Loyalty to Loyalty: Josiah Royce and the Genuine Moral Life

By Mathew A. Foust | Go to book overview

INTRODUCTION
The Treachery and Ambivalence of Loyalty

John J. McDermott opens his introduction to Josiah Royce’s The Philosophy of Loyalty with the question “Is there a more treacherous and ambivalent virtue than that of loyalty?”1 The question is rhetorical, however, for it is at once a confrontation and a declaration. There is, for McDermott, no more treacherous and ambivalent virtue than that of loyalty. Whether or not we find ourselves in agreement with McDermott, undoubtedly our tendency is to bristle at the suggestion of treachery and to be unnerved by the presence of ambivalence. Thus, we hardly need further provocation to consider the eight lectures of Royce’s that follow McDermott’s introduction, centered as they are on this apparently beleaguered virtue—a virtue that we tend to value if not, indeed, to cherish.

Should we wish to assess McDermott’s description of loyalty, however, we must ask ourselves at least two questions: Is loyalty, in fact, a virtue? Is loyalty, in fact, treacherous and ambivalent? Let us assume for the moment that loyalty is a virtue. In order to establish the treachery and ambivalence of loyalty, let us raise with McDermott another question

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Loyalty to Loyalty: Josiah Royce and the Genuine Moral Life
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page v
  • Contents ix
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • Introduction - The Treachery and Ambivalence of Loyalty 1
  • One - Loyalty, Justice, Virtue 10
  • Two - The Nature of Loyalty 26
  • Three - Loyalty to Loyalty 51
  • Four - Learning Loyalty 82
  • Five - Loyalty and Community 110
  • Six - Disloyalty 136
  • Seven - Loyalty, Disaster, Business- Contemporary Applications 157
  • Conclusion- The Need for Loyalty 169
  • Notes 173
  • Bibliography 203
  • Index 209
  • American Philosophy 213
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