SAAP Annual Meeting 2013

Papers Proceedings »

The Role of Love and Friendship in Royce’s Tragic View of Life

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Richard P. Mullin
Wheeling Jesuit University
United States


For Josiah Royce, The ultimate good cannot exist separately from the disharmonious evil of the finite world; for then, good would be incomplete. The highest good consists of a harmony that encounters and overcomes evil. For us, the ultimate good reveals itself in thought, aim, and aspiration, but not in fulfillment. We live in fear of missing the supreme purpose of life and in our striving we encounter frustration and loss. Therefore, life for us is tragic. Love and friendship serve to guide us to the ultimate good, which is the harmony of the universal Beloved Community. In our loving relations we experience a glimpse of what the Beloved Community means. Although our relations are limited and subject to the tendency of all finite things to fall apart, they teach us to live a life of loyalty to loyalty and to do our part to bring about the Beloved Community.


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