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Extra info for Alain L. Locke: The Biography of a Philosopher
The exam question also strongly implies that it is the philosophy of individualism that will give the issues their purchase. ” In one of his final exams, he writes out an argument that seeks to overcome the fact/value split by positing a “higher” unity that is a version of an ideal form. Eventually Locke would become dissatisfied with this approach, preferring instead the pluralism of James and yet later that of Dewey to the idealism of Santayana and Royce. 10 Some of the seeds of Jamesian pragmatism can be detected in an answer Locke wrote for his mid-year exam in Royce’s Philosophy 9, just about one year later than the Philosophy 4 exam: Experience .
Du Bois (who was the first African American to Harvard 29 earn a doctorate at Harvard), and it was his formulation of the notion of the “talented tenth” that articulated the experience of both Greener and Locke. This phrase, and its many expectations, worked its way into Locke’s conscious and unconscious images of himself, not only as a gifted student but as a would-be leader of his race. Greener went on to become a member of the bar and a diplomat and thereby one of the representative educated African Americans of his day.
In the opening decade of the twentieth century the college could be seen as one of the birthplaces of modern culture, considering the influence of figures such as Oliver Wendell Holmes, William James, George Santayana, and T. S. Eliot. For Locke to make his mark in such sterling company he would have to transform his outlook, but it was a task he set himself without flinching. His letters home are almost completely free of anxiety; indeed, he seems to the manor born in the way he was able to take full advantage of the literary and cultural life that the college abundantly supplied.