The Focus Theory of Hope

Philosophical Quarterly 73 (1):44-63 (2023)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Most elpistologists now agree that hope for a specific outcome involves more than just desire plus the presupposition that the outcome is possible. This paper argues that the additional element of hope is a disposition to focus on the desired outcome in a certain way. I first survey the debate about the nature of hope in the recent literature, offer objections to some important competing accounts, and describe and defend the view that hope involves a kind of focus or attention. I then suggest that this account makes sense of the intuitive thought that there are moral and pragmatic norms on hope that go beyond the norms on desires and modal presuppositions. I conclude by considering some key questions.

Author's Profile

Andrew Chignell
Princeton University


Added to PP

862 (#18,010)

6 months
255 (#10,208)

Historical graph of downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.
How can I increase my downloads?