About the work …
The Sense of Beauty,  Santayana's first book in philosophy, is a naturalistic study of ęsthetics based upon his Harvard lectures—an unusual topic for a concentrated study at the time. Beauty for Santayana is a quality of experience which originates from the intrinsic emotional interest in perception and is not a derivative quality from the perceptual process. The conditions of beauty are of material (sensation), or of form (measure), or of expression (association). In sum, Santayana describes beauty as "pleasure objectified", or, perhaps as he better expresses it, beauty is "pleasure regarded as the quality of a thing." Santayana sought to explain ęsthetic theory as a type of psychological inquiry of human nature from a biological point of view. Ęsthetics, itself, involves a kind of critical perception, for beauty does not exist independently of our perception of the world. For Santayana, ęsthetic value stands to moral value as work does to play.
Explain what Santayana means when he concludes that ęsthetics is concerned with the perception of values.
What is the source of value in the world? What is the meaning of Spinoza's dictum which Santayana expresses as " [W]e desire nothing because it is good, but it is good only because we desire it"?
How does Santayana distinguish between the subjects of science and art?
What two factors does Santayana draw on to explicate the difference between ęsthetic and moral values? What does he mean when he writes ęsthetic sensitiveness is "the ęsthetic demand for the morally good, and perhaps the finest flower of human nature"?
What is the distinction between pleasure and the sense of beauty, according to Santayana?
Two what extent does Santayana believe that ęsthetic pleasures are ends-in-themselves and not as a means to something else?
What, according to Spinoza, is the source of the mistaken belief that ęsthetic judgments are universal?
Thoroughly explain Santayana's definition of beauty in terms of its value being positive, intrinsic, and objectified.
George Santayana. The Sense of Beauty. New York, Scribner's. 1896.