JOSIAH ROYCE: An Intellectual Biography by Bruce Kuklick

JOSIAH ROYCE: An Intellectual Biography

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A reconstruction of the progression of Royce's philosophical thought, deliberately eschewing cheap ""relevance"" while offering some provocative interpretations. Kuklick sees Royce as neither an American Hegelian nor an old-fashioned idealist sport, but as a neo-Kantian as well as a pragmatist: the book's chief general contribution is to point up the intimate historical and philosophical interrelations between idealism and pragmatism, Royce's work in, and concern for, logic and the foundations of mathematics are emphasized and, though with no particular efflorescence, his social thought is detailed. In discussing such subjects as social consciousness and the self, Kuklick avoids Hegelian link-ups; one can make a good argument that Royce, despite his textbook designation, was not much of a Hegelian at all, but Kuklick declines to argue the point. Instead he simply asserts that Kant, not the post-Kantians, governed Royce's work, leaving it to the reader to recall that all ""post-"" and ""neo-"" Kantians, including Hegel and Royce himself, were grappling with Kant's questions and problems. The book's precis are valuable at a time when few have actually read Royce, and the wider question of American pragmatism's affinities with European philosophies is sufficiently well posed to make the book of interest to students as well as specialists.

Pub Date: May 1st, 1972
Publisher: Bobbs-Merrill