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The Relevance of Royce

Kelly A. Parker is Professor of Philosophy, Environmental Studies, & Liberal Studies at Grand Valley State University.

Publication Year: 2014

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.

Published by: Fordham University Press

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. i-vi


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pp. vii-x

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pp. 1-12

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 ...

Part One Historical Explorations

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One Josiah Royce: Alive and Well

John J. McDermott

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pp. 15-22

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....

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Two A Report on the Recent “Dig” into Royce’s MSS in the Harvard Archives

Frank M. Oppenheim, S.J., Dawn Aberg, and John J. Kaag

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pp. 23-33

T he “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 a Comprehensive Index1 of these writings, which ...

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Three Goodbye, Idealist Consensus; Hello, New Realism!

Dwayne Tunstall

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pp. 34-46

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...

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Four On Four Originators of Transatlantic Phenomenology: Josiah Royce, Edmund Husserl, William Hocking, Winthrop Bell

Jason Bell

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pp. 47-68

The forthcoming first publication in Husserliana-Dokumente of 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...

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Five Loyalty, Friendship, and Truth

Mathew A. Foust and Melissa Shew

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pp. 69-88

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...

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Six Complex Negation, Necessity, and Logical Magic

Randall E. Auxier

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pp. 89-131

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...

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Seven Race, Culture, and Pluralism

Scott L. Pratt

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pp. 132-148

In The 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...

Part Two Practical Extensions

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Eight Individuals Ain’t Ones

Douglas R. Anderson

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pp. 151-161

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...

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Nine Racism, Race, and Josiah Royce

Jacquelyn Ann K. Kegley

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pp. 162-189

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...

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Ten Enlightened Provincialism, Open-Ended Communities, and Loyalty-Loving Individuals

Judith M. Green

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pp. 190-202

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-...

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Eleven Josiah Royce and the Redemption of American Individualism

Richard P. Mullin

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pp. 203-212

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...

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Twelve Royce’s Relevance for Intrafaith Dialogue

Frank M. Oppenheim, S.J.

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pp. 213-226

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, ...

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Thirteen Necessary Error

Kara Barnette

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pp. 227-245

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...

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Fourteen Communities in Pursuit of Community

Mary B. Mahowald

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pp. 246-264

A s 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,...


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pp. 265-302


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pp. 303-314


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pp. 315-320


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pp. 321-328

American Philosophy

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pp. 329-330

E-ISBN-13: 9780823255313
Print-ISBN-13: 9780823255283

Page Count: 304
Illustrations: 1 b/w
Publication Year: 2014

Edition: Cloth