Yes, But Not Quite
Encountering Josiah Royce's Ethico-Religious Insight
Publication Year: 2009
Published by: Fordham University Press
Title, Copyright, Dedication
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This book began its life as my master’s thesis at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, entitled ‘‘Josiah Royce’s Personalism.’’ To appreciate how all the diverse threads of philosophic argumentation in this book hang together, one must see how I initially conceived of the topic that became my master’s thesis. I first...
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If I had followed the conventions of academic philosophy, this book would not exist.Who would advise a second-year graduate student to revise and expand his master’s thesis and submit it to a university press? My thesis committee—Randall E. Auxier, Kenneth W. Stikkers, and Stephen Tyman—did just that. I thank...
Introduction: Encountering Josiah Royce’s Ethico-Religious Insight
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While this book neither mentions nor examines Josiah Royce’s philosophy of literature and literary criticism, I begin this introduction with an epigram that characterizes Royce’s general philosophical temperament. Royce is a poet-philosopher in the sense of being a philosopher who carefully hones...
Part I . Josiah Royce’s Personalism
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1. The ‘‘Conception of God’’ Debate: Setting the Stage for Royce’s Personalism
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This book advances a thesis that is contrary to the majority opinion in Royce scholarship: I hold that Royce’s late metaphysics of community1 is not an extension of Royce’s epistemological and logical concerns but rather an articulation of a living ethico-religious insight, an insight that serves as the animating force behind his entire philosophy.2 Even Royce’s earliest philosophical...
2. Haunted by Howison’s Criticism: The Birth of Royce’s Late Philosophy
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How did this prolonged debate with Howison motivate Royce to drift away from his earlier apparent absolute idealism? W. H. Werkmeister contends that the 1895 Union debate...
3. Royce’s Late Philosophy
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We are now in a position to see how Royce’s later philosophy addresses Howison’s 1895 criticism of his idealistic metaphysics. Since I will analyze just those elements of Royce’s later writings that seem to address Howison’s criticism directly, I will leave aside, for example, such significant Roycean concepts as atonement, redemption, and reconciliation...
4. Royce’s Personalism
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Is Josiah Royce’s personalism compatible with the Boston personalist tradition? We already know that Royce is unquestionably a personalist because he accepts the central descriptive hypotheses of personalism. These are, according to The Personalist Forum, formerly the official organ of contemporary American personalism: (1) ‘‘it is the personal dimension of our being...
Part II. Extending Royce’s Ethico- Religious Insight: Royce on the Beloved Community, Agape, and Human Temporality
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5. Royce’s Ethico-Religious Insight: A Hypothetical Postulate?
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Until now I have dealt with Royce’s ethico-religious insight as he articulated it from his 1895 ‘‘Conception of God’’ essay through his 1915–16 Extension Course on Ethics. I have presumed that Royce’s philosophic propositions described features of our reality in an unproblematic way. Given Royce’s argumentation and his ethicoreligious insight, I contended that he...
6. King’s Beloved Community, Royce’s Metaphysics
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The philosophy of Martin Luther King, Jr., can be characterized as a confluence of several amiable theological and philosophical perspectives. Charles R. Johnson, for example, characterizes it as being a ‘‘complex yet ethically coherent philosophy’’—a mixture of Walter Rauschenbusch’s social gospel, Boston personalism, and Mohandas Gandhi’s love-ethic and method...
7. Coupling Royce’s Temporalism with Levinasian Insights
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In this chapter I will address a serious problem with Royce’s ethics and how that problem causes his ethics to be an inadequate mode of expressing his ethico-religious insight. The serious problem with Royce’s ethics is that it neglects the origins of ethical experience. Instead, he conceives of ethics as the rational inquiry...
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Let me end this book where I began it. In the Introduction, I announced that this book is an apparent hodgepodge of philosophical topics, methods of argumentation, and exegesis. Then, I offered a concise paragraph describing how the chapters of this book hang together as a single philosophical work. Nonetheless, I did not tell the reader what precisely unifies my inquiries...
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American Philosophy Series
Page Count: 192
Publication Year: 2009