The critical edition of George Santayana’s Winds of Doctrine has been published by The MIT Press.
Winds of Doctrine presents six essays on modern philosophy and culture. The essays address a broad sweep of intellectual trends of the Spanish-born American thinker’s time. Topics include the secularization of American culture, the rise of religious modernism, major literary and philosophical figures, and the “genteel tradition” in American philosophy, the subject of Santayana’s final lecture in America and perhaps his best known essay.
The original Winds of Doctrine, published in 1913, was Santayana’s first book after his 1912 retirement and departure for Europe. Santayana had felt stifled at Harvard for some time, and his long-contemplated resignation from academia enabled to him think and write with a new freedom. Much later, Santayana remarked on the significance of that choice to step away: “In Winds of Doctrine and my subsequent books, a reader of my earlier writings may notice a certain change of climate . . . . It was not my technical philosophy that was principally affected, but rather the meaning and status of philosophy for my inner man.” The critical edition is introduced by Paul Forster (University of Ottawa), and edited by David Spiech, Faedra Weiss, and Martin Coleman.