born Nov. 20, 1855, Grass Valley, Calif., U.S.
died Sept. 14, 1916, Cambridge, Mass.
He studied under William James and Charles Sanders Peirce at Johns Hopkins University. After teaching English at the University of California for four years, he accepted a position at Harvard University (1882), where he remained until his death. An absolute idealist in the Hegelian tradition, he stressed the unity of human thought with the external world. His idealism also extended to religion, the basis of which he conceived to be human loyalty. In his words, the highest good would be achieved by "the willing and practical and thoroughgoing devotion of a person to a cause." A diverse thinker, he also made contributions to psychology, social ethics, literary criticism, history, and metaphysics. His many books include The Religious Aspect of Philosophy (1885), The Spirit of Modern Philosophy (1892), Studies of Good and Evil (1898), The World and the Individual (1900–01), and The Philosophy of Loyalty (1908). His emphasis on individuality and will over intellect strongly influenced 20th-century American philosophy.