Platonism and Spiritual Life (Friday, 16 February 2018)
List of participants:
Richard M Rubin
Herman J Saatkamp, Jr
Matthew C Flamm
Phillip L Beard
2-hour-long discussion –click here – circled around the following issues/questions:
How does Santayana characterize the spiritual life in PSL and did his characterization of the spiritual life change or develop in his later works?
What does Santayana mean by ‘contemplation’ of essences?
To what extent is Santayana’s naturalistic concept of spirit an interpretation of supernatural conceptions?
What is the relationship between the spiritual life and knowledge?
Is it possible, and if so to what extent, to lead a spiritual life without having gone through a process of metanoia or disintoxication of values?
How do we explain the separation of moral from spiritual life, when morality is impossible without spirit?
Did Santayana think that a life devoted to purely spiritual concerns is a desirable way to live and did he think a detached or observing life preferable to an engaged one?
Did Santayana live a spiritual life and is his system of philosophy a version of the spiritual life?
Santayana claims that “Pure spiritual life cannot be something compensatory, a consolation for having missed more solid satisfactions” (PSL). What does Santayana mean by this claim and does the spiritual life offer any sort of moral consolation?
Does Santayana’s account of spirit and the spiritual life have any connections to contemporary, popular views of mindfulness or meditation?