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Abstract: In a memorable scene from the movie The Graduate , Dustin Hoffman’s parents throw him a party to celebrate his graduation from college. The parents’ friends are all there congratulating him and offering advice. What should Hoffman do with his life? One particularly solicitous guest is eager to set him straight. He takes Hoffman aside and utters a single word-- plastics!
Abstract: This article attempts to respond to Simon Critchley's claim in a recent debate with Richard Rorty, that the latter, by not fully recognizing its indebtedness to Levinas, misunderstands the political import of the work of Jacques Derrida. I maintain, pace Critchley, that trying to push the Derrida-Levinas connection too far will not only further compound Rorty's view of Derrida as a thinker devoid of political efficacy, but that it will moreover serve to obscure the significant differences which exist between Levinas and Derrida - differences which cannot be overlooked in any serious discussion of the two thinkers in question. In the second half, I try to convince Critchley that what separates Derrida from Levinas is precisely what hooks him up with Rorty at a political level. Both, I argue, are committed to a civic religion of social hope. In so doing, I try to convince Rorty that his caricature of Derrida as a private writer without political consequence, ought now to be seriously reconsidered. Key Words: community Critchley democracy Derrida ethics justice law Levinas politics religion Rorty sentiment singularity social hope
Abstract: The students and colleagues of Roderick Chisholm admired and respected Chisholm. Many were filled not only with admiration, but with affection and gratitude for Chisholm throughout the time we knew him. Even now that he is dead, we continue to wish him well. Under the circumstances, many of us probably think that that wish amounts to no more than this: we hope that things went well for him when he lived; we hope that he had a good life
Abstract: It is a commonplace in both the popular imagination and the philosophical literature that hope has a special kind of motivational force. This commonplace underwrites the conviction that hope alone is capable of bolstering us in despairinducing circumstances, as well as the strategy of appealing to hope in the political realm. In section 1, I argue that, to the contrary, hope’s motivational essence is not special or unique—it is simply that of an endorsed desire. The commonplace is not entirely mistaken, however, because standard ways of expressing hope do have motivational influence that is different in kind from that of desire. In sections 2 through 4, I examine one of these ways of expressing hope, fantasizing, and argue that fantasies can present us with reasons to modify our goals and projects in multiple ways
Abstract: How do we encourage patients to be hopeful without exploiting their hope? A medical researcher or a pharmaceutical company can take unfair advantage of someone's hope by much subtler means than simply giving misinformation. Hope shapes deliberation, and therefore can make deliberation better or worse, by the deliberator's own standards of deliberation
Abstract: Hesiod wrote of Pandora: Ere this the tribes of men lived on earth remote and free from ills and hard toil and heavy sickness. But the woman took off the great lid of the cask with her hands and scattered all these and her thought caused sorrow and mischief to men. Only Hope remained there in an unbreakable home under the lid of the great cask, and did not fly out; for ere that, the lid of the cask stopped her. But the rest, countless plagues, wander amongst men; for earth is full of evils and the sea is full. Of themselves diseases come upon men continually by day and by night, bringing mischief to mortals silently. (Works and Days) Hope enters the scene in company of disease, and it is unclear from Hesiod’s account whether hope is just one of many evils, or something added in a moment of mercy to help us endure “ills and hard toil and heavy labor.” I offer an account of hope grounded in an examination of how it functions in the medical care and research settings. I argue that hope is a stance taken toward our desires and aims in light of uncertainty and limited control. As such, it is deeply connected to well-functioning human agency and a key factor in our ability to endure hardship and to work our way in a world we have limited ability to shape. Yet I also argue that hope is not without hazard. Hope makes us vulnerable to harms from within in the form of attentional deficits and from without in the form of exploitation by those perceived to control the object of hope. In short, hope is a good, but a good with dangers. I conclude by addressing how medical professionals can take both of these aspects into account when responding to hopeful patients and research subjects
Abstract: I assess a series of arguments intended to show that 'ought' implies 'can'. Two are rooted in uses of 'ought' in contexts of deliberation and command. A third draws on the distinctive resources of deontic logic. I show that, in each case, the arguments leave scope for forms of infinite moral consciousness—forms of moral consciousness in which a moral obligation retains its authority even in the face of the conviction that the obligation is impossible to fulfil. In this respect the paper sides with Martin Luther against Erasmus and Kant
Abstract: Verbs such as know, believe, hope, fear, regret and desire are commonly taken to express an attitude that one may bear towards a proposition and are therefore called verbs of propositional attitude. Thus in (1) below the agent Cathy is reported to have a certain attitude
Abstract: For many religious people there is a problem of doubting various creedal statements contained in their religions. Often propositional beliefs are looked upon as a necessary, though not sufficient, condition, for salvation. This causes great anxiety in doubters and raises the question of the importance of belief in religion and in life in general. It is a question that has been neglected in philosophy of religion and Christian theology. In this paper I shall explore the question of the importance of belief as a religious attitude and suggest that there is at least one other attitude which may be adequate for religious faith even in the absence of belief, that attitude being hope. I shall develop a concept of faith as hope as an alternative to the usual notion that makes prepositional belief that God exists a necessary condition for faith, as Plantinga implies in the quotation above. For simplicity’s sake I shall concentrate on the most important proposition in Western religious creeds, that which states that God exists (defined broadly as a benevolent, supreme Being, who is responsible for the creation of the universe), but the analysis could be applied mutatis mutandis to many other important propositions in religion (e.g., the Incarnation and the doctrine of the Trinity)