The Philosophy of Loyalty

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Vanderbilt University Press, 1995 - Philosophy - 196 pages
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Josiah Royce (1855-1916), one of the outstanding classical American philosophers, is regarded by many as the foremost American idealist. A transitional book in the development of Royce's thought, The Philosophy of Loyalty is a key to understanding his influence on the development of pragmatism. Royce's basic argument is clear. Individual wills are a given, and social training is a natural aspect of community. But the two are not fully compatible, and conflicts naturally emerge. Loyalty to a cause unites many individuals into a community, but fanatical loyalty to causes often has inimical results. Long out of print and never before available in paperback, The Philosophy of Loyalty has many beneficial implications for understanding contemporary social passions and outlooks, especially for our own fragmented American culture. As Royce himself asserted nearly ninety years ago, in the preface of this book, "I am writing...not merely and not mainly for philosophers, but for all those who love...ideals, and also for those who love...their country - a country so ripe at present for idealism, and so confused, nevertheless, by the vastness and the complication of its social and political problems." Royce speaks to these continuing concerns in a voice that is perceptive, learned, and sensitive to the human situation, and he offers powerful conceptual tools for our own troubled times.

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Nature and Need of Loyalty
Loyalty to Loyalty
Some American Problems
Training for Loyalty
Loyalty Truth and Reality
Loyalty and Religion

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About the author (1995)

Josiah Royce was the leading idealistic philosopher in the United States during the period of the development of American pragmatism. Born in Grass Valley, California, he was educated in San Francisco and at the University of California. After his graduation in 1873, he studied in Germany for a year at Heidelberg, Leipzig, and Gottingen. He then returned to the United States and took a doctorate at Johns Hopkins University. He taught English composition at the University of California and in 1882 was invited to Harvard University to "fill in" for William James (see also Vols. 3 and 5). He was appointed to an assistant professorship at Harvard in 1885 and remained there for the rest of his career. Influenced by Hegel (see also Vol. 3), Royce developed his own philosophy of absolute or objective idealism, in which it is necessary to assume that there is an "absolute experience to which all facts are known and for which all facts are subject to universal law." He published his major works from 1885 onward, including his Gifford Lectures, The World and the Individual (1900--01). Along with James, Royce had a great influence on the advanced students who were to become the next generation of American philosophers.

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