New Stanford Encyclopedia article on hope

We were asked to write an article about hope for the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy as part of our hope research project that is funded by the Hope and Optimism project at Notre Dame University. The article covers both the philosophical history of hope in the Western tradition, current approaches in analytical philosophy and authors like Bloch and Rorty.

Discussions of hope can be found throughout the history of philosophy and
across all Western philosophical traditions, even though philosophy has
traditionally not paid the same attention to hope as it has to attitudes like
belief and desire. However, even though hope has historically only rarely
been discussed systematically – with important exceptions, such as Aquinas,
Bloch and Marcel – almost all major philosophers acknowledge that hope plays an
important role in regard to human motivation, religious belief or politics.
Historically, discussions of the importance of hope were often embedded in
particular philosophical projects. More recent discussions of hope provide
independent accounts of its nature and its relation to other mental
phenomena, such as desire, intention and optimism.

Continue reading (open access)

Workshop: Hope, Social and Political Perspectives (June 7 and 8, 2016, Groningen, NL)

In June, the second workshop of the project “Fundamental Hope and Practical Identity” will take place at the University of Groningen. All talks will be held in the Van Swinderenhuys, Oude Boteringestraat 19.


Tuesday, 7 June

  • 13:00        Welcome
  • 13:30 – 14:45       Alisa Carse (Georgetown): The Moral Psychology of Hope
  • 14:45 – 15:15        Coffee
  • 15:15 – 16:30        Dascha Düring (Utrecht): The Epistemic Status of Hope as a Sensus Communis
  • 16:35 – 17:50        Nicholas Smith (Macquarie): Hope and Work

Wednesday, 8 June

  • 09:45 – 11:00 Katie Stockdale (Dalhousie): Hope through a Feminist Relational Lens
  • 11:00 – 11:30 Coffee
  • 11:30 – 12:45 Titus Stahl (Groningen): Hope beyond Liberalism
  • 12:45 – 13:45 Lunch break
  • 13:45 – 15:00 Darrel Moellendorf (Frankfurt): Hope and the Long Arc of History
  • 15:00 – 15:30 Coffee
  • 15:30 – 16:45 Lynne Tirrell (U Mass Boston): Mustering Hope
  • 16:45 – 17:00 Final words

Attendance is free of charge, but please register with Titus Stahl ( in advance.

Workshop program “Hope and Trust”

“Hope and Trust”, 14-15 January 2016 in Frankfurt/Main.

Attendance is free, but please register with Julia Gründel,

 Thursday, 14 January 2016

– 09:45


– 11:00

Martin Hartmann

Between Knowledge and Ignorance: Another Look at the Attitude of Trust

– 11:30


– 12:45

Berislav Marušić

Trust, Reliance and the Participant Stance

– 14:00


– 15:15

Claudia Blöser

Does Trust Involve Hope?

– 15:45


– 17:00

Adrienne Martin

On Disappointment



Friday, 15 January

– 10:45

Paul Faulkner

Trusting and Hoping

– 11:15




Christopher Thompson

Trust in Group Agents

– 13:45


– 15:00

Thomas Simpson

Optimism and Evidence

– 16:00

Final Discussion

Workshop “Hope and Trust”

We will organize a workshop on “Hope and Trust”, 14-15 January 2016 in Frankfurt/Main, Goethe University, Campus Westend, Eisenhower-room . Attendance is free, but please register: Julia Gründel,

Hope and trust are attitudes that are not only central to our lives, but also rise difficult philosophical questions: What is their relation to the emotions, to rational agency and to knowledge? When is it rational to hope or trust? Why can it be valuable to do so? Are the two phenomena intertwined?
In this conference, we want to pursue those and related themes in order to investigate structural similarities and differences of hope and trust. Both hope and trust might seem to stand in a tension with requirements of rationality. Theoretical rationality demands that we guide our attitudes in accordance with what the evidence supports. However, we hope in the light of uncertainty. Similarly, is seems not only rational to trust where one has sufficient evidence of trustworthiness, trust rather often requires us to go beyond such evidence. The rationality of both hope and trust, therefore, cannot be understood by reference to theoretical reason alone. We have to explore what kind of practical reasons guide us in hoping or trusting. Furthermore, a so far largely unexplored question is whether trust involves hope or vice versa. When we trust people, do we hope they will be trustworthy, or do we entertain a normative expectation based on sufficient evidence? In this workshop, these issues will be discussed by international scholars working on either (or both) of the two phenomena, in order to compare insights from the philosophy of hope and trust.

Confirmed speakers: Claudia Blöser (Frankfurt), Boudewijn de Bruin (Groningen), Paul Faulkner (Sheffield), Martin Hartmann (Luzern), Adrienne Martin (Claremont), Berislav Marušić (Waltham/Boston), Thomas Simpson (Oxford), Christopher Thompson (Cambridge).

Kickoff-event in Frankfurt

On Wednesday, 8th July 2015, we’ll present and discuss the outlines of our project in the Goethe University Frankfurt. Everybody who is interested is invited to join!

One central question of our project concerns the rationality of hope. We pursue the thesis that there is a kind of hope, “fundamental hope”, which plays a constitutive role for the practical identity of the agent. A person therefore has reason to keep up hope, because this hope is valuable for his or her practical identity. We would like to spell out this idea for individual persons, but also for groups and collectives.

A further question concerns the role of hope for intersubjective relationships. In order to determine this role, we investigate structural similarities and differences of hope and trust.

We are looking forward to discussing the beginnings of our project with colleagues and consider their criticism, questions and suggestions in the further course of our work.

Time: 8th July 2015, 15:30-17:30.

Place: Goethe University, SH (Seminarhaus) 1.102

Norbert Wollheim Platz 1
60629 Frankfurt am Main

For further questions please contact