The Philosophy of Loyalty
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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