by Josiah Royce

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An edited transcript of the great Harvard philosopher Josiah Royce's last year-long course in metaphysics, given at Harvard in 1915-1916. See more details below


An edited transcript of the great Harvard philosopher Josiah Royce's last year-long course in metaphysics, given at Harvard in 1915-1916.

Editorial Reviews

Royce's Philosophy 9 course of 1915-16 at Harvard, as stenographically recorded by one student and augmented with notes by another. It was the last time he gave the course, having died and so stopped teaching before it was scheduled again. Distinguishing the social from the logical approach to metaphysics, he discusses the social nature of knowledge and the theory of interpretation, Santayana's sharp distinction between essence and existence, the relational form of the ontological argument, mysticism, and other topics. Annotations, two supplemental essays, comments by the stenographer, and identifications of people Royce mentions support the collection. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
From the Publisher
“This book is an outstanding achievement that virtually enables readers today to sit in on Royce’s last yearlong course in metaphysics … the main value of this collection is to add to our understanding of Royce’s own philosophy in one of its most mature presentations. Hocking and Oppenheim have added an important work to the growing library of Classical American Philosophy.” — Peirce Project Newsletter

“Nowhere else did Royce have an opportunity to explain the relations between his two most ambitious works, The World and the Individual and The Problem of Christianity and to show how they complement each other, the former being the ‘logical’ approach to metaphysics and the latter the ‘social’ approach. In extended discussions aimed at showing the justice done to realism in his idealistic philosophy, Royce responds to the thought of George Santayana, Bertrand Russell, and R. B. Perry and shows in particular that Santayana’s sundering the connections between essence and existence leaves him with an incoherent position that cannot make room for the individual; that Russell’s defining the real in terms of truth makes an appeal to possible experience and this goes beyond present fact; and that Perry’s celebrated ‘ego-centric’ predicament is a superficial presentation of what idealism is supposed to mean and is easily resolved.

“This discussion is new and shows how circumspect Royce was in responding to the realists whom he had so much criticized. At the same time he was trying to show that his own idealism included the truth in realism, but goes beyond it in dealing with certain human questions—the interpretation of evil, the truth of mysticism—that are ignored by the largely naturalistic outlook of most realists.” — John E. Smith, Clark Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, Yale University

“This is of central importance to our understanding of the last decade in the extraordinary tradition of classical American philosophy. Quite simply, this book is vintage Royce and a mature presentation of his very important position in the history of philosophy.” — John J. McDermott, Texas A&M University

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State University of New York Press
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