Loyalty and the art of wise living: The influence of Plato on the moral philosophy of Josiah Royce

Southern Journal of Philosophy 48 (4):353-370 (2010)
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This essay investigates Josiah Royce's sustained interest in the Platonic dialogues by focusing not only on Royce's explicit commentary on Socrates and Plato but also on significant philosophical connections between Royce and these figures. In section 1, we explain the nature of loyalty according to Royce and how Socratic loyalty exemplifies Royce's ideas in both evident and surprising ways. In section 2, we claim that Royce's treatment of “lost causes” (particularly truth as a lost cause) relates to Socrates' dedication to the logos; the Platonic dialogues are reinvestigated in order to make this point. In section 3, we explain the nature of “cause” both in Royce's thought and in the Platonic dialogues in order to see how loyalty to a cause culminates in the art of wise living—Socrates' philosophical practice



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Author Profiles

Melissa Shew
Marquette University
Mathew A. Foust
Appalachian State University

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