The Works of George Santayana

Category: Bulletin


Citation and the Challenges of Misattribution

What is Citation and Attribution?

Attribution or citation is the linking of ideas, concepts, and statements to their correct source. Attribution of quotes is an important part of all academic work. Style manuals produced by scholarly organizations such as American Psychological Association (Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association), Modern Language Association (MLA Style Manual), and the University of Chicago (The Chicago Manual of Style) establish standards for many aspects of scholarly production. In particular, these works provide guidelines for consistent citation and referencing. This consistency allows open and coherent communication of scholarship, including verification of results through the checking of evidence and reproduction of conclusions. Good citation serves academic integrity, which is essential for meaningful scholarly work. Without reliable citation distinguishing sound work from shoddy work would become paralyzingly difficult, undermining trust and making scrupulous and unscrupulous scholars appear equally suspect.

NEH Celebrates 50th Anniversary

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), which has generously supported the Santayana Edition since our beginning, is celebrating its 50th anniversary.

As part of the celebration, the NEH invites you to email them at and share how NEH grants have made a difference in your career, research, or community.

Since Herman Saatkamp received an NEH planning grant in 1977 to determine the feasibility of editing The Works of George Santayana, the NEH has given over $1.5 million to the Santayana Edition in outright and matching funds.

We are extremely grateful for this long-standing support from the NEH. And we are thankful as well for your continued interest and commitment, which has demonstrated so clearly the significance of our work. We hope you will join us in letting the NEH know what their support of the Santayana Edition has meant and continues to mean to friends of the humanities.

Below is the letter the director of the Santayana Edition sent to the NEH:

Letters in Limbo ~ January 17, 1948

General_George_C._Marshall,_official_military_photo,_1946.JPEGTo John McKinstry Merriam
Via Santo Stefano Rotondo, 6
Rome. January 17, 1948

Dear Merriam,

You ask me to write you, for your Class Luncheon, something about the political state of things in the world, and you tell me what the Marshall plan is. I know all about that and the views current here (I mean in Europe, not Rome or Italy) about it, whether it is prudent charity, to prevent Western Europe from being Russianised, or sheer enterprise, to secure larger markets and military outpost for American expansion abroad, now that the home lands have filled up. I don’t know whether this second motive exists, consciously or unconsciously in any American circle, but if it does, my philosophy would at once dismiss it as a mere makeshift. For in a century or two (nothing for a philosopher) when Asia and Africa were filled up with men and industries up to the brim, the question would recur as pressingly as at present, and the real problem, not one of how to enlarge business but how to lead a rational life, would impose itself on the cosmopolitan government that we may suppose would then exist. Why should not this real question be put and answered now in each country and community, without looking for outlets or resources beyond its accidental borders?
As to what is likely to happen, I have no inside knowledge or divine revelation. I think the communist area, under Russian control, may be extended over continental Europe, perhaps without a great war, by the aggressiveness of the communist party everywhere and the apathy and disunion of conservative forces. If this process is resisted by force of arms, supported by America and England, there will be a great war; the character of it would be very like the Napoleonic wars, one side with its home strength beyond the risk of invasion and with undisputed command of the sea, and the other with determined unified leadership but an insecure possession of its conquests. The ultimate result, I think, would be the emancipation of the conquered countries, as it was after Napoleon; but passage under a far more destructive social revolution would leave the European (and Asiatic) countries in a condition radically different from what it was in the Golden Age of Queen Victoria. The great change, however, might be in the other camp, where a willing union of the Americans and the British Commonwealth of Nations, with perhaps some clients beyond, would form what Toynbee, in his “Study of History” calls a “Universal State”, not all-comprehensive but supervening over a crowd of small nations.
I don’t think there is any cause for alarm about the future of mankind: but Europe may be knocked to pieces by the way.
Best wishes for the remaining fragments of ’86 from
G Santayana

From The Letters of George Santayana:  Book Eight, 1948-1952.  Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2008.
Location of manuscript: Unknown

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