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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
This article considers the question ‘What makes hope rational?’ We take Adrienne Martin’s recent incorporation analysis of hope as representative of a tradition that views the rationality of hope as a matter of instrumental reasons. Against this tradition, we argue that an important subset of hope, ‘fundamental hope’, is not governed by instrumental rationality. Rather, people have reason to endorse or reject such hope in virtue of the contribution of the relevant attitudes to the (...) integrity of their practical identity, which makes the relevant hope not instrumentally but intrinsically valuable. This argument also allows for a new analysis of the reasons people have to abandon hope and for a better understanding of non-fundamental, ‘prosaic’ hopes. (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)
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. -/- .
Roy Sorensen introduced the concept of an epistemic blindspot in the 1980s. A proposition is an epistemic blindspot for some individual at some time if and only if that proposition is consistent but unknowable by that individual at that time. In the first half of this paper, I extend Sorensen work on blindspots by arguing that there exist blindspots that essentially involve hopes. In the second half, I show how such blindspots can contribute to and impair different pursuits of self-understanding. (...) My arguments throughout this paper draw on Luc Bovens’s account of hope. (shrink)
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)
ABSTRACT. Ecological philosophy requires a significant orientation to the role of hope in both theory and practice. I trace the limited presence of hope in ecological philosophy, and outline reasons why environmental hopelessness is a threat. I articulate and problematize recent environmental publications on the topic of hope, the most important worry being that current literature fails to provide the necessary psychological grounding for hopeful action. I turn to the psychology of hope to provide direction for (...) conceptualizing hope and actualizing hoped for states of affairs. If positive moral action is the goal, hope is a vital concept for underwriting ecological philosophy and a practice requiring considerably more attention. (shrink)
Patrick Shade makes a strong argument for the necessity of hope in a cynical world that too often rejects it as foolish. While most accounts of hope situate it in a theological context, Shade presents a theory rooted in the pragmatic thought of such American philosophers as C. S. Peirce, William James, and John Dewey.
A multilevel view of social change is presented in which socially responsible organizations, society, and high-hope individuals interact in support of hopefulness – thereby leveling the playing field. Suggestions are made about future research and the roles of organizations and society in eliciting hope in organizational and societal cultures.
Environmental changes can bear upon the environmental virtues, having effects not only on the conditions of their application but also altering the concepts themselves. I argue that impending radical changes in global climate will likely precipitate significant changes in the dominate world culture of consumerism and then consider how these changes could alter the moral landscape, particularly culturally thick conceptions of the environmental virtues. According to Jonathan Lear, as the last principal chief of the Crow Nation, Plenty Coups exhibited the (...) virtue of “radical hope,” a novel form of courage appropriate to a culture in crisis. I explore what radical hope may look like today, arguing how it should broadly affect our environmental character and that a framework for future environmental virtues will involve a diminished place for valuing naturalness as autonomy from human interference. (shrink)
A longitudinal study of 308 white -collar U.S. employees revealed that feelings of hope and gratitude increase concern for corporate social responsibility. In particular, employees with stronger hope and gratitude were found to have a greater sense of responsibility toward employee and societal issues; interestingly, employee hope and gratitude did not affect sense of responsibility toward economic and safety/quality issues. These findings offer an extension of research by Giacalone, Paul, and Jurkiewicz.
