The Nature of Loyalty

Mathew A. Foust

in Loyalty to Loyalty

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780823242696
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780823242733 | DOI:

Series: American Philosophy (FUP)

The Nature of Loyalty

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With a close examination of Royce's treatment of the concept, as well as an etymological and historical study of the term, this chapter clarifies what, precisely, loyalty is. “Loyalty” is thus distinguished from “devotion,” “faithfulness,” “fidelity,” and other related terms. Attention is paid to the “chance and misleading associations” of the term which Royce wishes to avoid, most notably those connecting loyalty with war. Moreover, the chapter establishes what is essential to the term, in Royce's estimation, as he develops and deploys the concept in The Philosophy of Loyalty. While Royce's definition of loyalty is often quoted as “the willing and practical and thoroughgoing devotion of a person to a cause,” it is noted that Royce stipulates that this is a preliminary definition. Each of the terms of this preliminary definition is analyzed, as well as its relationship to Royce's completed definition, “the Will to Believe in something eternal, and to express that belief in the practical life of a human being.”

Keywords: Civil War; Ethics; Loyalty; Loyalty Oaths; Morality; Spanish-American War; War

Chapter.  10491 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy

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