Leibniz on Hope

In Sabrina Ebbersmeyer (ed.), Emotional Minds. De Gruyter. pp. 161 (2012)
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G. W. Leibniz famously proclaimed that this is the best of all possible worlds. One of the properties of the best world is its increasing perfection. He gave a prominent role in his discussion of emotions to hope which is related to intellectual activity such as curiosity and courage which again is essential for the practice of science and promoting the common good. Leibniz regarded hope as a process where minute perceptions in the mind, that is, unconscious promises or signs of a future pleasure of the mind or joy may accumulate to an expectation which we became aware of, the passion of hope. Related to a moral instinct of striving for joy and avoiding sorrow, hope motivates us to promote perfection which produces joy in us and eventually leads to happiness.

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Markku Roinila
University of Helsinki


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