Despite the familiarity of hope in human experience, it is a phenomenon infrequently considered from a philosophical point of view. This book charts the centrality of hope in thought and action from first, second and third person perspectives. From everyday situations to extreme circumstances of trail and endings in life, the contours of hope are given a phenomenological description and subjected to conceptual analysis. This consistently secular account of hope sheds a different light on questions of (...) agency and meaning. (shrink)
In this essay, I consider how the theological virtue of hope might be practiced. I will first explain Thomas Aquinas’s account of this virtue, including its structural relation to the passion of hope, its opposing vices, and its relationship to the friendship of charity. Then, using narrative and character analysis from the film The Shawshank Redemption, I examine a range of hopeful and proto-hopeful practices concerning both the goods one hopes for and the power one relies on to (...) attain those goods. In particular, I show how the film’s picture of the role friends and friendship play in catalyzing hope is a compelling metaphor for Christian hope’s reliance on God. (shrink)
How is hope to be found amid the ethical and political dilemmas of modern life? Writer and philosopher Mary Zournazi brought her questions to some of the most thoughtful intellectuals at work today. She discusses "joyful revolt" with Julia Kristeva, the idea of "the rest of the world" with Gayatri Spivak, the "art of living" with Michel Serres, the "carnival of the senses" with Michael Taussig, the relation of hope to passion and to politics with Chantal Mouffe and (...) Ernesto Laclau. A dozen stimulating minds weigh in with their visions of a better social and political order. The result is a collaboration - of writing, of thinking, and of politics - that demonstrates more clearly than any single-authored project could how ideas encountering one another can produce the vision needed for social change. (shrink)
This paper offers an analysis of the nature of hope and explicates its significance for and relation to education. This entails distinguishing initially two kinds of hope - absolute and ultimate hope. While absolute hope is an orientation of the spirit which sets no conditions or limits on what is achievable and has no particular ends in view, ultimate hope is an 'aimed hope ', that is to say a form of hopefulness that entails (...) identifying and struggling to realise in the here and now particular improved states of affairs - for oneself, for others and for society generally. To that extent, ultimate hope, despite efforts to undermine it prompted by despair, relativism, cynicism and fatalism, is a crucial aspect of the educational process. On the other hand, absolute hope, combined with a 'larger love' of teaching, provides those educators who have it with a significant personal resource in coping better with the special demands of their work. (shrink)
_ Source: _Volume 39, Issue 3, pp 205 - 234 For many people across the world, experiences of depression include features that extend beyond the biopsychiatric model, which predominates in research on the relationship between religious and spiritual coping and depressive symptoms. How does attending to these diverse experiences of depression challenge our understanding of the dynamic between religiosity and depression? This paper presents thirteen qualitative interviews among economically marginalized mothers in the metro-Boston area. Analyzing these narratives presents a complex (...) picture of the way chronic situational stress lies beneath their experiences of depression. From this expanded view of depressive experiences, we analyze the religious coping strategies of social support and meaning making to reveal the holistic, yet often ambiguous, ways these mothers engaged religious and spiritual resources to forge hope amidst chronic stress. (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.
G. W. Leibniz famously proclaimed that this is the best of all possible worlds. One of the properties of the best world is its increasing perfection. He gave a prominent role in his discussion of emotions to hope which is related to intellectual activity such as curiosity and courage which again is essential for the practice of science and promoting the common good. Leibniz regarded hope as a process where minute perceptions in the mind, that is, unconscious promises (...) or signs of a future pleasure of the mind or joy may accumulate to an expectation which we became aware of, the passion of hope. Related to a moral instinct of striving for joy and avoiding sorrow, hope motivates us to promote perfection which produces joy in us and eventually leads to happiness. (shrink)
This book is a thorough study of the question posed by Kant, For what can a human being rationally hope? It offers a detailed commentary on Kant's seminal work, Religion Within the Limits of Reason Alone, as well as an original development of the logic of three of Kant's basic ideas: ambivalence, ignorance, and hope. Sophisticated analytic techniques, including symbolic logic, are applied to this conceptual matrix. The result is a striking case for the transformation of world society (...) into a Kingdom of Ends of individuals and a peaceful League of Nations. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to examine the extent to which Kant’s Critique of the Power of Judgment can be, or otherwise ought to be, regarded as a transcendental phenomenology of hope. Kant states repeatedly that CPoJ mediates between the first two Critiques, or between the theoretical knowledge we arrive at on the basis of understanding and reason’s foundational role for practical philosophy. In other words, exercising the power of judgment is implicated whenever we try to bring together (...) the ethical issue of strictly determining our actions on the one hand and the necessity to act in the physical world on the other. We will argue that this mediating function is properly understood only if the ideations produced by self-understanding are characterized as objects of rationally required hope or fear. (shrink)
