The Basic Writings of Josiah Royce, Volume I: Culture, Philosophy, and Religion

The Basic Writings of Josiah Royce, Volume I: Culture, Philosophy, and Religion

Edited, with a New Introduction, by John J. McDermott
Including an Annotated Bibliography of the Publications of Josiah Royce, Prepared by Ignas K. Skrupskelis
Copyright Date: 2005
Published by: Fordham University Press
Pages: 656
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  • Book Info
    The Basic Writings of Josiah Royce, Volume I: Culture, Philosophy, and Religion
    Book Description:

    Now back in print, and in paperback, these two classic volumes illustrate the scope and quality of Royce'sthought, providing the most comprehensive selection of his writings currently available. They offer a detailedpresentation of the viable relationship Royce forgedbetween the local experience of community and thedemands of a philosophical and scientific vision ofthe human situation.The selections reprinted here are basic to any understandingof Royce's thought and its pressing relevanceto contemporary cultural, moral, and religious issues.

    eISBN: 978-0-8232-4747-9
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-x)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. xi-xiv)
  3. Preface to the Fordham University Press Edition
    (pp. xv-xvi)
    John J. McDermott
  4. Preface
    (pp. 1-2)
    John J. McDermott
  5. Introduction Suffering, Reflection, and Community: The Philosophy of Josiah Royce
    (pp. 3-18)
    John J. McDermott

    This Introduction is to be read in conjunction with the headnotes to eight sections of these two volumes. Together they constitute a bare outline of the major themes present in Royce’s life and thought. Unfortunately, the student of Royce does not have access to a full-length intellectual biography, as for example,The Thought and Character of William James, by Ralph Barton Perry. Nor can he depend on an adequate personal biography, similar toWilliam Jamesby Gay Wilson Allen. It is to be hoped that the forthcoming work of Frank M. Oppenheim will rectify this serious omission. We await also...

  6. Chronology
    (pp. 19-20)
  7. Bibliographic Abbreviations
    (pp. 21-22)
  8. Editor’s Note on the Text
    (pp. 23-26)
  9. I An Autobiographical Sketch
    • 1 Words of Professor Royce at the Walton Hotel at Philadelphia, December 29, 1915
      (pp. 31-38)

      I was born in 1855 in California. My native town was a mining town in the Sierra Nevada,—a place five or six years older than myself. My earliest recollections include a very frequent wonder as to what my elders meant when they said that this was a new community. I frequently looked at the vestiges left by the former diggings of miners, saw that many pine logs were rotten, and that a miner’s grave was to be found in a lonely place not far from my own house. Plainly men had lived and died thereabouts. I dimly reflected that...

  10. II The American Context
    • [II Introduction]
      (pp. 41-42)

      It has become a truism for many commentators on Royce, that he is the most European of the Classical American philosophers. Although based on Royce’s affection for the European Romantic tradition and his commitment to the philosophical strain of German Idealism, this judgment is nevertheless seriously misleading. In fact, a case can be made for Royce as the philosopher most profoundly and explicitly influenced by his American experience. Even John Dewey, a lifelong student of American democracy, did not conduct so extended a scrutiny of his own cultural roots as did Royce. In addition to his outstanding history of California...

    • 2 The Struggle for Order: Self-Government, Good-Humor and Violence in the Mines
      (pp. 43-118)

      The State, then, was triumphantly created out of the very midst of the troubles of the interregnum, and in the excitements of the first golden days. But the busy scenes of early California life give us, as we follow their events, little time for quiet enjoyment of the results of even the best social undertakings. The proclamation of the sovereign state itself is only as the sound of a trumpet, signaling the beginning of the real social battle. Anarchy is a thing of degrees, and its lesser degrees often coexist even with the constitutions that are well-conceived and popular. The...

    • 3 An Episode of Early California Life: The Squatter Riot of 1850 in Sacramento
      (pp. 119-158)

      The following paper was first prepared as a contribution to local history, and was addressed to an audience familiar with the traditions of the early days of California. The text still retains forms of speech due to this origin. The author here often speaks as a Californian to his fellows, refers freely to local issues, and presupposes an interest in a special region and group of people.

      Yet if the affair here in question is one of local history, the passions, the social forces, and the essential ideas concerned, are of permanent significance. How often, even in some of our...

    • 4 The Settlers at Oakfield Creek
      (pp. 159-180)

      “I don’t quite like Alonzo’s condition,” Margaret said at last. “He seems nervous. He’s not quite well. I wish that I had stayed longer at Monterey. He was doing very well there.”

      “Do you think it serious?” said Tom. “He was very merry with me before lunch. I thought he seemed in fine spirits.”

      “No, it’s never serious. Only he’s discontented. He quarrels even with me—much more with nurse. He’s lonesome here, I suppose.”

      Tom suggested bringing him oftener into company with some of the neighbors’ children, but Margaret had objections to make. There were very few of them...

