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Philosopher; a founding member, American Society for Psychical Research. B. November 20, 1855, Grass Valley, California; d. September 14, 1916, Cambridge, Massachusetts. B.A., 1875, University of California; Ph.D., 1878, John Hopkins University; studied at the universities of Leipzig and Göttingen. M. 1880, Katharine Head. Dr. Royce began his long teaching career in 1878 at the University of California as an instructor in English literature and logic. In 1882 he joined the Harvard faculty as an instructor in philosophy, became an assistant professor in 1892, and in 1914 became Alford Professor of Religion, Moral Philosophy and Civil Polity, the chair he held at this death.

Considering among philosophers as the foremost American idealist, Royce held that the finite self is part of the world mind, through which it knows truth beyond itself. His books included The Spirit of Modern Philosophy (1892), The Conception of Immortality (1900), The World and the Individual (1900), The Philosophy of Loyalty (1908), William James and Other Essays on the Philosophy of Life (1911); The Problem of Christianity (1913). Holder of honorary degrees from the universities Aberdeen, St. Andrews, Yale, Harvard and Oxford, he was a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and member of the National Academy of Science, the National Institute of Arts and Letters, the American Philosophical Society, and the American Psychology Assn.

Dr. Royce was a founding member (1884) of the ASPR, served as chairman of its Committee on Apparitioins and Haunted Houses, and became its vice president in 1889. The committee he headed - whose name was later changed at his suggestion to the Committee on Phantasms and Presentiments - studied and made an attempt to document cases submitted to it from persons all over the United States. Its lengthy and painstaking reports, written by Dr. Royce, appear in the Proceedings of the ASPR (Vol. 1, No. 3, Dec. 1887; Vol. 1, No. 4, Mar. 1889). Dr. Royce described the cases presented as "documents illustrating the psychology of the American people" and as "expressions of genuine experience...the fresh, live product of real mental processes and not the manufactured tales of popular legend."

Taken from Helene Pleasants (1964) Biographical Dictionary of Parapsychology with Directory and Glossary 1946-1996 NY: Garrett Publications



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