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The Basic Writings of Josiah Royce, Volume IILogic, Loyalty, and Community$
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John J. McDermott

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780823224845

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823224845.001.0001

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On Certain Limitations of the Thoughtful Public in America

On Certain Limitations of the Thoughtful Public in America

(p.1111) 34 On Certain Limitations of the Thoughtful Public in America
The Basic Writings of Josiah Royce, Volume II
John J. McDermott
Fordham University Press

This chapter looks at the thoughtful public in America. The term “contemporary American idealist” refers to a man or woman who is consciously and predominantly guided, in the purposes and in the great choices of life, by large ideals, such as admit of no merely material embodiment, and such as contemplate no merely private and personal satisfaction as their goal. Idealism has expressed itself in the rich differentiation of national religious life. Moreover, idealism has founded America's colleges and universities. Indeed, ever since the close of the Civil War, numerous forces have been at work to render America as a nation more thoughtful, more aspiring, and more in love with the immaterial things of the spirit, and that too even at the very moment when Americans' material prosperity has given them much opportunity to be what the mistaken foreign critics often suppose them to be—a people really sunk in practical materialism.

Keywords:   thoughtful public, America, American idealist, ideals, idealism, material prosperity, practical materialism

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