Publication details for Prof Matthew RatcliffeRatcliffe, M. (2013). What is it to Lose Hope? Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences (in press).
- Publication type: Journal papers: academic
- View online: Online version
Author(s) from Durham
This paper addresses the phenomenology of hopelessness. I distinguish two broad kinds of predicament that are easily confused: the ‘loss of hopes’ and the ‘loss of hope’. I argue that not all hope can be characterised as an intentional state of the form ‘I hope that p’. It is possible to lose all hopes of that kind and yet retain another kind of hope. The hope that remains is not an intentional state or a non-intentional bodily feeling. Rather, it is a ‘pre-intentional’ orientation, by which I mean something in the context of which certain kinds of intentional state, including intentional hope, are intelligible. I go on to discuss severe depression, lack of aspiration, demoralisation and loss of trust in the world, in order to distinguish some qualitatively different forms that loss of hope can take.