The Focus Theory of Hope

Philosophical Quarterly 73 (1):44-63 (2023)
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Abstract

Most elpistologists now agree that hope for a specific outcome involves more than just desire plus the presupposition that the outcome is possible. This paper argues that the additional element of hope is a disposition to focus on the desired outcome in a certain way. I first survey the debate about the nature of hope in the recent literature, offer objections to some important competing accounts, and describe and defend the view that hope involves a kind of focus or attention. I then suggest that this account makes sense of the intuitive thought that there are moral and pragmatic norms on hope that go beyond the norms on desires and modal presuppositions. I conclude by considering some key questions.

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Author's Profile

Andrew Chignell
Princeton University

Citations of this work

Faithfully Taking Pascal’s Wager.Elizabeth Jackson - 2023 - The Monist 106 (1):35–45.
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.
Hope.Claudia Bloeser & Titus Stahl - 2017 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Hope from Despair.Jakob Huber - 2022 - Journal of Political Philosophy 31 (1):80-101.

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References found in this work

The Principles of Psychology.William James - 1890 - London, England: Dover Publications.
The Principles of Psychology.William James - 1890 - Les Etudes Philosophiques 11 (3):506-507.
The Principles of Psychology.William James - 1891 - International Journal of Ethics 1 (2):143-169.

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