Philosophy of Hope

In Steven C. Van den Heuvel (ed.), Historical and Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Hope. Springer. pp. 99-116 (2020)
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The philosophy of hope centers on two interlocking sets of questions. The first concerns the nature of hope. Specific questions here include how to analyze hope, how hope motivates us, and whether there is only one type of hope. The second set concerns the value of hope. Key questions here include whether and when it is good to hope and whether there is a virtue of hope. Philosophers of hope tend to proceed from the first set of questions to the second. This is a natural approach, for one might expect that you must develop a basic understanding of what hope is before you can determine its value. The structure of this chapter thus follows this approach. But readers should not be misled: there is in fact a good deal of feedback between the two sets of questions. A theory of hope is more plausible to the extent that it fits well with plausible ideas about the value of hope. So the movement from hope’s nature to its value is one of emphasis rather than a strict, step-wise process.

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Michael Milona
Toronto Metropolitan University


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