The Life of Reason in an Age of Terrorism


With The Life of Reason in an Age of Terrorism, Charles Padrón and Kris Skowroński (editors) gather together a broad assortment of contributions that address the germaneness of George Santayana’s (1863-1952) social and political thought to the world of the early twenty-first century in general, and specifically to the phenomenon of terrorism.

The essays treat a broad range of philosophical and historical concerns: the life of reason, the philosophy of the everyday, fanaticism, liberalism, barbarism, egoism, and relativism. The essays reflect a wide range of viewpoints and perspectives, but all coalesce around discussions of how Santayana’s thought fits in with and enhances an understanding of both our challenging times, and our uncertain future.

Contributors are: Cayetano Estébanez, Matthew Caleb Flamm, Nóra Horváth, Jacquelyn Ann Kegley, Till Kinzel, Katarzyna Kremplewska, John Lachs, José Beltrán Llavador, Eduardo Mendieta, Daniel Moreno Moreno, Luka Nikolic, Charles Padrón, Giuseppe Patella, Daniel Pinkas, Herman Saatkamp, Jr., Matteo Santarelli, Krzysztof Piotr Skowroński and Andrés Tutor.

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Charles Padrón, Ph.D. (2000), Vanderbilt University, is a scholar and writer in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain. He has recently translated Daniel Moreno’s Santayana filósofo. La filosofía como forma de vida (Bucknell, 2015).

Krzysztof Piotr Skowroński, PhD (1998), habilitation (2014) at University of Wrocław, teaches philosophy at the Institute of Philosophy, Opole University, Poland, and co-founded the Berlin Practical Philosophy International Forum, e.V. He is the author and editor of numerous books, and also blogs about Santayana’s philosophy.
Editors’ Introduction
Preface: Justice and Sorrow
John Lachs
Notes on Contributors

Part 1: Terrorism and Its Discontents

1 Forgetting and Remembering History: Memory and Self Identity
Jaquelyn Ann Kegley

2 The Life of Reason and Terrorism: Strategies
Herman J. Saatkamp, Jr.

3 Managing Necessity: Santayana on Forms of Power and the Human Condition
Katarzyna Kremplewska

4 Santayanan Reason, Terror and Terrorism, and the Everyday World
Charles Padrón

5 Assassination Nation: The Drone as Thanatological Dispositif
Eduardo Mendieta

6 Santayana and the (Postmodern) Spirit of Terrorism
Luka Nikolić

Part 2: The Circumscribing Political Context

7 Santayana, Self-Knowledge and the Limits of Politics
Till Kinzel

8 Santayana on Americanism
Daniel Moreno

9 Liberalism and the Vertigo of Spirit: Santayana’s Political Theodicy
Matthew Caleb Flamm

10 Dewey, Santayana, and ‘Ndrangheta: Understanding a Complex Phenomenon
Matteo Santarelli

11 “A Happy Snow-Flake Dancing in the Flaw”: Reflections on Santayanan Alternatives and Surviving a New Dark Age
Nóra Horváth

Part 3: Barbarism, Fanaticism, Madness, and Egotism

12 Barbarism Begins at Home: Santayana and Barbarism in Art and Life
Giuseppe Patella

13 Egotism, Violence and the Devil: On Santayana’s Use of the Concept of Egotism
Daniel Pinkas

14 A Religion without Fanaticism: Little Lessons of Wisdom from Santayana
José Beltrán Llavador

15 Santayana on Pluralism, Relativism and Rationality
Andrés Tutor

16 Santayana’s Idea of Madness and Normal Madness in a Troubled Age
Cayetano Estébanez

17 Santayana’s Philosophy of Education against Fanaticism and Barbarity
Krzysztof Piotr Skowroński

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