Rational Hope, Moral Order, and the Revolution of the Will

In Eric Watkins (ed.), The Divine Order, the Human Order, and the Order of Nature: Historical Perspectives. New York, NY: Oxford University Press. pp. 197-218 (2013)
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Abstract

This paper considers Kant's views on how it can be rational to hope for God's assistance in becoming morally good. If I am fully responsible for making myself good and can make myself good, then my moral condition depends entirely on me. However, if my moral condition depends entirely on me, then it cannot depend on God, and it is therefore impossible for God to provide me with any assistance. But if it is impossible for God to provide me with any assistance, it is irrational for me to hope for such assistance. I address this conundrum by providing an analysis of one necessary condition of rational hope: hope is rational only if the subject is not in a position to be certain that p is really impossible. I then offer several different strategies on which it might be rational to hope that God provides moral assistance, with the most radical of these strategies suggesting that, given our ignorance of the laws of the intelligible world, for all human beings know it is metaphysically possible that God perform a noumenal miracle on their moral character.

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Andrew Chignell
Princeton University

Citations of this work

The Focus Theory of Hope.Andrew Chignell - 2023 - Philosophical Quarterly 73 (1):44-63.
Hope: Conceptual and Normative Issues.Catherine Rioux - 2021 - Philosophy Compass 16 (3).
Hopeful Pessimism: The Kantian Mind at the End of All Things.Andrew Chignell - 2023 - In Katerina Mihaylova & Anna Ezekiel (eds.), Hope and the Kantian Legacy: New Contributions to the History of Optimism. London, Vereinigtes Königreich: Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 35-52.
Fundamental Hope and Practical Identity.Claudia Blöser & Titus Stahl - 2017 - Philosophical Papers 46 (3):345–371.
Epistemological Aspects of Hope.Matthew A. Benton - 2019 - In Claudia Blöser & Titus Stahl (eds.), The Moral Psychology of Hope: An Introduction (The Moral Psychology of the Emotions). Rowman & Littlefield International. pp. 135-151.

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