James-Santayana Correspondence

The James-Santayana Correspondence brings together both sides of the correspondence between George Santayana and his teacher and colleague at Harvard, William James. This collection covers the years 1887 to 1905 and includes 26 documents. There are 16 letters from Santayana to James and 1 published book review by Santayana of James’ Principles of Psychology, to which James responds in a letter. There are 9 letters from James: 7 to Santayana and 2 to other recipients. Eliza Kraus, the IUPUI graduate student who compiled and prepared the letters, explained that:

“there are . . . several instances where there are large gaps between the letters, due to Santayana’s habit of throwing letters away, but there was one particular occasion where I found a substitution. After going through all of the James sources at the University Library, I came across a footnote in The Thought and Character of William James Volume 1: Inheritance and Vocation explaining that one of James’ letters to Dickinson Sergeant Miller might make a decent replacement for one of the lost letters [to Santayana], as James also gives his opinion on one of Santayana’s works there. On another occasion, there was a letter James wrote to George Herbert Palmer praising Santayana, which James requests Palmer to forward to him. This letter is what Santayana is replying to in the letter [to James] that follows. I was, unfortunately, unable to locate holographs of either the letter to Dickinson or the letter to Palmer, but luckily the transcriptions are included in the Correspondence volumes.”

This compilation drew on information contained in the critical edition of each philosopher’s letters: The Letters of George Santayana (Books 1–8, Volume V of The Works of George Santayana, Cambridge, MA, and London: The MIT Press, 2001–2008) and The Correspondence of William James (Volumes 1–12, Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 1992–2004).

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