This article argues that hope is of value in clinical ethics and that it can be important for clinicians to be sensitive to both the risks of false hope and the importance of retaining hope. However, this sensitivity requires an understanding of the complexity of hope and how it bears on different aspects of a well-functioning doctor-patient relationship. We discuss hopefulness and distinguish it from three different kinds of hope, or ‘hopes for’, and then relate (...) these distinctions back to differing accounts of autonomy. This analysis matters because it shows how an overly narrow view of the ethical obligations of a clinician to their patient, and autonomy, might lead to scenarios where patients regret the choices they make. (shrink)
The editor's introduction discusses Clarence I. Lewis's conceptual pragmatism when compared with post-empiricist epistemology and argues that several Cartesian assumptions play a major role in the work, not unlike those of Logical Positivism. The suggestion is made that the Cartesian legacy still hidden in Logical Positivism turns out to be a rather heavy ballast for Lewis’s project of restructuring epistemology in a pragmatist key. More in detail, the sore point is the nature of inter-subjectivity. For Lewis, no (...) less than for the Logical Positivists at the time of the Protocols Controversy and Husserl in the Cartesian Meditations, this is a problem without a solution. The reason is that all these philosophers are apparently unable to realize that the existence of a plurality of knowing subjects cannot be treated at once both as a speculative problem and a methodological one. Lewis, thanks to his pragmatist approach both comes closer to the right answer and offers an even more naïve unsatisfactory solution to the pseudo-problem under discussion. The fact that he has clear in mind that inter-subjectivity means not only a plurality of linguistic utterances but also a co-existence of different kinds of practical behaviour. Eventually, the very idea of mind, the key-idea in the book, suffers from the above mentioned tension. In fact, if inter-subjective communication and action is considered at a methodological level, the very idea of mind would not need an analysis, and no kind of ‘reflexive’ analysis. Methodology might be limited to a ‘naïve’ level where the existence of the world and a plurality of subjects be taken as a bedrock of uncritically accepted evidence. Philosophical reflection on ultimate evidence, instead, would take a different approach, maybe the one Wittgenstein was putting into practice in the same years when Mind and the world order was written, namely it would be bound to question the very meaning of the idea of ‘mind’ as an undue fiction – the same carried out by Descartes – when he assumed the Cogito to be at once a body of self-evident truths and a thing or substance, the familiar Platonic idea of psyche or soul. (shrink)
‘I understand that the world was nothing, a mechanical chaos of casual, brute enmity on which we stupidly impose our hopes and fears. I understand that, finally and absolutely, I alone exist. All the rest, I saw, is merely what pushes me, or what I push against, blindly—as blindly as all that is not myself pushes back. I create the whole universe, blink by blink. —An ugly god pitifully dying in a tree.’.
In those twenty or so pages of section xi of Part Two of the Philosophical Investigations in which Wittgenstein discusses the concept of noticing an aspect and its place among the concepts of experience, there are three passages which are explicitly concerned with the relations between seeing and interpreting in the experience of noticing an aspect.
The philosophy of perception currently considers how perception relates to action. Some distinctions may help, distinguishing object perception from perceptual recognition, and both from that-perception. Examples are seeing a man, recognising a man, and seeing that there is a man. Perceiving an object controls self-location by its recognising an object, which depends on memory of how it looks, controls looking for it and interacting with it, or not, and that-perceiving controls saying that an object exists. Perception controls action. Milner and (...) Goodale, Jacob and Jeannerod, and Noë are considered. (shrink)
Whether or not it is coherent to place hope in a future life beyond the grave has become a central question in the larger debate about whether a materialist view of human persons can accommodate Christian belief. Hud Hudson defends a four-dimensional account of resurrection in order to avoid persistent difficulties experienced by three-dimensionalist animalism. I present two difficulties unique to Hudson’s view. The first problem of counterpart hope is a manifestation of a general weakness of four-dimensional views (...) to accommodate adequately prudential concern about one’s future self. More significantly, the second problem of quasi hope demonstrates that even if a temporal parts view can accommodate the possibility of future resurrection it necessarily leaves human beings in the dark about their individual futures and thus incapable of hope. I conclude that whatever its merits in demonstrating the possibility of resurrection, four-dimensionalist materialism cannot accommodate veridical Christian hope. (shrink)
