Broadly speaking, Royce's is a virtue ethic in which our loyalty to increasingly less immediate ideals becomes the formative moral influence in our personal development.
But in order to become such a person one has to endure a betrayal of one's own best purposes, what Royce calls "original sin.
This salvation must come in the form of guidance about understanding and achieving the highest aim of life so far as one is able. There Royce offered a new modal version of his proof for the reality of God based upon ignorance rather than error, based upon the fragmentariness of individual existence rather than its epistemological uncertainty.
Error is possible, according to Royce, only if there is an infinite being for which all intended objects could be realized. As a native Californian, a historian, and a social observer of the development of early California, Royce explored ways in which evil manifested itself in social relations among persons, in social bodies infected with racism, greed, and in a variety of harmful prejudices, in expressions of hate and in mob violence.
This Being whether conceived as Absolute Mind or the infinite Community of Interpretation also makes individual human life comprehensible.
He taught composition and literature at the University of California, Berkeley from — Groups of people often are unified in feeling, thought, and will by something that transcends any of the individuals present Royce , Peirce, in particular, pointedly criticized Royce's use of logic.
According to the correspondence theory of knowledge an idea or judgment is true if it correctly represents its object; error obtains when an idea does not correctly represent its object. One of the purposes we choose or will is that the cost of individuality should be less tragic, if we can make it so, that finitude should find redemption, and that we may grow into more personal beings.