anwhiteheadTo Daniel MacGhie Cory
Hotel de Londres
Naples, Italy. October 6, 1931

Dear Cory,

I am sending you £5 more this month in order to make up for the depreciation of sterling—a strange sign of the times to a person of my generation, accustomed to think of British credit as the bed-rock of all finance. My nephew George Sturgis writes that the nominal value of our property is terribly diminished, although the income, so far, has suffered little. In all . . . events, I have such a large margin that I hardly think I shall suffer any inconvenience. Twenty per cent of my London bank account has suddenly evaporated, however: as yet this doesn’t trouble me because I still have enough for my uses, and the American cheques coming in in future will replenish the fund faster, in £, than when British money was at par.

You quoted, with approval, in your last letter a dictum of Whitehead’s about only “experience” being knowable. Does his “experience” include what is posited (not really “given”) in the mode of causal efficacy? This positing is no doubt experienced: we do it and trust it implicitly: but the objects posited are substances assumed to act upon us. Our actual experience is only the description we make of these substances and their accidents. How literally true this description may be is another question.

Yours affectly, G.S.

From The Letters of George Santayana:  Book Four, 19281932.  Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2003.
Location of manuscript: Butler Library, Columbia University, New York NY