David Lewis claims that his theory of modality successfully reduces modal items to nonmodal items. This essay will clarify this claim and argue that it is true. This is largely an exercise within ‘Ludovician Polycosmology’: I hope to show that a certain intuitive resistance to the reduction and a set of related objections misunderstand the nature of the Ludovician project. But these results are of broad interest since they show that would-be reductionists have more formidable argumentative resources than (...) is often thought. Lewis’s reduction depends on a set of methodological commitments each of which is fairly plausible or at least currently popular, and none of which is particular to modality. The choice of which of these commitments to reject I leave to the discerning antireductionist. The essay proceeds as follows: §1 discusses reduction generally and one or two relevant puzzles; §2 discusses Lewis’s reduction in particular; the longest section, §3 replies to four objections. (shrink)
Some argue that Lewisian realism fails as a reduction of modality because in order to meet some criterion of success the account needs to invoke primitive modality. I defend Lewisian realism against this charge; in the process, I hope to shed some light on the conditions of success for a reduction. In §1 I detail the resources the Lewisian modal realist needs. In §2 I argue against Lycan and Shalkowski’s charge that Lewis needs a modal notion of ‘world’ (...) to ensure that worlds correspond to possibilities. In §3 I respond to Divers and Melia’s objection that Lewis needs to invoke primitive modality to give a complete account of what worlds there are. In §4 I ask what it is for a notion to ‘involve’ modality. I conclude that the question is either in bad standing or at best offers little traction on the debate, and propose a different way of assessing when materials are appropriately included in a reductive base. (shrink)
Lewis, according to Kuklick, was ‘a private person’, of ‘unsparing honesty and … utter dedication to the rational pursuit of truth’. He was, Kuklick continues, ‘equally uncompromising in what he expected of his readers, and as a result wrote for and lectured to a tiny group of scholars’. I hope that—since I occasionally find myself borrowing from him and frequently find myself arguing with him—I may count myself as one of the ‘tiny group of scholars’ for whom (...) class='Hi'>Lewis wrote. And perhaps, by arguing with him again here, I may persuade some of you of the enduring interest of his work. (shrink)
This paper attempts to show that contextualism cannot adequately handle all versions of ‘The Lottery Paradox.” Although the application of contextualist rules is meant to vindicate the intuitive distinction between cases of knowledge and non-knowledge, it fails to do so when applied to certain versions of “The Lottery Paradox.” In making my argument, I first briefly explain why this issue should be of central importance for contextualism. I then review Lewis’ contextualism before offering my argument that the lottery paradox (...) persists on all contextualist accounts. Although I argue that the contextualist does not fare well, hope nevertheless remains. For, on Lewis’ behalf, I offer what I take to be the best solution for the contextualist and argue that once this solution is adopted, contextualism will be in a better position to handle the lottery paradox than any other substantive epistemological theory. (shrink)
A recent group of social scientists have argued that counterfactual questions play an essential role in their disciplines, and that it is possible to have rigorous methods to investigate them. Unfortunately, there has been little (if any) interaction between these social scientists and the philosophers who have long held that rigorous counterfactual reasoning is possible. In this paper, I hope to encourage some fresh thinking on both sides by creating new connections between them. I describe what I term "problem (...) of selecting antecedent scenarios," and show that this is an essential challenge in real-life counterfactual reasoning. Then, I demonstrate that the major extant theories of counterfactuals (especially the Lewis/Stalnaker theory and Igal Kvart's rival account) are unable to solve this problem. I show that there are instances of real-life counterfactual reasoning in the social sciences that are counterexamples to both of these accounts. And finally, I develop a new theory of how to select antecedent scenarios that overcomes these difficulties, and so would be part of a more adequate theory of counterfactuals (and counterfactual reasoning). (shrink)
If C.S. Lewis' A Grief Observed can be considered an account of a lost human relationship, then Cunsolo and Landman's Mourning Nature forms a posthuman, but nonetheless personal, examination of the losses of relationships with plants, animals, and even entire ecosystems—an ecological grief observed. In this regard, one of the motivations for this book was Cunsolo's interviews with Inuit residents who experienced profound sadness and despair at the changes in the landscape brought by climate change. Beyond this, each of (...) the contributors to Mourning Nature brought a variety of written, auditory, visual, and meaning-making experiences to their acts of mourning wild nature. The parallels to Lewis' book end here... (shrink)
Over the course of the last four decades, William Leon McBride has distinguished himself as one of the most esteemed and accomplished philosophers of his generation. This volume—which celebrates the occasion of his seventy-fifth birthday—includes contributions from colleagues, friends, and formers students and pays tribute to McBride’s considerable achievements as a teacher, mentor, and scholar.
