California, Don’t Let Your Greatest Thinker Die

The Wisdom of 19th-Century Philosopher Josiah Royce Is Needed Now More Than Ever

If you’re a Californian who doesn’t know the name Josiah Royce, shame on you. And shame on the schools, libraries, and intellectuals who have allowed us to forget the greatest thinker the Golden State ever produced.

When he is remembered, Royce—born in 1855 in a Grass Valley mining camp, raised in San Francisco, and educated at UC Berkeley where he was one of the first graduates—is often described as a once-famous philosopher. But that doesn’t do justice to a man whose groundbreaking work ranged over ideas as big and wide as …