It is widely assumed that Christianity enjoins its followers to practice universal, unconditional forgiveness. But universal, unconditional forgiveness is regarded by many as morally problematic. Some Christian scholars have denied that Christianity in fact requires universal, unconditional forgiveness, but I believe they are mistaken. In this essay, I show two things: that Christianity does enjoin universal, unconditional forgiveness of a certain sort, and that Christians, and perhaps other theists, are always justified in exercising unconditional forgiveness. Though most philosophers treat forgiveness (...) as grounded in our beliefs about the offender's current state, I argue that we might more fruitfully ground forgiveness in hope for the wrongdoer. Christianity's commitment to the existence of an omnipotent God who is concerned about the moral status of His creatures always justifies such hope and thus always justifies forgiveness. (shrink)
Trudy Govier (FR) argues for “conditional unforgivability,” yet avers that we should never give up on a human being. She not only says it is justifiable to take a “hopeful and respectful attitude” toward one’s wrongdoers, she indicates that it is wrong not to; she says it is objectionable to adopt an attitude that any individual is “finally irredeemable” or “could never change,” because such an attitude “anticipates and communicates the worst” (137). Govier’s recommendation to hold a hopeful attitude seems (...) to follow from one’s knowing that an appropriate object of unforgivability is also an agent capable of moral transformation. I appeal to Blake Myers-Schultz’s and Eric Schwitzgebels’ account of knowledge without belief, and Schwitzgebels’ account of attitudes, to argue that a victim’s knowledge that a wrongdoer has the capacities of a moral agent does not entail belief in the possibility that a wrongdoer will exercise those moral capacities, nor does knowledge of a wrongdoer’s moral capacities entail hopeful attitudes toward the prospects of an individual wrongdoer’s moral transformation. I conclude that what victims can hope for should not be that which victims are held to as a moral minimum. (shrink)
Hope helps alleviate suffering. In the case of terminal illness, recent experience in palliative medicine has taught physicians that hope is durable and often thrives even in the face of imminent death. In this article, I examine the perspectives of philosophers, theologians, psychologists, clinicians, neuroscientists, and poets, and provide a series of observations, connections, and gestures about hope, particularly about what I call “deep hope.” I end with some proposals about how such hope can be (...) sustained and enhanced at the end of life. Studies of terminally ill patients have revealed clusters of personal and situational factors associated with enhancement or suppression of hope at the end of life. Interpersonal connectedness, attainable goals, spiritual beliefs and practices, personal attributes of determination, courage, and serenity, lightheartedness, uplifting memories, and affirmation of personal worth enhance hope, while uncontrollable pain and discomfort, abandonment and isolation, and devaluation of personhood suppress hope. I suggest that most of these factors can be modulated by good medical care, utilizing basic interpersonal techniques that demonstrate kindness, humanity, and respect. (shrink)
This book exhibits the centrality of hope in Kant's critical philosophy, and brings into question the rationality of that hope, and how the question of that rationality can be raised. The question of the rationality of hope is further explored through Kierkegaard's writing.
Reflection on the history of skepticism shows that philosophers have often conjoined as a single doctrine various theses that are best kept apart. Some of these theses are incredible – literally almost impossible to accept – whereas others seem quite plausible, and even verging on the platitudinous. Mixing them together, one arrives at a view – skepticism – that is as a whole indefensible. My aim is to pull these different elements apart, and to focus on one particular strand of (...) skepticism that deserves sustained and respectful attention. The strand I have in mind I will refer to as epistemic defeatism. Roughly, in its most global form, it is the view that, in the final analysis, we have no good evidence for the truth of any proposition. Working through various historical texts, I attempt to untangle epistemic defeatism from neighboring views, and in particular to establish its independence from questions about knowledge. Having thus established the view's autonomy, I turn to the options for self-consciously accepting defeat. One may despair or one may have faith. But I will ultimately propose that the most attractive option – the option that preserves the most of our epistemic integrity – is to have hope. (shrink)
