A Perceptual Theory of Hope

Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 5 (2018)
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Abstract

This paper addresses the question of what the attitude of hope consists in. We argue that shortcomings in recent theories of hope have methodological roots in that they proceed with little regard for the rich body of literature on the emotions. Taking insights from work in the philosophy of emotions, we argue that hope involves a kind of normative perception. We then develop a strategy for determining the content of this perception, arguing that hope is a perception of practical reasons. Our proposal stands in contrast with familiar views on which hope is fundamentally about the good. We conclude by considering the increasingly popular idea that some hopes are non-intentional and thus, by implication, non-perceptual. We reply by arguing that our perceptual theory plausibly generalizes to these instances of hope.

Author Profiles

Michael Milona
Toronto Metropolitan University
Katie Stockdale
University of Victoria

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