This book contends that Josiah Royce bequeathed to philosophy a novel idealism based on an ethico-religious insight. This insight became the basis for an idealistic personalism, wherein the Real is the personal and a metaphysics of community is the most appropriate approach to metaphysics for personal beings, especially in an often impersonal and technological intellectual climate.
The first part of the book traces how Royce constructed his idealistic personalism in response to criticisms made by George Holmes Howison. That personalism is interpreted as an ethical and panentheistic one, somewhat akin to Charles Hartshorne's process philosophy. The second part investigates Royce's idealistic metaphysics in general and his ethico-religious insight in particular. In the course of these investigations, the author examines how Royce's ethico-religious insight could be strengthened by incorporating the philosophical theology of Dr. Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., and Emmanuel Levinas's ethical metaphysics. The author concludes by briefly exploring the possibility that Royce's progressive racial anti-essentialism is, in fact, a form of cultural, antiblack racism and asks whether his cultural, antiblack racism taints his ethico-religious insight.
About the Author
Dwayne Tunstall is assistant professor of philosophy and African and African American studies at Grand Valley State University. He is the author of Yes, But Not Quite: Encountering Josiah Royce’s Ethico- Religious Insight (Fordham University Press, 2009) and Doing Philosophy Personally: Thinking about Metaphysics, Theism, and Antiblack Racism (Fordham University Press, 2012). He is also the author of more than ten articles and book chapters on a variety of topics, including aesthetics, Africana philosophy, pragmatism, religious ethics, and social and political philosophy. His research explores how Africana philosophy, existential phenomenology, moral philosophy, religious ethics, and classical American philosophy can complement one another when one is thinking about issues of moral agency, personal identity, race, and the legacy of Western modernity. He is currently president of the Josiah Royce Society.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Encountering Josiah Royce's Ethico-Religious Insight
Part I . Josiah Royce's Personalism
1. The 'Conception of God' Debate: Setting the Stage for Royce's Personalism
2. Haunted by Howison's Criticism: The Birth of Royce's Late Philosophy
3. Royce's Late Philosophy
4. Royce's Personalism
Part II. Extending Royce's Ethico-Religious Insight: Royce on the Beloved Community, Agape , and Human
5. Royce's Ethico-Religious Insight: A Hypothetical Postulate?
6. King's Beloved Community, Royce's Metaphysics
7. Coupling Royce's Temporalism with Levinasian Insights