The dormancy of American pragmatism is over. At least, this is what numerous articles and books have unequivocally stated in the decades since Richard Rorty gave up his belief in orthodox analytical epistemology and settled into his own brand of John Dewey's antifoundational epistemology. Even though Rorty's interpretation and manipulation of Dewey have been controversial, we are all the better for the revival of discourse around what pragmatism was, is, and will be. Robert Westbrook's Democratic Hope: Pragmatism and the (...) Politics of Truth (2005), a recent contribution to this revival, clearly demonstrates the value of a vibrant and robust tradition of pragmatism to American intellectual and public life. The depth of knowledge and passion for the subject matter that made Westbrook's magnum opus, John Dewey and American Democracy (1991), a landmark study are on display in this text as well. In both works, what makes... (shrink)
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. (shrink)
Henri de Lubac, S.J. argues that one of the most significant apologetic shortcomings of Christian self-presentation is a lack of appreciation of the centrality of the Gospel to the meaning of the man. This is related, for de Lubac, to Cajetan’s “corruption” of St. Thomas’ understanding of nature and grace and de Lubac argues that the true understanding of this relationship has great apologetic value. After presenting the controversy surrounding this issue, this article turns to the reception of “two-tiered” ideas (...) by Christians and popular culture, which latter has increasingly adopted an indifferentist mentality with respect to religion. Other impediments to thinking through the Gottesproblem today are taken up next, specifically the legacy of critical atheism and the distraction by which persons shield themselves from this problem’s relevance. Distraction is aimed at saving man from the thought of death and from anxiety, but the unintended product of distraction is a deadening and banalization of human hope. The hope commended to man by the Second Vatican Council’s Gaudium et spes, which this article addresses in the last place, is not the eviscerated hope that contemporary persons harbor. The language barrier centering on “hope” between the Council fathers and contemporary persons can only be bridged by addressing the causes of the contemporary, attenuated version of hope of those indifferent to the Gospel. (shrink)
An understanding of what we mean by the present is one of the key issues in literature, philosophy, and culture today, but also one of the most neglected and misunderstood. _Present Hope_ develops a fascinating philosophical understanding of the present, approaching this question via discussions of the nature of historical time, the philosophy of history, memory, and the role of tragedy. Andrew Benjamin shows how we misleadingly view the present as simply a product of chronological time, ignoring the role of (...) history and memory. Accordingly, discussion of what is meant by the present disappears from philosophical concern. To draw attention to this absence, Andrew Benjamin introduces the notion of hope and asks what this concept can tell us about the present. At the heart of the outstanding work is an emphasis on the relation between hope and the Jewish tradition. Through discussions of philosophical responses to the Holocaust, the work of Walter Benjamin, Daniel Libeskind's Jewish Museum, and the poetry of Paul Celan, _Present Hope_ shows how we must look beyond the purely philosophical horizon to understand the present we live in. (shrink)
In September 2006, when 45 scholars and activists from 19 countries around the world gathered amid the spires and gargoyles of Oxford for a conference entitled, “Hope: Probing the Boundaries,” complex dialectics of hope and despair circulated through the meeting rooms by day, and the conversations in quadrangles and pubs late into the night. On the one hand, the remarkable social and political openings and possibilities of the previous decade, from Berlin to Johannesburg, Leningrad to the Lacandon jungle (...) of Chiapas, seemed to be ever-more constrained by political and economic forces as brutal as those that preceded them, but, on the other hand, there were the Zapatistas and a thousand other movements persisting in the belief that, to echo the mantra of the World Social Forums, “another world is possible,” and there we were from around the world, to do the work of theorizing, describing, and enacting the persistence of individual and collective hope despite grim realities. The essays developed from that conference and collected here reflect both the theoretical and philosophical underpinnings and the cultural and political praxes of “hope against hope.”. (shrink)
Jean-Paul Sartre’s final ethics of the “we” or reciprocity remains controversial and less developed than his other ethics. Scholars have generally accepted the periodization of his ethics into three, as Sartre himself described them: the first ethics of authenticity, the second Marxist or dialectical ethics, and this final ethics, that considers the ontological basis of ethics, based primarily on the 1980 interviews in Hope Now (1996) (L’espoir maintenant, 1991). I will focus on Sartre’s responses in the interviews, rather than (...) contributions of his interlocutor so that I can reconstruct the lines of his thought. Sartre’s comments in these interviews are also consonant with that in other earlier interviews, such as that with Michel Sicard (1979) and Leo Fretz (1980). This article aims to show both the continuity with Sartre’s earlier ethics in his responses to Lévy and the potential of the original ideas of the final ethics. My interpretation is that Sartre draws ideas from his earlier ethics, introduces some new ideas, and makes some startling formulations in suggesting the form of an ethics of reciprocity. I will discuss first the basis of the ethics of reciprocity, then the concepts of fraternity and democracy, and finally, Sartre’s account of hope and messianism. (shrink)
