From the concept of hope to the principle of hope

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4 Citations (Scopus)


The chapter begins by contrasting two approaches to the analysis of hope, one which takes its departure from a view broadly shared by Hobbes, Locke and Hume, another which fits better with Aquinas's definition of hope. The former relies heavily on a sharp distinction between the cognitive and conative aspects of hope. It is argued that while this approach provides a valuable source of insights, its focus is too narrow and it rests on a problematic rationalist psychology. The chapter then discusses the phenomenology of hope with particular reference to the contrast between the lived experience of expectation and anticipation. This leads to a discussion of the value of hope. My thesis here is that when philosophers reflect on hope, they bring along background, tacit assumptions regarding its worth, which I attempt to make explicit. Finally the chapter identifies a second kind of philosophical reflection on hope, which is concerned not so much with the logic or value of hope as with hope understood as a 'principle.'
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHope against hope
Subtitle of host publicationphilosophies, cultures and politics of possibility and doubt
EditorsJanet Horrigan, Ed Wiltse
Place of PublicationAmsterdam : New York
Number of pages20
ISBN (Print)9789042030091
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Publication series

NameProbing the boundaries


  • hope
  • philosophical analysis
  • phenomenology
  • desire
  • belief
  • probability
  • anticipation
  • Richard Rorty
  • Ernst Bloch


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