Here are words from a letter to Henry Bugbee (an assistant professor of philosophy at Harvard hired to teach aesthetics in the early 1950s). It’s from C. I. Lewis, an imposing philosophical presence who spanned the decades in the Harvard department between Royce and James, on the one hand, and Quine and Putnam, on the other. He refused to retire when it was rumored that he might be replaced by Rudolph Carnap (the arch Vienna Circle and UCLA positivist). Lewis is responding here to Bugbee’s little-known and at this juncture unpublished essay, “The Moment of Obligation in Experience.”
My first and strongest impression is that it bespeaks and expresses that elevation of mind which has made philosophy philosophy in past ages, and the almost complete absence of which at present makes this period in philosophy contemptible. I was reminded of those sheets which Royce left on his desk at the last, and which in turn remind me of the spirit of the man I knew and his power to express, when he spoke and wrote at his best, something universal and noble.