Santayana's Anticipations of Deleuze: Total Natural Events and Quasi-Pragmatism

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In a monograph published last year, literary theorist Mark Noble notes that, in the way Deleuze understands the relationship between materialism and subjectivity, Deleuze “also sounds curiously like Santayana.” For example, the work of both philosophers “locates human value in a source at once immanent and alien.” Noble also wonders “whether the lesson of Santayana’s own negotiation with his tendency to humanize the non-human ground of experience also anticipates the thrill Deleuze chases when positing the univocity of being.” In the present article, I will attempt to elaborate on this “anticipation,” the implications of which include a greater appreciation of Santayana on the part of Deleuze enthusiasts, an understanding of both philosophers as U.S.-influenced, European quasi-pragmatists, and a decision in favor of Michael Brodrick’s recent interpretation of Santayana as a “total natural event” philosopher of mind.
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