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The Diversity of Hope: Philosophical Theories in East and West

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Item Summary

Title:The Diversity of Hope: Philosophical Theories in East and West
Authors:Dunlap, Rika
Date Issued:May 2016
Publisher:[Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [May 2016]
Abstract:This dissertation examines various conceptions of hope in Kant’s Critique of Judgment, Bloch’s Principle of Hope, Dōgen’s Shōbōgenzō, and others. Through an analysis of hope in the above works, I demonstrate that hope is the power to organize our experience and transform the ways in which the world appears to us in accordance with our own ideals. Elucidating this mechanism of hope reveals that distinct ideals in the above theories give rise to two different kinds of hope: the goal-driven and future-oriented conception of hope and the practice-focused and present- oriented conception of hope. The former is evident in Kant’s philosophy and Bloch’s Principle of Hope that emphasize the significance of the universal ideal and the possibility of its achievement in the future, whereas the latter is evident in the teachings of Zen Buddhism that rejects the idea of enlightenment as a future goal and advocates the nonduality of practice and enlightenment. While the dominant discourses of hope can be characterized as the former, this dissertation explores the possibility of launching a praxis theory of hope as a response to the diminishing significance of the universal ideal in the contemporary time. Unlike the dominant theories of hope with the idea of the universal ideal, a praxis theory of hope as a norm can accommodate diverse perspectives and values, showing the importance of hoping itself rather than a specific content of hope based on a set normative standard. While aesthetics exemplifies such theory of hope in Western philosophy, as Rancière’s political aesthetics demonstrates so, this dissertation examines Dōgen’s Zen Buddhist soteriology as an alternative approach to hope and a constructive response to the diminishing significance of the universal ideal. Exploring the possibility of launching a new theory of hope as a norm, this dissertation also contributes to the growing scholarship on hope by initiating a much-needed cross-cultural dialogue to demonstrate the mechanism of hope through its various conceptions in different value systems. Through socially embedded and historically enriched theories from different philosophical traditions, this dissertation attends to diverse values and addresses hope in the fullest sense as an expression of ideals.
Description:Ph.D. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2016.
Includes bibliographical references.
Appears in Collections: Ph.D. - Philosophy

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