Royce's Voyage Down Under

Royce's Voyage Down Under: A Journey of the Mind

Frank M.Oppenheim
Copyright Date: 1980
Pages: 134
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  • Book Info
    Royce's Voyage Down Under
    Book Description:

    Josiah Royce's voyage to the South Seas in 1888, undertaken on his physician's advice, restored the philosopher to full physical and mental vigor. What is not so well known is that after a few months of sailing Royce began to "bag new game," as he put it, in his philosophical pursuits. Frank M. Oppenheim examines Royce's writings from this year of travel, including his correspondence and the notes he made on his reading, and finds there the seeds of much of his later thought.

    While Professor Oppenheim is careful not to overstate the importance of this year of travel in the development of Royce's philosophy, he shows without question that the period was fruitful both intellectually and psychologically. His thoughtful analysis gives us a fuller appreciation of the philosopher and the man.

    eISBN: 978-0-8131-6406-9
    Subjects: History, Philosophy

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Preface
    (pp. vii-xx)
  4. 1 Introduction
    (pp. 1-4)

    In the spring of 1888, William James wrote from Harvard to George Santayana studying in Berlin: “Royce (broken down at last) is on his way to Australia. But he’ll be as stout as ever next year. “¹ James’s forecast was accurate. Early in 1888, Josiah Royce (1855-1916), American philosopher of community, was exhausted. His doctor advised him to sail leisurely and alone to Australia. Royce took the three-month cruise from Boston to Melbourne, then enjoyed the natural beauty of Australia and New Zealand for two more months, and finally returned by way of California to Harvard for the autumn term...

  5. 2 Context: Voyage and Recuperation
    (pp. 5-15)

    Since his 1882 start at Harvard, Royce had passionately desired to succeed there. Psychologically his 1888 breakdown stemmed from his drive to become an accepted philosophical colleague within a prestigious department and from his ambition to win a full professorship eventually. In the beginning, he had to invest three years of demanding teaching to steady his first perilous perch in the department. Then, in addition to carrying out as an assistant professor of philosophy his full instructional duties of teaching fifteen to eighteen hours weekly at Harvard and at the Society for the Collegiate Instruction for Women (the future Radcliffe),...

  6. 3 Metaphysical Speculation
    (pp. 16-38)

    Acquaintance with Royce’s temperament readies us to investigate his intellectual progress on his 1888 trip. Presumably the lengthy, journallike manuscript which Royce mailed from Australia to his wife would reveal something of his intellectual speculations aboard, for he acknowledged that only to her “have I tried to be anywhere nearly complete.”¹ Yet even if extant, this document is not available in any archive known to Roycean scholars. Hence the crucial question becomes, How extensive, clear, and reliable are the main clues that are available to us?² Arranged chronologically, these are: Royce’s first sketch with note (April 5 and 6), his...

  7. 4 Ethics of Loyalty
    (pp. 39-56)

    Soon after his August 1888 landing in California, Royce reported to William James, “The colonies are charming studies in human nature and politics, and I return feeling much older and wiser—not to add, immensely happier.”¹ Royce felt wiser because by now he had grasped how central to the ethical life is faithfulness (or loyalty) and because he had already rather fully articulated this principle. I base this conservatively stated, though perhaps surprising, claim on his 1888-1889 writings as compared with his much laterPhilosophy of Loyalty(1907).

    Royce had reported that his new “metaphysical speculation” particularly illuminated the “question...

  8. 5 Social and Political Philosophy
    (pp. 57-79)

    We have explored Royce’s 1888 development in metaphysics and morals. What remain to be investigated are his writings in social and political philosophy. Here a first reading may fascinate easily rather than inform accurately. Only gradually, through repeated thoughtful readings, does one discover that Royce’s ideas in these areas are more carefully articulated and complex than one had at first suspected.

    But the way in which Royce then dealt with sociopolitical questions deserves notice before we attempt to describe and evaluate his conclusions. He set as his aim “to become acquainted with the drift and the forces of Australasian life.”¹...

  9. 6 Philosophical Links with the Early Nineties
    (pp. 80-85)

    We have advanced an interpretation of Royce’s metaphysical, ethical, and sociopolitical thought in 1888. Can we test our interpretation? Does it fit in closely with what Royce revealed of his philosophical positions shortly after he returned to America—specifically, with his expressions of the early nineties? Circumstances compel us to limit our test of basic correspondence to his metaphysics and ethics. For astonishingly, after his Australian writings Royce did not offer any similarly clear and extensive expression of his sociopolitical views.

    By which criteria, then, shall we measure his 1888 metaphysics and ethics against those of the early nineties? We...

  10. 7 Epilogue: Journey Home
    (pp. 86-90)

    After his stay in Australia, Royce invested a month lingering in New Zealand. He visited Auckland, Wellington, and the volcanic regions of the North Island. As previously noted, he found New Zealand’s climate even more restorative than Australia’s, and the Maoris were especially fascinating to him. Having completed what he called his “stay in paradise,” Royce boarded the steamerAlameda,under the command of Master H.G. Morse. In three weeks he crossed the Pacific and on August 3 arrived within the Golden Gate.¹

    Enjoying excellent health as he stepped ashore in his native California, Royce quickly encountered some of the...

  11. Notes
    (pp. 91-108)
  12. Index
    (pp. 109-116)