Hope is an attitude with a distinctive epistemological dimension: it is incompatible with knowledge. This chapter examines hope as it relates to knowledge but also to probability and inductive considerations. Such epistemic constraints can make hope either impossible, or, when hope remains possible, they affect how one’s epistemic situation can make hope rational rather than irrational. Such issues are especially relevant to when hopefulness may permissibly figure in practical deliberation over a course of action. So (...) I consider cases of second-order inductive reflection on when one should, or should not, hope for an outcome with which one has a long record of experience: in other words, what is the epistemology behind when one should, if ever, stop hoping for outcomes which have failed one many times in the past? (shrink)
In May 1999, David Lewis sent Timothy Williamson an intriguing letter about knowledge and vagueness. This paper has a brief discussion of Lewis on evidence, and a longer discussion of a distinctive theory of vagueness Lewis puts forward in this letter, one rather different from standard forms of supervaluationism. Lewis's theory enables him to provide distinctive responses to the challenges to supervaluationism famously offered in chapter 5 of Timothy Williamson's 1994 book Vagueness. However these responses bring (...) out a number of very surprising features of Lewis's own view. -/- The letter from Lewis itself is available on the blog of The Age of Metaphysical Revolution Project, University of Manchester. (shrink)
Many contemporary philosophers accept Hume's Dictum, according to which there are no metaphysically necessary connections between distinct, intrinsically typed entities. Tacit in Lewis 's work is a potential motivation for HD, according to which one should accept HD as presupposed by the best account of the range of metaphysical possibilities---namely, a combinatorial account, applied to spatiotemporal fundamentalia. Here I elucidate and assess this Ludovician motivation for HD. After refining HD and surveying its key, recurrent role in Lewis ’s (...) work, I present Lewis ’s appeal to HD as providing a broadly axiomatic generating basis for the space of metaphysical modality, and canvas the prima facie advantages of the resulting combinatorial principle---HD ---as being principled, extensionally adequate and modally reductive. Most criticisms of Lewis 's combinatorialism have targeted seeming ways in which the theory overgenerates the desired space; I rather argue that HD seriously undergenerates the desired space in three different ways. For each way I argue that available means of overcoming the undergeneration either fail to close the gap, undermine the claim that HD is a principled generator of metaphysical modal space, undermine the reductive status of Lewis 's combinatorialism, or call into question the truth of HD. (shrink)
In 1901 Russell had envisaged the new analytic philosophy as uniquely systematic, borrowing the methods of science and mathematics. A century later, have Russell’s hopes become reality? David Lewis is often celebrated as a great systematic metaphysician, his influence proof that we live in a heyday of systematic philosophy. But, we argue, this common belief is misguided: Lewis was not a systematic philosopher, and he didn’t want to be. Although some aspects of his philosophy are systematic, mainly his (...) pluriverse of possible worlds and its many applications, that systematicity was due to the influence of his teacher Quine, who really was an heir to Russell. Drawing upon Lewis’s posthumous papers and his correspondence as well as the published record, we show that Lewis’s non- Quinean influences, including G.E. Moore and D.M. Armstrong, led Lewis to an anti- systematic methodology which leaves each philosopher’s views and starting points to his or her own personal conscience. (shrink)
This paper provides an overview on David Lewis's writings about persistence. I focus on two issues. First, what is the relationship between the doctrine of Humean Supervenience and the rejection of endurantism? Second, why did Lewis not adopt a stage theory of persistence, given that he advocated a counterpart theory of modality?
