Despair and Hopelessness
25 mars/March 25 @ 13:30 – 15:30/1:30pm – 3:330pm
Où/Where: Local C-1017-02, Carrefour des arts et des sciences, Université de Montréal, Pavillon Lionel-Groulx (3150, rue Jean-Brillant, Montréal, QC, H3T 1N8)
Abstract: It has recently been proposed that hope is polysemous in that it sometimes refers to hoping and other times, to being hopeful. That it has these two distinct senses is reflected in the fact that a person can hope for an outcome without necessarily being hopeful that it will occur. In this talk, I offer a new argument for this distinction. My strategy is to show that accepting it yields a rich account of two distinct ways in which hope can be lost or absent. Roughly, I argue that these two ways map onto the two senses of hope: A person can lose hope either by ceasing to hope for an outcome (hopelessness) or by ceasing to be hopeful that it will obtain (despair). Thinking about these negative attitudes in these two ways, I contend, is explanatorily rich, and fruitfully reveals how they differ in phenomenology, behavioral differences, and the ways in which a person can escape them.