Josiah Royce: A Neglected Figure and a Valuable Resource in Mining the Pragmatism/Phenomenology Interactions for Current Philosophical Inquiry
European Journal of Pragmatism and American Philosophy 14 (2) (2022)
AbstractIn asking to what extent the interaction between pragmatism and phenomenology offers a valuable resource for re-imaging the limits and potentialities of philosophical inquiry, one needs to acknowledge, first, that pragmatist philosophers, beginning with Josiah Royce, actively contributed to the re-elaboration of the issues and strategies of phenomenology in the American context. Secondly, it will be argued that the philosophies of the classical pragmatists, Peirce, Royce, James, and Dewey, contain important resources for creating a new understanding of the human self and of the role of philosophy. We will discuss contributing elements from each of the Classical Pragmatists but focus on the neglected contributions of Josiah Royce. We argue that Royce posits important theses that are valuable to our inquiry: his view of self as “expressive,” i.e. through facial and bodily gestures, through cooperative activities such as art, language, custom, religion, understood via a study of the “expressive signs of mental life”; his idea of science as a thoroughly human enterprise; his belief that habits are common to both physical and mental phenomena; his views on knowledge of other minds and how two minds can know the same thing; and his belief in the social grounding of physical knowledge.
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