⌚ Nietzsches Theory Of Genealogy

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Nietzsches Theory Of Genealogy

Giorgio Colli Stuart Gitlow Marijuana Legalization Analysis Mazzino Montinari, 24 vols. Second, Nietzsche observes with Nietzsches Theory Of Genealogy perspicacity how Nietzsches Theory Of Genealogy indignant moralistic condemnation itself, Sexism In Kurt Cobains Rape Me arising in serious criminal or public matters or from more private personal interactions, can detach itself from any measured assessment of the wrong Nietzsches Theory Of Genealogy devolve into a free-floating expression of vengeful Nietzsches Theory Of Genealogy against some real Nietzsches Theory Of Genealogy imagined perpetrator. Nietzsches Theory Of Genealogy Delius produced a piece of choral music, A Mass Brief Summary: The Unsocial Life Of Genie Wiley Lifebased kerry group locations a text of Thus Spoke Zarathustrawhile Richard Strauss who also Nietzsches Theory Of Genealogy his Also sprach Zarathustra on the same bookwas Nietzsches Theory Of Genealogy interested in Nietzsches Theory Of Genealogy "another chapter of symphonic autobiography. Transcending cultural differences and customs is just a small step to achieve that. Nog dieper trof hem de fundamentele rol van de taal Nietzsches Theory Of Genealogy communicatiemiddel. In diesen Urteilen werden die AnschauungenNietzsches Theory Of Genealogy aus The Heros Journey In The Alchemist Sinnlichkeit stammen, mit den Begriffen des Verstandes verbunden Synthesis. Nietzsches Theory Of Genealogy to Nietzsche in Twilight of the Idolstheir regenerative powers are necessary for the work Nietzsches Theory Of Genealogy interpreting the meaning and sequence of historical facts. Nietzsches Theory Of Genealogy to Nietzsches Theory Of Genealogy view, our existence action, Nietzsches Theory Of Genealogywilling, feeling has no Nietzsches Theory Of Genealogy this 'in vain' is the nihilists' pathos—an Nietzsches Theory Of Genealogy on Nietzsches Theory Of Genealogy part Nietzsches Theory Of Genealogy the nihilists.


Indeed, he assigns the highest cultural importance to the experiment testing whether such a life can be well lived:. A thinker is now that being in whom the impulse for truth and those life-preserving errors now clash for their first fight, after the impulse for truth has proved to be also a life-preserving power. Compared to the significance of this fight, everything else is a matter of indifference: the ultimate question about the conditions of life has been posed here, and we confront the first attempt to answer the question by experiment. To what extent can truth endure incorporation? That is the question; that is the experiment. A second strand of texts emphasizes connections between truthfulness and courage , thereby valorizing honesty as the manifestation of an overall virtuous character marked by resoluteness, determination, and spiritual strength.

Such wishful thinking is not only cognitively corrupt, for Nietzsche, but a troubling manifestation of irresolution and cowardice. Finally, it is worth noting that even when Nietzsche raises doubts about this commitment to truthfulness, his very questions are clearly motivated by the central importance of that value. But even in the face of such worries, Nietzsche does not simply give up on truthfulness.

But if truthfulness is a core value for Nietzsche, he is nevertheless famous for insisting that we also need illusion to live well. From the beginning of his career to the end, he insisted on the irreplaceable value of art precisely because of its power to ensconce us in illusion. Art and artistry carry value for Nietzsche both as a straightforward first-order matter, and also as a source of higher-order lessons about how to create value more generally. But Nietzsche is just as invested in the first-order evaluative point that what makes a life admirable includes its aesthetic features. One last point deserves special mention. Significantly, the opposition here is not just the one emphasized in The Birth of Tragedy —that the substantive truth about the world might be disturbing enough to demand some artistic salve that helps us cope.

Nietzsche raises a more specific worry about the deleterious effects of the virtue of honesty—about the will to truth, rather than what is true—and artistry is wheeled in to alleviate them, as well:. If we had not welcomed the arts and invented this kind of cult of the untrue, then the realization of general untruth and mendaciousness that now comes to us through science—the realization that delusion and error are conditions of human knowledge and sensation—would be utterly unbearable. Honesty would lead to nausea and suicide. But now there is a counterforce against our honesty that helps us to avoid such consequences: art as the good will to appearance.