The paper aims at characterising self-deceptive hope, a certain kind of ir-rational hoping. The focus is on ordinary, intentional hope exclusively, i. e. on acts of hoping with a definite object (in contrast to dispositional forms of hope such as hopefulness). If a person S hopes in this way that p, she desires that p, she has a belief about the probability of p, and she affec-tively evaluates this probability in one of two ways: We can distinguish (...) between anxious and confident hope. Both may involve self-deception. In self-deception, desire tampers with belief, such that S’s belief that q is based on reasons which in turn are based on a distorted perception or mis-interpretation of evidence available to S. Self-deceptive hopes, I argue, are based on self-deceptive probability beliefs. We are particularly prone to such hoping when we attach great importance to what we hope for but are confronted with evidence which would give us reason to think that our hope cannot be fulfilled. Although even under these conditions there is no necessary but only a contingent connection between self-deception and hope, it is a very natural one. (shrink)
My aim in this chapter is not to offer yet another theory of hope, but to re-orient the discussion about the nature of hope to focus on hope’s place in our hearts: on how, exactly, hope makes us feel. Although philosophers writing on hope have certainly paid attention to hope’s affective dimensions, when affect is discussed, it is often assumed that hope is positively valenced. I argue that descriptions of the phenomenology of (...) class='Hi'>hope as positively valenced paint hope as brighter and cheerier than many hopes tend to be, and that hope is not always pleasant to experience (even in part). In making this argument, I focus specifically on hopes we form in response to non-ideal conditions, hopes that are tainted by the negatively valenced emotion of fear. I then consider the complex relationship between hope, fear, and basal emotions: those emotions which are "experiential backdrops" on which particular emotions arise. I close by reflecting on implications for the relationship between hope and motivation, and raise the question of whether hope itself is an emotion. (shrink)
John Nolt’s “Hope, Self-Transcendence, and Environmental Ethics” is a unique attempt to defend a partial biocentrism – the view that we should regard a significant portion of non-sentient life (as well as sentient life) as having direct moral standing. After defending a general duty to optimize human hope, Nolt argues that this duty requires us to become self-transcendent toward living things in nature. Self-transcendence refers to an intentional state of valuing the good of some object other than yourself (...) as an end. Thus, though Nolt begins from an anthropocentric starting point, his argument reaches a conclusion that biocentrists should find palatable (though some may feel it does not go far enough, since it does not grant direct moral standing to all life). Although Nolt’s argument is novel and thought-provoking, I contend that it is nevertheless unsuccessful because it cannot overcome three significant difficulties. First, it is not clear that self-transcendence toward living things in nature would actually optimize hope. Second, the general duty to optimize hope does not entail an individual duty to seek self-transcendence toward living things in nature. Third, the value of the hope attained by achieving self-transcendence toward non-sentient life seems astronomically minute compared to the hope attained by achieving self-transcendence toward sentient life and especially toward human life. In light of these difficulties, I conclude the essay by arguing that self-transcendence is best directed only toward sentient living things. (shrink)
Experience and research teach us that hope, optimism and faith are crucial aspects in how a person deals with a medical situation. One ancient source of wisdom which deals with Hope – the myth of Pandora – can be interpreted in different ways, pointing to different aspects of the way hope influences the human experience. In this paper I will try to demonstrate and discuss how this pertains to medical-psychology work with patients: A short case description will (...) be brought to demonstrate the complexity of the work of hope in (difficult) medical situations. The therapeutic work in these situations will be discussed. (shrink)
In ‘Putnam’s Paradox’, Lewis defended global descriptivism and reference magnetism. According to Schwarz , Lewis didn’t mean what he said there, and really held neither position. We present evidence from Lewis’s correspondence and publications which shows conclusively that Lewis endorsed both.
Hope, in its propositional construction "I hope that p," is compatible with a stated chance for the speaker that not-p. On fallibilist construals of knowledge, knowledge is compatible with a chance of being wrong, such that one can know that p even though there is an epistemic chance for one that not-p. But self-ascriptions of propositional hope that p seem to be incompatible, in some sense, with self-ascriptions of knowing whether p. Data from conjoining hope self-ascription (...) with outright assertions, with first- and third-person knowledge ascriptions, and with factive predicates suggest a problem: when combined with a plausible principle on the rationality of hope, they suggest that fallibilism is false. By contrast, the infallibilist about knowledge can straightforwardly explain why knowledge would be incompatible with hope, and can offer a simple and unified explanation of all the linguistic data introduced here. This suggests that fallibilists bear an explanatory burden which has been hitherto overlooked. (shrink)
Many writers have held that in his later work, David Lewis adopted a theory of predicate meaning such that the meaning of a predicate is the most natural property that is (mostly) consistent with the way the predicate is used. That orthodox interpretation is shared by both supporters and critics of Lewis's theory of meaning, but it has recently been strongly criticised by Wolfgang Schwarz. In this paper, I accept many of Schwarze's criticisms of the orthodox interpretation, and (...) add some more. But I also argue that the orthodox interpretation has a grain of truth in it, and seeing that helps us appreciate the strength of Lewis's late theory of meaning. (shrink)
In this paper I sketch out one of the most important conditions on rational hope, and argue that Kant embraced a version of it. I go on to suggest that we can use this analysis to solve a longstanding 'conundrum' in Kant's ethics and religion regarding the nature of the individual moral revolution. -/- .
