The Relevance of Royce

The Relevance of Royce

Douglas R. Anderson
Jude Jones
Copyright Date: 2014
Published by: Fordham University Press
Pages: 304
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  • Book Info
    The Relevance of Royce
    Book Description:

    This collection represents the rediscovery of Josiah Royce's rich legacy that has occurred over the past decade. The first part presents a series of historical explorations. The second takes up practical extensions of Royce's work, bringing his ideas and methods to bear on contemporary philosophical matters. Among the topics addressed are the paradoxes of individualism; loyalty, democracy, and community; Royce's efforts to respond to historical American racism; his contributions to engaged inter-faith religious discourse; the promise of his theory of error for a feminist account of knowledge; and his ethics of loyalty as a component in medical ethics.

    eISBN: 978-0-8232-5531-3
    Subjects: Philosophy

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-x)
  3. INTRODUCTION: The Continuing Relevance of Josiah Royce
    (pp. 1-12)
    Kelly A. Parker and Jason Bell

    In his own day, at Harvard University at the turn of the twentieth century, Josiah Royce was one of America’s premier philosophical exports, as well as a prominent interpreter of European and Asian thought to a domestic audience. Royce and his colleague William James were probably the two most prominent figures in American philosophy. Indeed, the arguments between Royce and James were played out for an international audience in numerous lectures, publications, and classrooms (the dialogue is evident, for example, in their respective Gifford Lectures, delivered between 1898 and 1902).¹ But after Royce’s death, and after two world wars, the...

  4. Part I. Historical Explorations
    • ONE JOSIAH ROYCE: ALIVE AND WELL Presidential Address delivered to the Josiah Royce Society in honor of the 150th anniversary of Royce’s birth, 2005
      (pp. 15-22)
      John J. McDermott

      I am pleased to be here as the president of the fledgling Josiah Royce Society. The feathers of this bird are new to flight, but I am confident that they shall lift off erelong, especially since this society features the presence of several of us who have a long history of professional society initiations.

      As this is a banquet talk, or as I prefer an “Address at the Banquet,” I take the liberty of beginning with acts of gratitude. Although the scholarly works on Josiah Royce do not match the girth of those devoted to the philosophy of William James,...

      (pp. 23-33)
      Frank M. Oppenheim, Dawn Aberg and John J. Kaag

      The “Dig” team (Frank M. Oppenheim, S. J., Dawn Aberg, and John J. Kaag) investigated the papers of Josiah Royce (1855–1916) at the Harvard University Archives between July 2008 and September 2009. Our goal was to create aComprehensive Index¹ of these writings, which would serve as an indispensable basis for approaching the National Endowment for the Humanities to help fund a critical edition of Royce’s writings. The present report offers: (1) Background, (2) Digging, (3) Finds, and (4) Results: First Fruits from the Dig.

      In spring 2007, five members of the Josiah Royce Society (John J. McDermott, Jacquelyn...

      (pp. 34-46)
      Dwayne Tunstall

      During the last few decades of the nineteenth century and the first decade of the twentieth century, there was what we could call an idealist consensus among most US philosophers. This idealist consensus emerged in the late 1870s as American postsecondary education underwent a profound transformation. As research universities emerged from 1875 until 1910,¹ philosophy transitioned from being a subject studied primarily in the senior seminar in moral philosophy, and often taught by the president of a college, to being an autonomous discipline which trained professionals who were qualified to teach the main areas of philosophy (e.g., logic, metaphysics, and...

      (pp. 47-68)
      Jason Bell

      The forthcoming first publication inHusserliana-Dokumenteof the 1914 dissertation by Winthrop Bell on the relevance of Josiah Royce’s theory of knowledge to Edmund Husserl’s phenomenology, a thesis directed by Husserl, calls our attention to a surprising network of historical relations that connect not only Royce and Husserl, but which further connect the golden ages of American philosophy at Harvard and of German phenomenology at Göttingen. We will here consider four principal figures in this transatlantic exchange of ideas, listed here in their order of arrival as scholars at Göttingen: Josiah Royce (1855–1916),¹ Edmund

      The author thanks the German-American...

    • FIVE LOYALTY, FRIENDSHIP, AND TRUTH: The Influence of Aristotle on the Philosophy of Josiah Royce
      (pp. 69-88)
      Mathew A. Foust and Melissa Shew

      While scholarly attention has been paid to the influence of German idealism on the thought of Josiah Royce, few scholars have examined the relationship between Royce and Greek philosophy. When sustained attention has been given to this relationship, the focus has been on connections between Plato and Royce.¹ It is undeniable, however, that Royce also engaged the thought of Aristotle throughout his philosophical career.² In fact, some of his earliest writings, from his undergraduate days at the University of California at Berkeley, attest to Royce’s interest in Aristotle. “The Aim of Poetry” (1875) and “The Life-Harmony” (1875) are short essays,...

      (pp. 89-131)
      Randall E. Auxier

      For Royce the problem of individuals took on pointed significance after his “Conception of God Debate” with George Holmes Howison and others in 1895.¹ Howison argued that Royce’s absolutism left inadequate metaphysical space for genuine individuals, and Howison, as a radical pluralist, would have sooner given up on the unity of God than to sacrifice even a smidgen of individuality. Obviously the connection between metaphysical and logical individuality has generally been thought to be a strong relation, and for some philosophers it has been the ground of the concept of identity; namely, there can be no difference between logical and...