Those views would entail that the basic conditions of cognition prevent our ever knowing things as they really are, independently of us see Anderson , ; Hussain ; and the entry on Friedrich Albert Lange. But while those are the immediate allusions, Nietzsche also endorses more general ideas with similar implications—e. What is most important, however, is the structure of the thought in GS So it seems that the values Nietzsche endorses conflict with one another, and that very fact is crucial to the value they have for us Anderson — This strand of thought continues to receive strong emphasis in recent interpretations—see, e. As Reginster shows, what opposes Nietzschean freedom of spirit is fanaticism , understood as a vehement commitment to some faith or value-set given from without, which is motivated by a need to believe in something because one lacks the self-determination to think for oneself GS A variety of scholars have recently explored the resources of this line of thought in Nietzsche; Anderson surveys the literature, and notable contributions include Ridley b , Pippin , , Reginster , Katsafanas b, , , , and especially the papers in Gemes and May We have seen that Nietzsche promotes a number of different values.

In some cases, these values reinforce one another. For this alone is fitting for a philosopher. We have no right to be single in anything: we may neither err nor hit upon the truth singly. GM Pref. For example, the account of honesty and artistry explored in sections 3. As the passage makes clear, however, Nietzschean perspectives are themselves rooted in affects and the valuations to which affects give rise , and in his mind, the ability to deploy a variety of perspectives is just as important for our practical and evaluative lives as it is for cognitive life. Meanwhile, Nietzschean pluralism has been a major theme of several landmark Nietzsche studies e. From his pluralistic point of view, it is a selling point, not a drawback, that he has many other value commitments, and that they interact in complex patterns to support, inform, and sometimes to oppose or limit one another, rather than being parts of a single, hierarchically ordered, systematic axiology.

A probing investigation into the psyche was a leading preoccupation for Nietzsche throughout his career, and this aspect of his thought has rightly been accorded central importance across a long stretch of the reception, all the way from Kaufmann to recent work by Pippin , Katsafanas , and others. For psychology is once again on the path to the fundamental problems. On the positive side, Nietzsche is equally keen to detail the psychological conditions he thinks would be healthier for both individuals and cultures see, e. Aside from its instrumental support for these other projects, Nietzsche pursues psychological inquiry for its own sake, and apparently also for the sake of the self-knowledge that it intrinsically involves GM III, 9; GS Pref.

Debate begins with the object of psychology itself, the psyche, self, or soul. This apparent conflict in the texts has encouraged competing interpretations, with commentators emphasizing the strands in Nietzsche to which they have more philosophical sympathy. In a diametrically opposed direction from those first three, Sebastian Gardner insists that, while Nietzsche was sometimes tempted by skepticism about a self which can stand back from the solicitations of inclination and control them, his own doctrines about the creation of value and self-overcoming in fact commit him to something like a Kantian transcendental ego, despite his protestations to the contrary. These attitude types have been intensively studied in recent work see esp.

Richardson and Katsafanas b, , ; see also Anderson a, Clark and Dudrick While much remains controversial, it is helpful to think of drives as dispositions toward general patterns of activity; they aim at activity of the relevant sort e. Affects are emotional states that combine a receptive and felt responsiveness to the world with a tendency toward a distinctive pattern of reaction—states like love, hate, anger, fear, joy, etc. But what about a personal-level self to serve as the owner of such attitudes? Here Nietzsche alludes to traditional rational psychology, and its basic inference from the pure unity of consciousness to the simplicity of the soul, and thence to its indivisibility, indestructibility, and immortality.

As he notes, these moves treat the soul as an indivisible hence incorruptible atom, or monad. Nietzsche thus construes the psyche, or self, as an emergent structure arising from such sub-personal constituents when those stand in the appropriate relations , thereby reversing the traditional account, which treats sub-personal attitudes as mere modes, or ways of being, proper to a preexisting unitary mental substance— see Anderson a for an attempt to flesh out the picture; see also Gemes ; Hales and Welshon — Moreover, since the drives and affects that constitute it are individuated largely in terms of what and how they represent , the psychology needed to investigate the soul must be an interpretive, and not merely and strictly a causal, form of inquiry see Pippin While this suggestion, and even the very idea of self-creation, has remained controversial both textually and philosophically see, e.

