Hope as a Source of Grit

Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 8 (33):264-287 (2022)
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Abstract

Psychologists and philosophers have argued that the capacity for perseverance or “grit” depends both on willpower and on a kind of epistemic resilience. But can a form of hopefulness in one’s future success also constitute a source of grit? I argue that substantial practical hopefulness, as a hope to bring about a desired outcome through exercises of one’s agency, can serve as a distinctive ground for the capacity for perseverance. Gritty agents’ “practical hope” centrally involves an attention-fuelled, risk-inclined weighting of two competing concerns over action: when facing the decision of whether to persevere, hopeful gritty agents prioritize the aim of choosing a course of action which might go very well over that of choosing a course of action which is very likely to go fairly well. By relying on the notion of a “risk-inclined attentional pattern” as a dimension of gritty agents’ practical hope, we can explain that form of hope’s contribution to their motivation and practical rationality, especially on a risk-weighted expected utility framework. The upshot is a more pluralistic view of the sources of grit.

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Catherine Rioux
Université Laval

Citations of this work

The Focus Theory of Hope.Andrew Chignell - 2023 - Philosophical Quarterly 73 (1):44-63.
Hope: Conceptual and Normative Issues.Catherine Rioux - 2021 - Philosophy Compass 16 (3).
Faithfully Taking Pascal’s Wager.Elizabeth Jackson - 2023 - The Monist 106 (1):35–45.
Hope from Despair.Jakob Huber - 2022 - Journal of Political Philosophy 31 (1):80-101.

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References found in this work

Actions, Reasons, and Causes.Donald Davidson - 1963 - Journal of Philosophy 60 (23):685.
The Morality of Freedom.Joseph Raz - 1986 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
Risk and Rationality.Lara Buchak - 2013 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.

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