Royce, Josiah (1855–1916)
Philosopher and a founding member of the American Society
for Psychical Research. He was born on November 20,
1855, at Grass Valley, California. He studied at University of
California (B.A., 1875) and later did graduate work at Johns
Hopkins University (Ph.D., 1878) and in Germany at the universities
of Leipzig and Göttingen. In 1880 he married Katharine
After his return from Germany he became an instructor in
English literature and logic at the University of California.
Then in 1882 he joined the Harvard faculty where in 1914 he
was named Alford Professor of Religion, Moral Philosophy,
and Civil Polity. He authored a number of books and professional
As a prominent modern American philosopher, Royce investigated
the problem of the individual self as part of the
world mind. In part due to his friendship with William James,
he became a founding member of the ASPR in 1884 and served
as chairman and vice president of the Committee on Apparitions
and Haunting Houses. The committee’s name was
changed later to Committee on Phantasms and Presentiments;
it classified cases sent in from individuals all over the United
States and published his report in the first volume of the Proceedings
of the ASPR. Royce died September 14, 1916, at Cambridge,
Royce, Josiah. ‘‘Report of the Committee on Phantasm and
Presentiments.’’ Proceedings of the American Society for Psychical
Research 1, 3 (December 1877); 1, 4 (March 1889).
———. William James and Other Essays on the Philosophy of Life.
N.p., 1911. Reprint, Freeport, N.Y. Books for Libraries Press,