Loyalty and Community

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)

Loyalty and Community

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This chapter addresses the following problem: while one may concede Royce's view of loyalty as necessary for becoming a self, and indeed, a moral self, one may doubt that loyalty is required or even relevant in critiquing or overhauling the conditions under which one's being–moral or otherwise–is sustained. In the face of such exigencies as oppression or violence, the need of loyalty may be marginalized or removed altogether, if questioning the basis for the existence of one's community undermines one's loyal to that very community. It is argued that Royce is keenly aware of the burdened nature of the virtue of loyalty, as illustrated in his analyses of California gold mining communities and Christian community, and his distinction between wise and unwise provincialism. For Royce, while loyalty may exist without this burden, it is in the presence of burden that loyalty, and loyalty to loyalty, are most needed and thus most important. This aspect of Royce's thought is brought to bear on contemporary feminist scholarship on loyalty and community, suggesting the viability of a “loyal traitor,” who is at once disloyal and loyal to loyalty.

Keywords: California/California Gold Rush; Christianity; Community; Ethics; Feminism; Loyalty; Morality; Virtue/Virtue Ethics

Chapter.  10560 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy

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