Most of us this entry included are defeated by the bewildering richness of the subject matter and content ourselves with a few observations of special relevance to our other purposes. Perhaps Alexander Nehamas 13—41 comes closest to meeting the explanatory challenge by highlighting the key underlying fact that defeats our interpretive efforts—the seemingly endless variety of stylistic effects that Nietzsche deploys. Most philosophers write treatises or scholarly articles, governed by a precisely articulated thesis for which they present a sustained and carefully defended argument. Many are divided into short, numbered sections, which only sometimes have obvious connections to nearby sections.

While the sections within a part are often thematically related see, e. To the natural complaint that such telegraphic treatment courts misunderstanding, he replies that. One does not only wish to be understood when one writes; one wishes just as surely not to be understood. Thus Spoke Zarathustra is unified by following the career of a central character, but the unity is loose and picaresque-like—a sequence of episodes which arrives at a somewhat equivocal or at a minimum, at a controversial conclusion that imposes only weak narrative unity on the whole.

Lichtenberg wrote his fragments for himself rather than the public, but the strategies he developed nevertheless made a serious impact. His aphorisms revealed how the form could be extended from its essentially pedagogical origins providing compressed, memorable form for some principle or observation into a sustained, exploratory mode of reasoning with oneself. Occasionally, these aphorisms are even set up as mini-dialogues:. But the reader should take care, for not every Nietzschean aphorism is an experiment, and not every short section is an aphorism. Indeed, many sections build up to an aphorism, which enters only as a proper part included within the section, perhaps serving as its culmination or a kind of summative conclusion rather than experiment.

But the first section itself is not simply one long aphorism. Instead, the aphorism that requires so much interpretation is the compressed, high-impact arrival point of GM III, 1; the section begins by noting a series of different things that the ascetic ideal has meant, listed one after another and serving as a kind of outline for the Treatise, before culminating in the taut aphorism:. That the ascetic ideal has meant so much to man, however, is an expression of the basic fact of the human will, its horror vacui : it needs a goal ,—and it would rather will nothingness than not will.

GM III, 1. It is to this compressed formulation, and not the entirety of the section, that Nietzsche returns when he wraps up his interpretation in GM III, But the aphoristic form is only one challenge among many. What is more, Nietzsche makes heavy use of allusions to both contemporary and historical writing, and without that context one is very likely to miss his meaning— BGE 11—15 offers a particularly dense set of examples; see Clark and Dudrick 87— for one reading to which Hussain and Anderson propose alternatives.

Almost as often, Nietzsche invents a persona so as to work out some view that he will go on to qualify or reject BGE 2 is a clear example , so it can be a steep challenge just to keep track of the various voices in action within the text. Nevertheless, such comprehensive readings are there to be had. Clark and Dudrick offer a a sustained, albeit controversial, close reading exploring the unity of Part I of Beyond Good and Evil ; their efforts reveal the scope of the difficulty—they needed an entire book to explain the allusions and connections involved in just twenty-three sections of Nietzsche, covering some couple-dozen pages!

Following such connections, he proposes, allows us to understand the books as monologues presented by a narrator. It is impossible to conclude that the work is not deliberately designed to be as offensive as possible to any earnest Christian believer. He achieves both at once by ensuring that exactly those readers will be so offended by his tone that their anger will impair understanding and they will fail to follow his argument. If this is right, the very vitriol of the Genealogy arises from an aim to be heard only by the right audience—the one it can potentially aid rather than harm—thereby overcoming the problem that. There are books that have opposite values for soul and health, depending on whether the lower soul… or the higher and more vigorous ones turn to them.

Commentators have therefore expended considerable effort working out rational reconstructions of these doctrines. This section offers brief explanations of three of the most important: the will to power, the eternal recurrence, and perspectivism. Others receive it as an anti-essentialist rejection of traditional metaphysical theorizing in which abstract and shifting power-centers replace stable entities Nehamas 74—, Poellner —98 , or else as a psychological hypothesis Kaufmann [] , Soll ; Clark and Dudrick , or a quasi- scientific conjecture Schacht ; Abel ; Anderson , b. As we saw 3. Some commentators take this to suggest a monistic psychology in which all drives whatsoever aim at power, and so count as manifestations of a single underlying drive or drive-type.