    • 5 The Pacific Coast: A Psychological Study of the Relations of Climate and Civilization
      (pp. 181-204)

      I have been asked to describe some of the principal physical aspects of California, and to indicate the way in which they have been related to the life and civilization of the region. The task is at once, in its main outlines, comparatively simple, and in its most interesting details hopelessly complex. The topography of the Pacific slope, now well known to most travellers, is in certain of its principal features extremely easy to characterize. The broad landscapes, revealing very frequently at a glance the structure of wide regions, give one an impression that the meaning of the whole can...

    • 6 William James and the Philosophy of Life
      (pp. 205-222)

      Fifty years since, if competent judges were asked to name the American thinkers from whom there had come novel and notable and typical contributions to general philosophy, they could in reply mention only two men—Jonathan Edwards and Ralph Waldo Emerson. For the conditions that determine a fair answer to the question, “Who are your representative American philosopers?” are obvious. The philosopher who can fitly represent the contribution of his nation to the world’s treasury of philosophical ideas must first be one who thinks for himself, fruitfully, with true independence, and with successful inventiveness, about problems of philosophy. And, secondly,...

  11. III The European Background
    • [III Introduction]
      (pp. 225-226)

      Philosophical idealism is often associated with the abstract and speculative, over against the concrete concerns of empiricism. Aside from the historical inaccuracy of this judgment, it blinds us to the original version of experience to be found in Idealism. Certainly Royce did not see his affection for the Idealist perspective as cutting him off from experience. In his commentary of the role of Hegel in American thought, Royce points out that: “Some of us take ourselves to be pretty pure empiricists, Hegel merely seems to us to throw some light not upon thea prioriconstruction of experience, but upon...

    • 7 Shelley and the Revolution
      (pp. 227-248)

      Shelley’s life is known to us as yet only in fragments. Motives of delicacy and of family pride unite to keep the materials locked up, that, if published, would answer very important questions. Meanwhile the literature about the poet’s fortunes and acts is large and unsatisfactory. To go among his biographers, who together fill a long library shelf, and to ask them for help in understanding him, is to enter a company of cultured and critical people who are all talking among themselves in low whispers, and, withal, quarreling. You may admire their enthusiasm, but they do not and cannot...

    • 8 Pessimism and Modern Thought
      (pp. 249-272)

      The problem of the worth of life is often regarded among men of the world as one that the healthy have no wish to discuss, and the unhealthy no right to decide. But surely reflective beings must sooner or later be led to consider the worth of conscious life; for self-criticism is an essential part of all mental growth, and cannot rest until it has taken into consideration the whole, as well as the parts, of our activity. But as every new step in critical thought is made by means of a negative criticism of old positions, the question of...

    • 9 The Rediscovery of the Inner Life: From Spinoza to Kant
      (pp. 273-298)

      In the lecture of to-day, as I must frankly assure you at the outset, our path lies for the most part in far less inspiring regions than those into which, at the last time, Spinoza guided us. You are well acquainted with a fact of life to which I may as well call your attention forthwith, the fact, namely, that certain stages of growing intelligence, and even of growing spiritual knowledge, are marked by an inevitable, and, at first sight, lamentable decline, in apparent depth and vitality of spiritual experience. The greatest concerns of our lives are, in such stages...

    • 10 The Concept of the Absolute and the Dialectical Method
      (pp. 299-316)

      My former lecture was devoted to a general study of the transition from Kant’s view of the self to that deeper but more problematic conception of the self which characterized the later idealism. Before characterizing further that conception, let me first remind you of some of the external conditions under which the German philosophical thinking of the time now in question took place.

      Kant published hisCritique of Pure Reasonin 1871. The next ten years were marked by the first reception of that book in Germany, by the earliest efforts to understand, to expound, to criticize, and to supplement...

  12. IV Religious Questions
    • 11 The Possibility of Error
      (pp. 321-354)

      We have before us our theorem, and an outline of its proof. We are here to expand this argument. We have some notion of the magnitude of the issues that are at stake. We had found ourselves baffled in our search for a certainty by numerous difficulties. We had found only one way remaining so far quite clear. That was the way of postulating what the moral consciousness seems to demand about the world beyond experience. For many thinkers since Kant, that way has seemed in fact the only one. They live in a world of action. “Doubt,” they say,...

    • 12 The Conception of God: Address by Professor Royce
      (pp. 355-384)

      I cannot begin the discussion of this evening without heartily thanking first of all my friend the presiding officer, and then the members of the Philosophical Union, for the kindness which has given to me the wholly undeserved and the very manifold privileges which this occasion involves for the one whom your invitation authorises to lead the way in the discussion. It is a privilege to meet again many dear friends. It is a great privilege to be able to bring with me to my old home, as I do, the warm academic greetings of Harvard to my Alma Mater....

