Hope is not stoicism.
The audacity of hope!
I hope nobody gets hurt.
Hope is about goals, pathways, and agency.
Several objections have been raised against this analysis of hope.
When hope has attained its object, it ceases to be hope and becomes possession.
Mill’s license to hope is issued on pragmatic grounds: it is permissible to hope if and only if:
Hope does not mean naively denying reality, as Rebecca Solnit explains in her inspiring book Hope in the Dark.
Augustine of Hippo discusses hope systematically in chapter two of his Enchiridion on Faith, Hope and Love (c. 420).
Believing that hope will result in the increase of happiness or well-being is a necessary condition of permissible hope.
Joseph Godfrey calls hope without object “fundamental hope” and bases his account on an analysis of Bloch, Kant and Marcel (Godfrey 1987).
This hope is not a hope for the discovery of antecedently existing common ground, but simply hope for agreement, or, at least, exciting and fruitful disagreement.
This characteristic of hope is responsible for its intrinsic value in three respects: First, hope has intrinsic value because mental imaging is pleasurable in itself (Bovens 1999: 675f.).
Finally, it should be no surprise that “speaking metaphysically, the only genuine hope is hope in what does not depend on ourselves, hope springing from humility and not from pride” (Marcel 1995, p. 32).
Discussions of hope can be found throughout the history of philosophy and across all Western philosophical traditions, even though philosophy has traditionally not paid the same attention to hope as it has to attitudes like belief and desire.
In regard to the normative conditions under which hope is rational, in Theory and Practice Kant claims that a particular hope (or intention formed on the basis of hope) is not irrational as long as its object cannot be proven to be impossible (AE 8:309f.).
Bloch‘s The Principle of Hope is certainly not only the most radical attempt to build a critical political philosophy on a highly unorthodox theory of hope, it also constitutes a decisive break with standard analyses of hope found in the philosophical tradition.
While Augustine is more or less exclusively concerned with the significance of hope for our pursuit of a good Christian life, Thomas Aquinas’ Summa theologiae contains a very extensive discussion of hope that also covers forms of hope that are not connected to faith.
Nancy Snow (2013) proposes three respects in which hope can be understood as an intellectual virtue: (1) hope motivates the pursuit of epistemic ends such as knowledge; (2) hope imparts qualities to the epistemic agent, such as resilience, perseverance, flexibility, and openness, that further the successful pursuit of those ends; and (3) hope functions as a kind of method in the pursuit of intellectual projects.
- a specific instance of feeling hopeful
Example: it revived their hope of winning the pennant
- expect and wish
- be optimistic; be full of hope; have hopes
- the general feeling that some desire will be fulfilled
Example: in spite of his troubles he never gave up hope
- grounds for feeling hopeful about the future
- intend with some possibility of fulfilment
Example: I hope to have finished this work by tomorrow evening
- someone (or something) on which expectations are centered
Example: he was their best hope for a victory
- one of the three Christian virtues
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Nancy Snow 2013 proposes three respects in which hope can be understood as an intellectual virtue 1 hope motivates the pursuit of epistemic ends such as knowledge 2 hope imparts qualities to the epistemic agent such as resilience perseverance flexibility and openness that further the successful pursuit of those ends and 3 hope functions as a kind of method in the pursuit of intellectual projects