What is it to lose hope?

Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 12 (4):597-614 (2013)
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This paper addresses the phenomenology of hopelessness. I distinguish two broad kinds of predicament that are easily confused: ‘loss of hopes’ and ‘loss of hope’. I argue that not all hope can be characterised as an intentional state of the form ‘I hope that p’. It is possible to lose all hopes of that kind and yet retain another kind of hope. The hope that remains is not an intentional state or a non-intentional bodily feeling. Rather, it is a ‘pre-intentional’ orientation or ‘existential feeling’, by which I mean something in the context of which certain kinds of intentional state, including intentional hope, are intelligible. I go on to discuss severe depression, lack of aspiration, demoralisation and loss of trust in the world, in order to distinguish some qualitatively different forms that loss of hope can take



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Matthew Ratcliffe
University of York

Citations of this work

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References found in this work

Intentionality: An Essay in the Philosophy of Mind.John R. Searle - 1983 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Intentionality: An Essay in the Philosophy of Mind.John R. Searle - 1983 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
Being and nothingness.Jean-Paul Sartre - 1956 - Avenel, N.J.: Random House.
The Emotions: A Philosophical Exploration.Peter Goldie - 2000 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.

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