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The Basic Writings of Josiah Royce, Volume ICulture, Philosophy, and Religion$
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John J. McDermott

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780823224838

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823224838.001.0001

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The Internal and External Meaning of Ideas

The Internal and External Meaning of Ideas

(p.491) 17 The Internal and External Meaning of Ideas
The Basic Writings of Josiah Royce, Volume I
John J. McDermott
Fordham University Press

This chapter, taken from Josiah Royce's Gifford Lectures of 1899, shows that “mere generality always means practical defect.” In a complex argument, it seeks to turn the tables on those who hold that absolute truth denies individuation. The fulfillment of our purpose and the realization of a determinate idea is achieved by wider access to other “cases” of our ideas. Should we have access to all the possible instances which could illustrate one present idea, our experience would be: first, the complete fulfillment of your internal meaning, the final satisfaction of the will embodied in the idea; but second, also, that absolute determination of the embodiment of your idea as this embodiment would then be present—that absolute determination of your purpose, which would constitute an individual realization of the idea.

Keywords:   ideas, generality, defect, truth, Josiah Royce

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