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DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-L037-2
Version: v2,  Published online: 2020
Retrieved July 13, 2024, from

Article Summary

The philosophical literature on hope centres around the nature and value of hope, where hope may be construed as an attitude, emotion, or virtue. Concerning the nature of hope as an attitude or emotion, there is broad agreement that it involves desire for something uncertain. There is disagreement, however, regarding whether desire for what is uncertain is all that hope requires.

Concerning the value of hope, many philosophers argue that hope is often valuable in that it helps people overcome obstacles and cope with difficult situations. Some argue that hope is necessary for deliberating about what to do and for being motivated to pursue goals. Hope has also been connected to courage, solidarity, stability, and increased understanding, among other things.

In Christian moral theology, the virtue of hope, along with those of faith and love (charity), is regarded as a theological virtue. In addition, some contemporary philosophers develop accounts of moral and intellectual virtues of hope.

Citing this article:
Smith, Nicholas Ryan. Hope, 2020, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-L037-2. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
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