Josiah Royce

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Royce, Josiah


Born Nov. 20, 1855, in Grass Valley, Calif.; died Sept. 14, 1916, in Cambridge, Mass. American idealist philosopher.

In 1892, Royce became a professor of history and philosophy at Harvard University. He was strongly influenced by German classical idealism, chiefly the philosophy of I. Kant and G. Hegel, and by the English neo-Hegelian philosopher T. Green. Royce developed the concept of absolute voluntarism, according to which individual selves constitute in their totality a universal community that fulfills the will of the Absolute Self, drawing us into the “other” world of divine harmony. By joining in political, economic, and religious communities, individuals form a perfect order. Royce regarded American bourgeois society as the embodiment of the will of the Absolute and loyalty to the existing order as the supreme virtue.

Royce also wrote works on mathematical logic and the foundation of mathematics. His philosophy exerted an influence on American neopragmatism and personalism.


The Religious Aspect of Philosophy. Boston-New York, 1885.
The World and the Individual. New York-London, 1901.
The Hope of the Great Community. New York, 1916.
Lectures on Modern Idealism. New Haven, Conn., 1919.
Logical Essays. Dubuque, Iowa, 1951.


Iakovenko, B. “Filosofskaia sistema Zh. Roisa.” In the collection Novye idei v filosofii, collection 17. St. Petersburg, 1914.
Bogomolov, A. S. Burzhuaznaia filosofiia SShA XX veka. Moscow, 1974. Pages 24–35.
Buranelli, V. Josiah Royce. New York, 1964.
Fuss, P. The Moral Philosophy of Josiah Royce. Cambridge, Mass., 1965.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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