Rational Hope, Possibility, and Divine Action

In Gordon E. Michalson (ed.), Religion within the Bounds of Mere Reason: A Critical Guide. Cambridge University Press. pp. 98-117 (2014)
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Abstract

Commentators typically neglect the distinct nature and role of hope in Kant’s system, and simply lump it together with the sort of Belief that arises from the moral proof. Kant himself is not entirely innocent of the conflation. Here I argue, however, that from a conceptual as well as a textual point of view, hope should be regarded as a different kind of attitude. It is an attitude that we can rationally adopt toward some of the doctrines that are not able to be proved from within the bounds of mere reason – either theoretical or practical. This does not mean that hope is unconstrained; there are rational limits, as we shall see. In fact one of my central claims here is that a crucial difference between knowledge, rational Belief, and rational hope is that they are governed by different modal constraints; section II discusses those constraints and the kind of modality involved. In section III, I return to Religion and offer what I take to be Kant’s account of the main objects of rational hope in that text – namely, “alleged outer experiences (miracles)”;a “supposed inner experience(effect of grace)”;and a future collective experience (the construction of a truly ethical society).

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Andrew Chignell
Princeton University

Citations of this work

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Restoring Kant's Conception of the Highest Good.Lawrence Pasternack - 2017 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 55 (3):435-468.
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Hope, Worry, and Suspension of Judgment.James Fritz - 2021 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 51 (8):573-587.

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References found in this work

Belief in Kant.Andrew Chignell - 2007 - Philosophical Review 116 (3):323-360.
The value of hope.Luc Bovens - 1999 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 59 (3):667-681.
Hope and its Place in Mind.Phillip Pettit - 2004 - Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science (1):152--165.
Hope.John Patrick Day - 1969 - American Philosophical Quarterly 6 (2):89-102.
Hope.R. S. Downie - 1963 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 24 (2):248-251.

View all 8 references / Add more references