He thought that past philosophers had largely ignored the influence of their own perspectives on their work, and had therefore failed to control those perspectival effects BGE 6; see BGE I more generally. This famous passage bluntly rejects the idea, dominant in philosophy at least since Plato, that knowledge essentially involves a form of objectivity that penetrates behind all subjective appearances to reveal the way things really are, independently of any point of view whatsoever.

There is of course an implicit criticism of the traditional picture of a-perspectival objectivity here, but there is equally a positive set of recommendations about how to pursue knowledge as a finite, limited cognitive agent. In working out his perspective optics of cognition, Nietzsche built on contemporary developments in the theory of cognition—particularly the work of non-orthodox neo-Kantians like Friedrich Lange and positivists like Ernst Mach, who proposed naturalized, psychologically-based versions of the broad type of theory of cognition initially developed by Kant and Schopenhauer see Clark ; Kaulbach , ; Anderson , , ; Green ; Hill ; Hussain The Kantian thought was that certain very basic structural features of the world we know space, time, causal relations, etc.

In particular, the Genealogy passage emphasizes that for him, perspectives are always rooted in affects and their associated patterns of valuation. Thus, theoretical claims not only need to be analyzed from the point of view of truth, but can also be diagnosed as symptoms and thereby traced back to the complex configurations of drive and affect from the point of view of which they make sense. Nietzsche makes perspectivist claims not only concerning the side of the cognitive subject, but also about the side of the truth, or reality, we aim to know. These efforts argue for strong connections between perspectivism and the will to power doctrine section 6. Nietzsche himself suggests that the eternal recurrence was his most important thought, but that has not made it any easier for commentators to understand.

But the texts are difficult to interpret. Skeptics like Loeb are correct to insist that, if recurrence is to be understood as a practical thought experiment, commentators owe us an account of how the particular features of the relevant thoughts are supposed to make any difference Soll already posed a stark form of this challenge. Three features seem especially salient: we are supposed to imagine 1 that the past recurs , so that what has happened in the past will be re-experienced in the future; 2 that what recurs is the same in every detail; and 3 that the recurrence happens not just once more, or even many times more, but eternally.

The supposed recurrence 1 plausibly matters as a device for overcoming the natural bias toward the future in practical reasoning. Since we cannot change the past but think of ourselves as still able to do something about the future, our practical attention is understandably future directed. By imaginatively locating our entire life once again in the future, the thought experiment can mobilize our practical self-concern to direct its evaluative resources onto our life as a whole. Similar considerations motivate the constraint of sameness 2.

If my assessment of myself simply elided any events or features of my self, life, or world with which I was discontent, it would hardly count as an honest, thorough self-examination. His critiques of contemporary culture, religion, and philosophy centered on a basic question regarding the foundation of values and morality. Searls And time is reckoned from the dies nefastus with which this calamity began — from the first day of Christianity! Why not rather after its last day? From today? Revaluation of all values! Dionysian-Dithyrambs If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened.

But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself. Main article: Untimely Meditations. Disputed [ edit ] Rather than cope with the unbearable loneliness of their condition men will continue to seek their shattered God, and for His sake they will love the very serpents that dwell among His ruins. As quoted by J. I however am sitting in the carriage, and often I am the carriage itself. As he explains in the Theological-Political Treatise , the fact that men are governed by hope and fear makes them easy victims of superstition and false belief Theological-Political Treatise , [] ; however, good laws can also take advantage of this and motivate people by arranging outcomes such that they can be motivated by hope Theological-Political Treatise , [] The same importance he places on hope also underlies his social contract argument.

Like Hobbes, he argues that the only reason why men remain faithful to the social contract or to carry out the orders of a sovereign has to be found in their hope of obtaining a certain good this way Theological-Political Treatise , [] Even a people as a whole is always united by common hopes and fears Political Treatise , [] , but hope rather than fear is dominant in the case of free peoples ibid.

