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The Basic Writings of Josiah Royce, Volume I

Culture, Philosophy, and Religion

John McDermott

Publication Year: 2005

Now back in print, and in paperback, these two classicvolumes illustrate the scope and quality of Royce'sthought, providing the most comprehensive selection ofhis 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.

Published by: Fordham University Press

Title Page

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pp. 3-8

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pp. ix-x

My concern for the thought of Josiah Royce dates from lectures given some fifteen years ago by Robert C. Pollock, then professor of philosophy at Fordham University. Robert Pollock was the only person who, in my experience, could make the full case for James and Royce. ...


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pp. xi-xiv

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Preface to the Fordham University Press Edition

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pp. xv-xvi

It is propitious and gratifying that Fordham University Press has decided to reissue these two volumes of The Basic Writings of Josiah Royce. When first published, in 1969, reviewers and commentators were taken with both the sweep and the depth of Royce's thought. ...

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pp. 1-2

Few travelers on the heavily used highway from Reno to Sacramento reflect on the names of the small towns as they are quickly passed, one blurring out the other. But one of these towns, Emigrant Gap, California, invites us to travel a bypass, rich with tall pines, clean air, and an invigorating breeze. ...

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pp. 3-18

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, ...


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pp. 19-20

Bibliographic Abbreviations

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pp. 21-22

Editor's Note on the Text

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pp. 23-28

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Part I: An Autobiographical Sketch

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pp. 29-30

The following piece by Royce is, indeed, a sketch. He was not given to public autobiographical statements, and resisted others' efforts to write his personal history. Until the publication of promised volumes on the biography of Royce and the letters of Royce, we are left with a very scanty knowledge of his life. ...

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1. Words of Professor Royceat the Walton Hotelat Philadelphia December 29, 1915

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pp. 31-40

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. ...

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Part II: The American Context

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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. ...

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2. The Struggle for Order: Self-Government, Good-Humor and Violence in the Mines

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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. ...

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3. An Episode of Early California Life: The Squatter Riot of 1850 in Sacramento

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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, ...

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4. The Settlers at Oakfield Creek

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pp. 159-180

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 whom she wanted him to know, and they were hard to get at. It was all the consequence of living in this lonesome place, she declared. ...

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5. The Pacific Coast: A Psychological Study of the Relations of Climate and Civilization

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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. ...

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6. William James and the Philosophy of Life

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pp. 205-224

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. ...

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Part III. The European Background

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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. ...

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7. Shelley and the Revolution

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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. ...

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8. Pessimism and Modern Thought

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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; ...

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9. The Rediscovery of the Inner Life: From Spinoza to Kant

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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, ...

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10. The Concept of the Absolute and the Dialectical Method

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pp. 299-318

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 ...

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Part IV. Religious Questions

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pp. 319-320

In one sense, a separate section devoted to "religious questions" could be misleading to readers of Royce, for the "religious" was a dominant and lasting concern throughout his life. We wish to emphasize, however, that Royce saw an inextricable relationship between the problem of error and the meaning of God. ...

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11. The Possibility of Error

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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. ...

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12. The Conception of God: Address by Professor Royce

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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 ...

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13. Immortality

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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? ...

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14. Monotheism

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pp. 403-420

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, ...

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Part V. The World and the Individual

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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 ...

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15. Self-Consciousness, Social Consciousness and Nature

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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. ...

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16. The Religious Problems and the Theory of Being

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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 ...

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17. The Internal and External Meaning of Ideas

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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. ...

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18. The Fourth Conception of Being

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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. ...

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19. The Linkage of Facts

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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. ...

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20. The Temporal and the Eternal

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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. ...

E-ISBN-13: 9780823247479
Print-ISBN-13: 9780823224838
Print-ISBN-10: 082322483X

Page Count: 656
Publication Year: 2005