana was a man in-between. He worked in-between philosophy, literature, and cultural criticism. He lived in-between American and European cultures. While he has always held a unique place in the history of American thought and philosophy he spent the last portion of his life in Europe seeking to “cultivate imagination, love it, give it endless forms.” He was concerned with how to live and to teach others how to live a life of sincere contemplation and enjoyment that elevates and celebrates the best of what it means to be a human being. He also worked to bridge the gap between the animal and the sublime in order to cure the brutalism and lunacy he witnessed settling into American and European cultures. Katarzyna Kremplewska’s deep, deft, and welcome addition to Santayana scholarship, Life as Insinuation: George Santayana’s Hermeneutics of Finite Life and Human Self (from here on referred to as LI), draws upon this in-betweenness of his life and work to explore the conception of the self and to bring Santayana into conversation with some of the twentieth century’s most important philosophers. As Kremplewska summarizes her own work, “I am tracing the connections in-between different areas of Santayana’s philosophical engagement – from his ontology through literary criticism to his critique of culture – while striving to bring to light its hermeneutic coherence, corresponding to the idea of a hermeneutic of life” (LI, xi).

How to cite:

Cashio, Anthony L. “Towards a Cure for Lunacy.” Eidos. A Journal for Philosophy of Culture 3, no. 4(10) (2019): 150-156.


Anthony L. Cashio
Department of History and Philosophy, University of Virginia’s College at Wise
1 College Avenue, Wise, VA 24293, USA

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