    • SEVEN RACE, CULTURE, AND PLURALISM: Royce’s Logical “Primitives”
      (pp. 132-148)
      Scott L. Pratt

      InThe Wretched of the Earth, Frantz Fanon describes the state of oppression in a colonized land as one “obedient to the rules of pure Aristotelian logic.” Here the natives—the original people of the land—and the settlers—the colonizers who now control the land—“follow the principle of reciprocal exclusivity. No conciliation is possible” because the exclusion affirms the settlers and rejects the natives (Fanon,Wretched, 38–39). “At times,” he says, “this Manichaeism goes to its logical conclusion and dehumanizes the native, or to speak plainly, it turns him into an animal” (42). In this land, “The...

  5. Part II. Practical Extensions
    • EIGHT INDIVIDUALS AIN’T ONES: Who We Are in Royce’s World
      (pp. 151-161)
      Douglas R. Anderson

      I use the colloquial expression in the title to bring to mind a story Josiah Royce occasionally told to his students. In the story, two brothers are riding a train and the younger points skyward and asks, “What’s out beyond the sky?” The older brother answers that there “ain’t nothin’ out there.” After puzzling for a moment, the younger one asks, “What is it that ain’t?” One aim of the story is to show the democracy and ubiquity of metaphysical wonder—it’s a natural and ordinary human phenomenon. This theme is appropriate to my present task inasmuch as I believe...

    • NINE RACISM, RACE, AND JOSIAH ROYCE: Exactly What Shall We Say?
      (pp. 162-189)
      Jacquelyn Ann K. Kegley

      Josiah Royce, like other American philosophers of the first decade of the twentieth century, stressed the importance of philosophy for human affairs.¹ Royce argued ethics grounded all philosophy² and, like William James and John Dewey, he believed that one of philosophy’s tasks was to clarify social issues and to facilitate formulation of effective solutions to personal and social problems. One of the critical problems of his time was racial conflict, a problem that continues to be critical in our time. In 1908, Royce published a book calledRace Questions, Provincialism and Other American Problems,³ which contains among its essays one...

    • TEN ENLIGHTENED PROVINCIALISM, OPEN-ENDED COMMUNITIES, AND LOYALTY-LOVING INDIVIDUALS: Royce’s Progressive Prescription for Democratic Cultural Transformation
      (pp. 190-202)
      Judith M. Green

      An important aspect of the relevance of Royce’s philosophical vision for the twenty-first century grows from the great potential of his three-part progressive prescription for democratic cultural transformation—enlightened provincialism, open-ended communities, and loyalty-loving individuals—if all three parts are developed together and interactively. This will not be easy: Many forces and habits within American society and other nations and cultures to which we are closely linked by economy, communications media, productive and transportive technologies, and ways of living have profoundly antidemocratic implications.¹ Nonetheless, with some critical modifications to reflect subsequent social and technological developments, Royce’s three-part prescription is both...

      (pp. 203-212)
      Richard P. Mullin

      The specter of centrifugal forces, which threaten to tear our country apart, has haunted us throughout our history. Josiah Royce stands out as one of our most perceptive critics and the creator of a philosophy that could heal the dangerous tendency toward fragmentation and disintegration. Royce’s work lies before us as a national treasure, but mostly a buried treasure. His situation reminds one of a remark that novelist Walker Percy made about Charles Sanders Peirce: “Most people have never heard of him, but they will.”¹ Josiah Royce’s Philosophy of Loyalty remains little known outside of specialized American philosophy, and even...

      (pp. 213-226)
      Frank M. Oppenheim

      Warm-up pitches can help us start.¹ I write in this paper as a philosopher of religion examining statements Royce made about intrafaith relationships. I use the term “intrafaith” to indicate the interpersonal relations between members of the world religions—Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, etc.² Then, too, in 1912 what Royce didnotknow about “the historical Jesus” contrasts sharply with today’s far more nuanced and subtle treatment of that topic. In addition, Royce used the term “Christian” in two senses, each determinable from its context. Sometimes he spoke of “Christian” in the narrow sense of a person baptized with...

    • THIRTEEN NECESSARY ERROR: Josiah Royce, Communities of Interpretation, and Feminist Epistemology
      (pp. 227-245)
      Kara Barnette

      Throughout his works, Josiah Royce maintains that error is a crucially important philosophical issue. The existence of error provides us with proof that there is a reality outside of ourselves and establishes the need for us to come together to engage in communal inquiry. Error is also inevitable. As long as we remain finite, we will always err. However, when we come together and strive for a better understanding of the world around us with loyalty to inquiry and loyalty to loyalty itself we can often recognize error and do our best to eradicate it. In this paper, I argue...

      (pp. 246-264)
      Mary B. Mahowald

      As a philosophy graduate student in the 1960s, I was struck by the statement of Royce that his entire philosophy was encapsulated in his conception of community. Initially, my interest was sparked by the fact that I lived in a small community, and the term, as I understood it, identified an appealing ideal of how human beings in general might live or aspire to live together. I also thought, perhaps naively, that this ideal could be practically implemented, at least in part. So I wrote my dissertation on Royce, tracking how a pragmatic element intertwined with idealism in the development...

  6. Notes
    (pp. 265-302)
  7. References
    (pp. 303-314)
  8. Contributors
    (pp. 315-320)
  9. Index
    (pp. 321-328)
  10. Back Matter
    (pp. 329-330)