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Professor Royce's Lecture.

Idealism as a Tendency in Philosophy.


Professor Royee has furnished the following sketch of the main argument of the lecture, not as a statement complete in itself, but as a memorandum for those who heard the discussion:

The concluding lectures of this course have as their task to state the lecturer's personal views concerning the problems of Philosophy. Yet such personal views are worthless unless they keep close to history. The doctrine here to be expounded must be the summing up of the lesson of the foregoing history; and must, therefore, be essentially unoriginal.

The principal problem of the history of Modern Philosophy has been the reconciliation of the idealistic insight with the demanda of the rigid uter order of nature; to such a reconciltation the concluding assay must therefore devote itself. In the present discussion the chief reasons for idealism are summarized in an independent way, but with a deliberate ignoring of that aspect of truth upon which empitical science generally ways stres; and to which attention will be devoted in the next two lectures, idealism as thus stated must appear abstract and even fantastic. But distiuction of one aspect of the truth from another will aid unimately in the task of harmonizing these aspecis themselves.

The argument for Idealism, as thus treated, has three stages. In the first is expounded what one may call the view of Anaryncal Idealism, such as forms the basis of Berkeley's theory. This Analtical Idealism is a relatively elementary doctrine, which is stated by thinkers who are other wise of very different schools. Berkeley, Fichte, John Stuart Mill, and Professor Huxley may be cited as all of them, at least thus far, idealists. The essence of this Analytic Idealism consists so far merely in pointing out that every truth must be recognized by us in terms of our own ideas, so that our world must appear to be "such stuff as Ideas are made of." The value of this elementary form of idealism appeared, however, in the second part of the discussion, when it was pointed out that one who still holds to the reality of a world external, not only to our own ideas, but to the ideas of any mind. must needs declare this wholly unideal world of his faith to be, as Herbert Spencer says, utterly Unknowable. In view of this fact, our argument at this point reaches an Alternative that is to be strennously insisted upon, namely: Either the world must be interpreted in idealistic terms, or else it must be regarded as Unknowable. This second division of the argument closed by endeavoring to show that the conception of the Unknowable is essentially absurd; so that the idealistic alternative alone remains.

In the third and final division of the discussion, a new consideration appears, which takes us beyond the Analy ical Idealism, so far insisted upon, and leads us to a second form. or to what may be called Constructive Idealism. The considerations upon which this final form of the doctrine rests are essentially those which we owe to Kant's Transcendental Deduction of the Categories.

The question arises, whether, after all, the whole foregoing analysis of Reality and Truth can defend itself against an ultinate skepicism, which should question how any conscious being can in any wise escape from his in her life as such, and know any truth, real or ideal beyond his private consciousness. The essentially Kantian answer is suggessel, that in fact no self really escapes or even means to escape from the world of its own true selfconsciousness, in the act of knowing truth; but that. never the less, the world of the Self is not the world of the private and momentary, but of the true and therefore Complete Self. This Self, it was suggested in conclusion, must be conceived not merely as Kant's essentially finite transcen lental self was defined, but as in truth an infinite Self or Logos. The relation of this view to the conception of physical nature is to be considered in the next discussion.

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