    • 13 Immortality
      (pp. 385-402)

      All question about Immortality relate to some form of the continuance of human life in time, beyond death. All such questions presuppose, then, the conception of time. But now, what is Time? How is it related to Truth, to Reality, to God? And if any answer to these questions can be suggested, what light do such answers throw on man’s relation to time, and on the place of death in the order of time?

      Secondly, all questions about Immortality relate to the survival of human personality. But, what is our human personality? What aspect of a man do you want...

    • 14 Monotheism
      (pp. 403-418)

      Monotheism.—In the history of religion monotheism, the doctrine that ‘there is one God,’ or that ‘God is One,’ is somewhat sharply opposed to a very wide range of beliefs and teachings. The contrast, when it appears in the religion of a people, or in the general evolution of religion, tends to have an important bearing both upon religious practices and upon religious experience, since to believe in ‘One God’ means, in general, to abandon, often with contempt or aversion, many older beliefs, hopes, fears, and customs relating to the ‘many gods,’ or to the other powers, whose place or...

  13. V The World and the Individual
    • [V Introduction]
      (pp. 421-422)

      The opening essay of the present section gains its importance from Royce’s concern for “social consciousness.” A somewhat muted theme during the period when he utilized the language of the “Absolute,” Royce’s developing insight to the irreducible social dimension of human consciousness and experience should not be blocked from view.¹ It is unfortunate that Royce did not fulfill his “Plan of a Book” onThe World and the Social Consciousness(Royce Papers, Harvard University Archives, Widener Library, folio 97).

      The remaining essays in this section are taken from Royce’s Gifford Lectures of 1899. He received this opportunity when William James...

    • 15 Self-Consciousness, Social Consciousness and Nature
      (pp. 423-462)

      The ultimate purpose of the present paper is to reach, and, in closing, to sketch some views as to the relation of Man to Nature. By way of introduction, I must first define the place of my inquiry in the general catalogue of philosophical questions, and must then state the theses that I mean to defend.

      There are two great divisions of philosophy—theoretical and practical. The present paper concerns itself with a matter belonging to theoretical philosophy. Within the range of theoretical philosophy, however, one may distinguish between the discussion of the ultimate problems of knowledge and of truth,...

    • 16 The Religious Problems and the Theory of Being
      (pp. 463-490)

      In the literature of Natural Religion at least three different conceptions of the subject are represented. The first of these conceptions regards Natural Religion as a search for what a well-known phrase has called “the way through Nature to God.” If we accept this conception, we begin by recognizing both the existence of the physical world and the validity of the ordinary methods and conceptions of the special sciences of nature. We undertake to investigate what light, if any, the broader generalizations of natural science, when once accepted as statements about external reality, throw upon the problems of religion. It...

    • 17 The Internal and External Meaning of Ideas
      (pp. 491-542)

      With the former lecture our inquiry into the conceptions of Being reached a crisis whose lesson we have now merely to record and to estimate. That task, to be sure, is itself no light matter.

      Experience and Thought are upon our hands; and together they determine for us the problems regarding Being. Realism offered to us the first solution of this problem by attempting to define the Reality of the world as something wholly independent of our ideas. We rejected that solution on the ground that with an Independent Being our ideas could simply have nothing to do. Or, if...

    • 18 The Fourth Conception of Being
      (pp. 543-568)

      Any doctrine concerning fundamental questions is likely to meet with two different sorts of objections. The objections of the first sort maintain that the theory in question is too abstruse and obscure to be comprehended. The objections of the second sort point out that this same theory is too simple to be true. Every teacher of philosophy becomes accustomed not only to hear both kinds of objections from his more thoughtful pupils, but to urge them, for himself, upon his own notice. No one, in fact, is a philosopher, who has not first profoundly doubted his own system. And it...

    • 19 The Linkage of Facts
      (pp. 569-610)

      That all our acknowledgment of facts is a conscious submission to an Ought, is a principle which still leaves numerous aspects of our world of human experience very ill-defined. We turn to a study of some of these aspects, and of their corresponding most fundamental Categories.

      Let us give at once a list of the features of our experience which are here in question. First, then, the world of Facts is a world of Likenesses and Differences. These characters we find interwoven in our world with a most baffling complexity. We endeavor to deal with them, in an elementary way...

    • 20 The Temporal and the Eternal
      (pp. 611-638)

      The world of the facts that we ought to acknowledge is, in one of its aspects, present (so we have maintained) as the Object of Possible Attention, in every act of finite insight. Finitude means inattention to the wealth and organization of the world’s detail.

      An obvious objection to this thesis is furnished by the nature of Time. How can Past and Future, which “do not exist,” be in any sense “present,” in the undistinguished unity of the facts which any finite thinker at any instant acknowledges?

      In the Ninth Lecture of the First Series, we briefly considered the topic...

  14. Back Matter
    (pp. 639-640)