An American Thinker on the Wa

Josiah Royce

in Race Questions, Provincialism, and Other American Problems

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print September 2009 | ISBN: 9780823231324
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823235568 | DOI:

Series: American Philosophy

An American Thinker on the Wa

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This chapter, a brief letter written in 1915 after the sinking of the Lusitania, presents Royce's first response to the war and to his loss of faith in Germany. For Royce, the role of a philosopher in the division of loyal labor was to encourage reflection and to give people an opportunity to make up their own minds on key issues. The chapter holds that when an alternative becomes disloyal to loyalty, it becomes an enemy of mankind and neutrality is not an option. The blow to Royce's faith in German culture must have been severe, but his reaction reinforced the “philosophy about life” he still actively developed. His commitment as a philosopher remained to making things clear and directing people toward reflection precisely by rejecting the model offered by Germany's imperial designs. Royce concludes his letter with an illustration of the imperatives of “loyalty to loyalty”.

Keywords: Lusitania; war; Germany; loyal labor; disloyalty; neutrality; imperial designs

Chapter.  2070 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy

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