The Infectiousness of Hope

Philosophy in the Contemporary World 22 (2):94-103 (2015)
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Abstract

Perhaps not wholly unrelatedly to the message of the first Obama presidential campaign, the concept of hope has been receiving increased philosophical attention in recent years. A good bit has been written on honing a definition of hope, and investigating the morally relevant territory. After a brief summary of that literature, I situate myself amongst those who advocate for hope—at its best—as a virtue, and I then suggest that hope seems to have a unique status amongst the virtues insofar as it appears to be foundational for moral progress. I want to suggest that virtue generally can be seen as having an infectious quality, and that along with hope's foundational status, this infectiousness is particularly crucial as regards the development of hope for working on solutions to structural injustice.

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Joan Woolfrey
West Chester University

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