Skip to main content

The Hocking Collection

William Ernest Hocking

William Ernest Hocking (August 10, 1873, Cleveland, Ohio– June 12, 1966 Madison, New Hampshire) was an American idealist philosopher at Harvard University. He continued the work of his philosophical teacher Josiah Royce in revising idealism to integrate and fit into empiricism, naturalism and pragmatism. He said that metaphysics has to make induction from experience: "That which does not work is not true." His major field of study was the philosophy of religion, but his 22 books included discussions of philosophy and human rights, world politics, freedom of the press, the philosophical psychology of human nature; education; and more. In 1958 he served as president of the Metaphysical Society of America.