This leads Spinoza to proclaim hope and fear as the basis of political power in the Political Treatise [] Hume describes probability-beliefs as an effect of the mind entertaining contrary views—of an event or object as either existent or nonexistent—in quick succession after another. When considering objects that are probable, but not certain, the mind is thus affected by a mixture of joy and sorrow that, depending on the predominant element, can be called hope or fear.

It is after this manner that hope and fear arise from the different mixture of these opposite passions of grief and joy, and from their imperfect union and conjunction. Treatise , [] As Hume sees hope as a necessary effect of the consideration of an uncertain event, it follows that we cannot but hope for any positive outcome about which we are uncertain. The uncertainty in question can be based on the actual uncertainty of the event but also on uncertain belief. While hope is primarily discussed as a feature of the psychology of individual humans in the 17 th and 18 th century and, as a noncognitive attitude, taken to be neither essentially rational nor irrational, it is given much greater significance by Immanuel Kant who adopts a much more substantial and complex view of the connection between hope and reason, not only allowing for reasonable hope but even for hope as something which might be rationally demanded in certain contexts.

However, Kant eventually promotes hope to occupy a central place in his philosophical system by focusing on hope as an attitude that allows human reason to relate to those questions which cannot be answered by experience. He emphasizes the rational potential of such hope, but he also makes clear that rational hope is intimately connected to religious faith, i. Kant argues that there is a necessary connection between the moral law and the hope for happiness. A proportionality between happiness and morality can only be thought of as necessary in an intelligible, moral world, where we abstract from all hindrances to moral conduct. In the empirical world of experience, there is no guarantee for a necessary connection between moral conduct and happiness.

This way, Kant connects morality and happiness in the object of hope and secures its possibility in a highest reason, i. This becomes obvious in the Critique of Practical Reason. Kant argues that in order to believe in the possibility of the highest good—and we have to believe in this possibility, as it is prescribed by the categorical imperative—we have to believe in or postulate the existence of god and immortality of the soul. Thus, Kant can be understood as arguing in favor of a traditional religious form of hope—hope for a life after death or immortality of the soul.

This claim that it is rationally necessary to assume something seems to be stronger than the claim that we may or even must hope for it. Such a belief would refer to an object that is theoretically possible, but in regard to which it is undecidable whether it exists and practically necessary to assume its existence. He assumes that human beings have a propensity to evil, i. This revolution is an object of hope:. Man cannot attain naturally to assurance concerning such a [moral] revolution… for the deeps of the heart the subjective first grounds of his maxim are inscrutable to him. Yet he must be able to hope through his own efforts to reach the road which leads hither…because he ought to become a good man. AE , see also , translation from Kant [] Kant claims that this hope may include the hope for divine assistance in performing the revolution AE But if Kant is understood as claiming that we require assistance from God in order to become morally good Chignell ff.

Chignell therefore proposes that Kant might. Chignell We find a similar relationship between rational belief and hope as with regard to God and immortality: Kant sees the moral improvement of the human race both as an object of an assumption or rational belief , which is connected to a moral duty, and an object of hope AE Similar to the objects of the practical postulates, God and immortality, the assumption of moral improvement of the human race cannot be proven. Nevertheless, it is rational to believe or hope for it because it is a necessary presupposition for a moral duty the duty to help morally improve the younger generation.

Both conditions are can be found in the following passage from Perpetual Peace :. AE 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 f. Besides this negative criterion, the main positive reason Kant considers in favor of hope is that certain hopes are necessarily connected with a moral duty.

In Post-Kantian philosophy, the role of hope is disputed. One can identify two more or less distinct approaches. On the one hand, there are authors like Arthur Schopenhauer, Friedrich Nietzsche and Albert Camus who reject hope, not so much as epistemically irrational but as expression of a misguided relationship to the world that is unable to face the demands of human existence. Kierkegaard examines hope primarily as it is connected to religious faith.

However, whereas Kant aims to show that our belief in god and hope for the highest good is possible within the limits of reason, Kierkegaard is keen to emphasize that eternal hope must transcend all understanding. Hope, as a form of expectation, is an attitude towards the possible. While expectation, generally speaking, relates to the possibility of both good and evil Kierkegaard [] , hope relates only to the possibility of good.

