Elements of the Philosophy of the Human Mind: Volume 1


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Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Elements of the Philosophy of the Human Mind, Vol. About the Publisher Forgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at www. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art technology to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy. In rare cases, an imperfection in the original, such as a blemish or missing page, may be replicated in our edition.

We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully; any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works. Get A Copy. Hardcover , pages. More Details Other Editions 2. 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.


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  • 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.

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    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.

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    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.

    Elements of the Philosophy of the Human Mind: Volume 1 Elements of the Philosophy of the Human Mind: Volume 1
    Elements of the Philosophy of the Human Mind: Volume 1 Elements of the Philosophy of the Human Mind: Volume 1
    Elements of the Philosophy of the Human Mind: Volume 1 Elements of the Philosophy of the Human Mind: Volume 1
    Elements of the Philosophy of the Human Mind: Volume 1 Elements of the Philosophy of the Human Mind: Volume 1
    Elements of the Philosophy of the Human Mind: Volume 1 Elements of the Philosophy of the Human Mind: Volume 1
    Elements of the Philosophy of the Human Mind: Volume 1 Elements of the Philosophy of the Human Mind: Volume 1
    Elements of the Philosophy of the Human Mind: Volume 1 Elements of the Philosophy of the Human Mind: Volume 1
    Elements of the Philosophy of the Human Mind: Volume 1 Elements of the Philosophy of the Human Mind: Volume 1
    Elements of the Philosophy of the Human Mind: Volume 1

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