How and why should hope play a key role in a twenty-first century democratic politics? Alan Mittleman offers a philosophical exploration of the theme, contending that a modern construction of hope as an emotion is deficient. He revives the medieval understanding of hope as a virtue, reconstructing this in a contemporary philosophical idiom. In this framework, hope is less a spontaneous reaction than it is a choice against despair; a decision to live with confidence and expectation, (...) based on a rational assessment of possibility and a faith in the underlying goodness of life. In cultures shaped by biblical teaching, hope is thought praiseworthy. Mittleman explores the religious origins of the concept of hope in the Hebrew Scriptures, New Testament, rabbinic literature and Augustine. He traces the roots of both the praise of hope, in Jewish and Christian thought, and the criticism of hope in Greco-Roman thought and in the tradition of philosophical pessimism. Arguing on behalf of a straightened, sober form of hope, he relates hope-as-a-virtue to the tasks of democratic citizenship. Without diminishing the wisdom found in tragedy, a strong argument emerges in favour of hope as a way of taking responsibility for the world. Drawing on insights from scriptural and classical texts, philosophers, and theologians - ancient and modern, Mittleman builds a compelling case for placing hope at the centre of democratic political systems. (shrink)
The aim of this dissertation is to develop a theory of hope which accounts for the two senses in which hoping is, or should be, practical. The first sense concerns the need to make hopes realizable, while the second captures hope's ability to sustain us and foster growth. My argument is that a pragmatic theory of hope, previously undeveloped, provides a compelling explanation of hope's practicality. In particular, such a theory emphasizes three dimensions of the life (...) of hope--particular hopes, habits of hope, and hopefulness--the interweaving of which accounts for hope's practicality. ;In the Introduction, I discuss the need for a practical theory of hope and then sketch key pragmatic ideas used throughout the dissertation. These include pragmatism's commitment to contextualism as well as the means-end continuum. In Chapters I and II, I discuss the first sense of hope's practicality, i.e., its realizability. I situate hope in the context of the human being as an interactive biological organism, highlighting the roles of intelligence and habits, as well as that of the self understood as the reconstructive dynamic of the organism. I then discuss particular hopes by focusing on their ends, understood as future goods which are arduous but nevertheless possible to realize. Chapter II focuses on habits of hope as the primary means to the realization of particular hopes. I consider three such habits, persistence, resourcefulness, and courage. ;Habits of hope also play an important role in the development of hopefulness. In Chapter III, I discuss the nature of hopefulness, contrasting it with despair and examining how it contributes to the second sense of hope's practicality. I argue that we can develop hopefulness as the regnant habit of the self, nurturing and sustaining us as we meet life's trials. The social nature of hopefulness is emphasized through examples drawn from Stephen King's "Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption" and John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath. Both works show how hopefulness develops through close interpersonal relationships. ;Chapter IV closes the discussion by highlighting the conditioned nature of hope, pragmatically conceived. I consider alternate theories which focus on unconditioned hopes, but argue that these theories undermine hope's practicality. They transform its conditioned transcendence into an unconditioned transcendence, thereby undermining hope's realizability. (shrink)
Although the therapeutic misconception (TM) has been well described over a period of approximately 20 years, there has been disagreement about its implications for informed consent to research. In this paper we review some of the history and debate over the ethical implications of TM but also bring a new perspective to those debates. Drawing upon our experience of working in the context of translational research for rare childhood diseases such as Duchenne muscular dystrophy, we consider the ethical and legal (...) implications of the TM for parental consent to research. In this situation, it is potentially the parent who is vulnerable to TM. In our analysis we not only consider the context of informed consent for research but also the wider environment in which the value of research is promoted, more broadly through the media but also more specifically through the communication strategies of patient organizations. All dissemination about developments in research for health runs the risk of portraying an overly optimistic view of the promise of biotechnological solutions and has the potential to encourage a ‘collective’ TM. In this paper we consider the challenge that TM presents to parents as well as explore the ethical and legal responsibilities of researchers to ensure an appropriately informed consent: compatible with a hopeful disposition of parents who consent for the their children whilst avoiding a blind and misleading optimism. (shrink)