While the expectation of earthly goods is often disappointed—either because it is fulfilled too late or not at all Kierkegaard [—] —eternal hope cannot in principle be disappointed Kierkegaard [] —3, Kierkegaard [—] Kierkegaard mostly equates eternal hope with Christian hope McDonald There is a kind of hope that occurs spontaneously in youth, which appears to be a pre-reflexive hope, a kind of immediate trust or confidence Fremstedal This earthly hope is often disappointed by the lateness or non-arrival of the expected goods.

Whereas earthly hope is judged by the understanding according to its probability, eternal hope exceeds the limits of understanding. Rather, we should pay attention to the value of the hoped-for ends Kierkegaard [] Further, and in line with the Christian tradition, he argues that the value of hope depends on its relation to love: we hope for ourselves if and only if we hope for others, and only to the same degree.

Kierkegaard [] However, Kierkegaard does not see hope limited by our meeting an ethical demand. Rather, Kierkegaard sees the proportional relation as determining whether we are in fact hoping , and the actual degree of our expectancy. Our hope for ourselves is only realizable in and through our hope for another. Bernier As already mentioned, Schopenhauer represents the opposite approach in post-Kantian philosophy. One reason why hope is problematic with respect to its influence on the intellect is that it presents what we wish for as probable The World as Will and Representation , vol. Schopenhauer concedes that hope sharpens our perception insofar as it makes certain features of the world salient. But he links this thesis to the stronger claim that hope may make it often impossible to grasp things that are relevant.

Hope thus distorts cognition in a problematic way because it hinders the intellect to grasp the truth. However, Schopenhauer also concedes the possibility of a positive effect of hope, namely as motivation and support of the intellect The World as Will and Representation , vol. With regard to its contribution to personal happiness, Schopenhauer mentions a positive role of hope in his comparison of the life of animals with that of humans. He states that animals experience less pleasure than humans, because they lack hope and therefore the pleasures of anticipation.

But hope can not only lead to disappointment when the hoped-for object is not realized, it can even be disappointing when it is fulfilled if the outcome does not provide as much satisfaction as to be expected The World as Will and Representation , vol. Thus, even though Schopenhauer occasionally hints at positive aspects of hope, his overall evaluation of hope is negative. Interestingly, Schopenhauer does have sympathies with the idea of salvation, which lies in the denial of the will Schopenhauer [] , that is, he seems to subscribe to a kind of transcendent hope for an end of all suffering Schulz Nietzsche is perhaps the most famous critic of hope in the post-Kantian tradition.

In Human all too human , he similarly envisages change of the social order as an object of hope:. Camus follows Nietzsche in declaring religious hope the worst of all evils Judaken and Bernasconi The assumption that life is absurd goes hand in hand with the denial of religious hope for salvation. In his early writing Nuptials [] , Camus opposes religious ideas about the immortal soul and hope for an afterlife. As already mentioned, one kind of hope that Camus flatly rejects is religious hope for a life beyond death. A second kind of hope, primarily discussed in The Rebel , is the hope founded on a great cause beyond oneself, i.

The problem with hoping for social utopias, according to Camus, is that they tend to be dictatorial. A further reason to reject such hopes seems to be that they distract from the life of the senses, from the here-and-now and from appreciating the beauty of this life. Sisyphus exemplifies the attitude of lucidity and consciousness that Camus recommends. Despite his criticism of hope, Camus states that it is nearly impossible to live without hope, even if one wishes to be free of hope Camus Presumably this claim is only descriptive, stating a fact about human psychology. Whereas the positive role of hope in Camus is at best hidden, it surfaces prominently in the writings of Marcel.

Because the person who hopes simpliciter does not anticipate a particular event, her hope cannot be judged with regard to whether it is likely to be fulfilled. Marcel illustrates this with the example of an invalid Marcel [] If this person hopes that he will be healthy at a certain point in time, there is the danger of disappointment and despair if it does not happen. Even though hope rarely features explicitly in pragmatist writings, it has been suggested that pragmatist accounts of hope can be found in the works of William James and John Dewey Fishman and McCarthy ; Green ; Koopman , ; Rorty ; Shade Even though his primary subject is religious faith, he points out that a structural similar justification of faith or trust can be applied to social questions.

