Department of Philosophy

Roland Bluhm, 'The Affectivity of Hoping'

During his Bergen stay through the Erasmus programme Dr Roland Bluhm from TU Dortmund University will offer a workshop on computerised philosophy (see link further below) and a guest lecture with the above title. Open to all!


A received definition of hope, considered fragmentary by some, sufficient by others, is the following: If a person S hopes that p, S desires to some degree that p, and p has some subjective probability for S, such that 0 < PS(p) < 1. Hypothetical cases that shed doubt on the sufficiency of these two conditions are easily conceivable. I address one type of such cases and argue that it points to affective involvement as a missing third necessary condition for hope. Although hope has traditionally been viewed as some sort of affective phenomenon, we lack a satisfactory description of its affective quality. A common assumption is that hope is a positive-pleasant experience. Contrary to this view, I argue that hope may and indeed in a number of paradigmatic cases does have a negative-unpleasant affective quality.