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Acting irrespective of hope

Freyenhagen, Fabian (2020) 'Acting irrespective of hope.' Kantian Review, 25 (4). 605 - 630. ISSN 1369-4154

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Abstract

Must we ascribe hope for better times to those who (take themselves to) act morally? Kant and later theorists in the Frankfurt School tradition thought we must. In this article, I disclose that it is possible – and ethical – to refrain from ascribing hope in all such cases. I draw on two key examples of acting irrespective of hope: one from a recent political context and one from the life of Jean Améry. I also suggest that, once we see that it is possible to make sense of (what I call) ‘merely expressive acts’, we can also see that the early Frankfurt School was not guilty of a performative contradiction in seeking to enlighten Enlightenment about its (self-)destructive tendencies, while rejecting the (providential) idea of progress.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Hope, Kant, Frankfurt School, Progress, Améry
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities > Philosophy and Art History, School of
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 18 Aug 2020 14:53
Last Modified: 05 Jan 2021 17:15
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/28091

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