Josiah Royce was the leading idealistic philosopher in the United States during the period of the development of American pragmatism. Born in Grass Valley, California, he was educated in San Francisco and at the University of California. After his graduation in 1873, he studied in Germany for a year at Heidelberg, Leipzig, and Gottingen. He then returned to the United States and took a doctorate at Johns Hopkins University. He taught English composition at the University of California and in 1882 was invited to Harvard University to "fill in" for William James (see also Vols. 3 and 5). He was appointed to an assistant professorship at Harvard in 1885 and remained there for the rest of his career. Influenced by Hegel (see also Vol. 3), Royce developed his own philosophy of absolute or objective idealism, in which it is necessary to assume that there is an "absolute experience to which all facts are known and for which all facts are subject to universal law." He published his major works from 1885 onward, including his Gifford Lectures, The World and the Individual (1900--01). Along with James, Royce had a great influence on the advanced students who were to become the next generation of American philosophers.
John K. Roth is the Russell K. Pitzer Professor of Philosophy at Claremont McKenna College, where he has taught since 1966. He has written, coauthored, or edited more than twenty-five books, including, most recently, "Ethics after the Holocaust" & major contributions to "The Holocaust Chronicle".