The Monist (forthcoming)
AbstractWe advance an argument that the virtue of hope holds pride of place in development of psychological traits that promote one’s flourishing. We define hope, the virtue, as the disposition to envision future good possibilities for oneself and one’s community and to move towards those possibilities. Our argument is partly theoretical and partly empirical. On the theoretical side, we show that hope is not simply one virtue among many, but rather, hope is a necessary condition for the development of other virtues, and so for flourishing. We then draw on empirical data from psychology to argue that early in development, we need relationships of trust with caregivers to develop the future orientation and features of agency constitutive of hope, the virtue. It follows that hope and its components need to be fostered partly through trusting relationships early on for a person to flourish.
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