This paper discusses Kant’s prospect of ‘hope’ that entangles with interrelated epistemic terms like belief, faith, knowledge, etc. The first part of the paper illustrates the boundary of knowing in the light of a Platonic analysis to highlight the distinction between empiricism and rationalism. Kant’s notion of ‘transcendent metaphysical knowledge’, a path-breaking way to look at the metaphysical thought, can fit with the regulative principle that seems favoruable to the experience-centric knowledge. The second part of the paper defines ‘ (...) class='Hi'>hope’ as an interwoven part of belief, besides ‘hope’ as a component of ‘happiness' can persuade the future behaviours of the individuals. Revisiting Kant’s three categorizations of hopes (eschatological hope, political hope, and hope for the kingdom of ends), the paper traces out Kant’s good will as a ‘hope’ and his conception of humanity. (shrink)
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. (shrink)
This paper defends a theory of hope according to which hopes are composed of a desire and a belief that the object of the desire is possible. Although belief plus desire theories of hope are now widely rejected, this is due to important oversights. One is a failure to recognize the relation that hope-constituting desires and beliefs must stand in to constitute a hope. A second is an oversimplification of the explanatory power of hope-constituting desires. (...) The final portion of the paper uses an enhanced understanding of the psychology of hope to make progress on normative questions about hoping well. (shrink)
El artículo propone una interpretación de la obra literaria "Las Crónicas de Narnia" del autor ingles C. S Lewis. Tal interpretación posibilita considerar la alegoría religiosa que esta obra literaria realiza sobre la experiencia de la divinidad a través de la figura del León.
A few years ago, it was common for philosophers to begin inquiry into hope by noting that the subject has received little attention in the philosophical literature. But our ability to make this claim is quickly coming to an end; hope has been earning increasing recognition in the discipline, with philosophers exploring important questions related to the nature of hope, what makes hope rational, and how hope is connected to human wellbeing and agency. Despite this (...) recent interest, however, there remains very little discussion of the social and political dimensions of hope. My aim in this paper is to demonstrate the importance of a feminist perspective in bringing these dimensions into fuller view. I argue that feminist insights into the relational nature of the self, which call attention to where selves are socially situated in relation to others, enable a richer understanding of the nature and value of hope. (shrink)
This paper addresses the question of what the attitude of hope consists in. We argue that shortcomings in recent theories of hope have methodological roots in that they proceed with little regard for the rich body of literature on the emotions. Taking insights from work in the philosophy of emotions, we argue that hope involves a kind of normative perception. We then develop a strategy for determining the content of this perception, arguing that hope is a (...) perception of practical reasons. Our proposal stands in contrast with familiar views on which hope is fundamentally about the good. We conclude by considering the increasingly popular idea that some hopes are non-intentional and thus, by implication, non-perceptual. We reply by arguing that our perceptual theory plausibly generalizes to these instances of hope. (shrink)
I argue that hope is a virtue insofar as it leads to a more realistic view of the future than dispositions like optimism and pessimism, promotes courage, and encourages an important kind of solidarity with others. In light of this proposal, I consider the relationship between hope and our beliefs about what is good as well as the conditions under which hope may fail to be a virtue.
Commentators typically neglect the distinct nature and role of hope in Kant’s system, and simply lump it together with the sort of Belief that arises from the moral proof. Kant himself is not entirely innocent of the conﬂation. Here I argue, however, that from a conceptual as well as a textual point of view, hope should be regarded as a different kind of attitude. It is an attitude that we can rationally adopt toward some of the doctrines that (...) are not able to be proved from within the bounds of mere reason – either theoretical or practical. This does not mean that hope is unconstrained; there are rational limits, as we shall see. In fact one of my central claims here is that a crucial difference between knowledge, rational Belief, and rational hope is that they are governed by different modal constraints; section II discusses those constraints and the kind of modality involved. In section III, I return to Religion and offer what I take to be Kant’s account of the main objects of rational hope in that text – namely, “alleged outer experiences (miracles)”;a “supposed inner experience(effect of grace)”;and a future collective experience (the construction of a truly ethical society). (shrink)
David Lewis’s arguments against magical ersatzism are notoriously puzzling. Untangling different strands in those arguments is useful for bringing out what he thought was wrong with not just one style of theory about possible worlds, but with much of the contemporary metaphysics of abstract objects. After setting out what I take Lewis’s arguments to be and how best to resist them, I consider the application of those arguments to general theories of properties and relations. The constraints Lewis (...) motivates turn out to yield an argument for concretism about possible individuals that is quite different from the better-known Lewisian arguments for that position. The discussion also touches on the puzzling question of whether things are the way they are because of the properties they have, or are the properties and relations the way they are because of the things that have them. (shrink)