The popular mind is deep and means a thousand times more than it knows.
It is fitting that the Royal Institute of Philosophy series on American philosophy include a session on the thought of Josiah Royce, for his most formidable philosophical work, The World and the Individual, was a result of his Gifford lectures in the not too distant city of Aberdeen in 1899 and 1900. The invitation to offer the Gifford lectures was somewhat happenstance, for it was extended originally to William James, who pleaded, as he often did in his convenient neurasthenic way, to postpone for a year on behalf of his unsettled nerves. James repaired himself to the Swiss home of Theodore Flournoy, with its treasure of books in religion and psychology, so as to write his Gifford lectures, now famous as The Varieties of Religious Experience. In so doing, however, James was able to solicit an invitation for Royce to occupy the year of his postponement. Royce accepted with alacrity, although this generosity of James displeased his wife Alice, who ranted, ‘Royce!! He will not refuse, but over he will go with his Infinite under his arm, and he will not even do honour to William's recommendation.’ Alice was partially correct in that Royce, indeed, did carry the Infinite across the ocean to the home of his intellectual forebears, although on that occasion as on many others, he acknowledged the support of his personal and philosophical mentor, colleague and friend, William James.