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In his fascinating and thought-provoking investigation into the meaning of hope, Stan van Hooft shows that hope is a fundamental structure of the way we live our lives. For Aristotle being hopeful was part of a well-lived life, a virtue. For Aquinas it was a fundamentally theological virtue and for Kant a basic moral motivation. It shapes how we view ourselves and the world in which we live. Whether we hope for a life after death or for good weather tomorrow - whether our hopes are grand or humble - hoping is part of our outlook on life. What we hope for defines who we are. Drawing on everyday examples as well as more detailed discussion of hope in the arenas of medicine, politics, and religion, van Hooft shows how hopefulness in not the same as hope and offers a convincing and powerful defense of the need for realism. There are few contemporary philosophical discussions of hope and van Hooft's book offers an accessible and insightful discussion of the topic that shows the relevance of philosophical thinking and distinctions to this important aspect of human life. Contents: 1. Introduction: Hope as a virtue; 2. Defining hope; 3. Being hopeful; 4. Three applications; 5. Hope and realism
Stan van Hooft is Professor of Philosophy at Deakin University, Australia. He has written widely on ethics and philosophical psychology and is the author of two other books for Acumen, Understanding Virtue Ethics (2006) and Cosmopolitanism (2009).
Table of Contents
Introduction: mapping the terrain
Hope in the clinic
Hope and politics
Hope and religion
Epilogue: the virtue of hope
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