Journal of Religious Ethics 44 (2):300-332 (2016)

Michael Lamb
Princeton University
A prominent political historian has recently identified unwarranted optimism and unwarranted pessimism as democracy's “dual dangers.” While this historical analysis highlights the difficulties that accompany democratic hope, our prevailing conceptual vocabulary obscures the resources needed to address them. This essay attempts to recover these resources by excavating insights from Thomas Aquinas, who supplies one of the most systematic accounts of hope in the history of religious and political thought. By appropriating the conceptual structure of Thomas's theological virtue of hope, this essay reconstructs a democratic virtue that perfects acts of hoping in fellow citizens to achieve democratic goods and thereby enables citizens to respond properly to difficulties that tempt presumption and despair.
Keywords despair  presumption  virtue  Aquinas  hope  democracy
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DOI 10.1111/jore.12143
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References found in this work BETA

Trust, Hope and Empowerment.Victoria McGeer - 2008 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 86 (2):237 – 254.
Democracy and Tradition.Jeffrey Stout - 2004 - American Journal of Theology and Philosophy 25 (2):185-190.

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Citations of this work BETA

Hope: Conceptual and Normative Issues.Catherine Rioux - 2021 - Philosophy Compass 16 (3).
Discovering the Virtue of Hope.Michael Milona - 2020 - European Journal of Philosophy 28 (3):740-754.
Hope as a Democratic Civic Virtue.Nancy E. Snow - 2018 - Metaphilosophy 49 (3):407-427.

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