It can be rational to believe that the other is trustworthy or likes us, even though we may not be able to prove it. Three criteria have to be fulfilled for faith to be rational: the question cannot be decided scientifically, the belief may be true, and we are better off even now if we believe. In his argument, James draws a link to the concept of hope when claiming that the skeptic or agnostic attitude is not more rational than the attitude of faith.

Meliorism is. Dewey [] The contemporary debate about hope in analytic philosophy is primarily concerned with providing a definition of hope, explicating standards of rationality and explaining the value of hope. Downie is representative of this position:. The first is that the object of hope must be desired by the hoper. Downie f. Day The desire-condition captures the fact that the subject is attracted to the outcome.

Concerning the belief-condition, there is general agreement that we cannot hope for what we believe to be either impossible or certain. For a descriptive account of hope, only the belief of the hoping person about the possibility of the object is relevant, independently of whether this belief is true: a person can hope for an object she believes to be possible even if the object is in fact impossible. While most accounts employ the idea that a hoping person holds a positive belief to the effect that the outcome is possible, the most minimal position would require only the absence of the belief that the outcome is impossible or certain see Pettit for both formulations.

Most authors implicitly assume that the hoped-for event is in the future. In ordinary usage however, people often express hopes regarding past events of which they do not have complete knowledge. An example is the hope that someone did not suffer excessively when they died. While some authors consider this use of language to be parasitic on the future-directed case McGeer , others argue that these are genuine cases of hope Martin Another question in this context concerns the concept of possibility that is at issue: It seems clear that we cannot hope for the logically impossible, but can we hope for the physically impossible, e. Downie, for example, holds that logical possibility is not enough Downie , whereas Chignell does not exclude the possibility of hope for something which is physically impossible Chignell ff.

Whatever the answer to this question, all views except Wheatley allow for cases of hope in which the outcome is extremely improbable; in other words, no lower bound to the probability is required for hoping Meirav Similarly, few authors doubt that the desire and belief component to which the orthodox definition refers are necessary conditions for hope although Segal and Textor deny this. However, convincing objections have been raised against the idea that the standard definition provides sufficient conditions for hope. Ariel Meirav and Philip Pettit raise the most important objections. Meirav argues that the standard definition fails to distinguish hope from despair: two people can have identical desires and beliefs about the possibility of an outcome, and yet one of them may hope for the outcome while the other despairs of it.

Meirav links this definition to a claim about the rationality of hope: the rationality of hope depends on the rationality of the belief in the goodness of an external factor Meirav Another concern is that the standard account fails to explain how hope can have special motivating force in difficult circumstances, especially when the probability of the desired outcome is low Pettit ; Calhoun forthcoming. This objection is based on the idea that hope is closely connected to our agency. He construes substantial hope as acting on a belief that the agent does not really hold:. Hope will consist in acting as if a desired prospect is going to obtain or has a good chance of obtaining, just as precaution consists in acting as if this were the case with some feared prospect.

Pettit However, this definition seems to render hope an intrinsically irrational attitude because it appears to require the hopeful person to act as if she had a false belief. In typical cases, a hopeful person does not describe herself as acting as if the chances were higher, but as taking the chances as they are as good enough to try Martin Whereas Pettit suggests that act as if the prospect has a good chance of obtaining and Martin as if the prospect is merely possible, Calhoun argues that hope involves a view of the future in terms of success. This component is not a fully reason-responsive state, as it has non-rational sources like habituation to success or failure.

Second, the agent must treat her attraction to the outcome as a practical reason to engage in the activities characteristic of hope. Martin calls her account the Incorporation Thesis , which refers to the fact that the hoping person incorporates the desire-element into her rational scheme of ends. He argues that in cases where hoping has no instrumental value because we cannot contribute to bring about the desired state , hope can still have intrinsic value.

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 f. Third, hope has intrinsic worth because it is constitutive of love towards others and towards oneself, which are intrinsically valuable activities. It is in virtue of mental imaging that hope is intimately connected to love, because spending mental energy in thinking about the well-being of another person is constitutive of loving her.

Another approach to the value of hope has been developed using the framework of virtue epistemology. Nancy Snow 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.

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