Fundamental Hope and Practical Identity

Abstract

This article considers the question “What makes hope rational?” We take Adrienne Martin's recent incorporation analysis of hope as representative of a tradition that views the rationality of hope as a matter of instrumental reasons. Against this tradition, we argue that an important subset of hope, “fundamental hope”, is not governed by instrumental rationality. Rather, people have reason to endorse or reject such hope in virtue of the contribution of the relevant attitudes to the integrity of their practical identity, which makes the relevant hope not instrumentally but intrinsically valuable. This argument also allows for a new analysis of the reasons people have to abandon hope and for a better understanding of non-fundamental, `prosaic’ hopes.

Publication
Philosophical Papers 46(3), 2017: 345–71