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Hope: Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the philosophy of hope - a weakness or a strength?

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Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the philosophy of hope. To the ancient Greeks, hope was closer to self-deception, one of the evils left in Pandora's box or jar, in Hesiod's story. In Christian tradition, hope became one of the theological virtues, the desire for divine union and the expectation of receiving it, an action of the will rather than the intellect. To Kant, 'what may I hope' was one of the three basic questions which human reason asks, while Nietzsche echoed Hesiod, arguing that leaving hope in the box was a deception by the gods, reflecting human inability to face the demands of existence. Yet even those critical of hope, like Camus, conceded that life was nearly impossible without it.

With

Beatrice Han-Pile
Professor of Philosophy at the University of Essex

Robert Stern
Professor of Philosophy at the University of Sheffield

And

Judith Wolfe
Professor of Philosophical Theology at the University of St Andrews

Producer: Simon Tillotson

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