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Habits of Hope: A Pragmatic Theory (The Vanderbilt Library of American Philosophy) Hardcover – January 26, 2001

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Editorial Reviews


Illuminated throughout by vivid illustrations from literature, film, and Shade's own personal experiences, this book is insightful and informative in its philosophical investigations of such topics as the nature of hope, the differences between realistic hopes and futile hopes that only waste our energies, ways in which examples of some persons' lives can kindle and strengthen hope in others, and how constructive habits of hope can be nurtured. Shade's discussion is not only astute and satisfying, it is uplifting. It inspires hope in readers by helping them to ponder thoroughly the central role it plays in human experience.
--Donald A. Crosby, Colorado State University

This is a carefully wrought study in the virtue of hope undertaken from a pragmatic point of view that engages other, more traditional, accounts of hope in a sympathetic and dialogical fashion. It provides a novel and deep analysis of this virtue that goes far in demonstrating how pragmatism can advance our moral understanding and be applied to issues that affect daily human concerns.
--Thomas Alexander, Southern Illinois University

Shade's discussion is not only astute and satisfying, it is uplifting.
--Donald A. Crosby, Colorado State University

About the Author

Patrick Shade, an exciting new voice in the field of American philosophy, is an assistant professor of philosophy at Rhodes College, Memphis, Tennessee.

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Product Details

  • Series: The Vanderbilt Library of American Philosophy
  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Vanderbilt University Press (January 26, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0826513611
  • ISBN-13: 978-0826513618
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,438,893 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By James P. Oliver on August 28, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Dr. Shade has written an engaging book about the importance of hope that is itself hopeful, an extended meditation on the practical side of a phenomenon that offers the promise of what he calls "conditioned transcendence." Transcendence can be an intimidating thing to ponder, not easily pinned by a definition. But Peter Ackroyd helpfully reconstructed it in "The Plato Papers" as "trans-end-dance: the ability to move beyond the end, otherwise called the dance of death." Shade's approach moves beyond the hypothetical end of unredeemed despair and mortality by offering real insight into the conditions of effective hopefulness. But he invites us to join a dance that has more to do with the processes of living, and of fashioning the total human environment to meet life's ongoing dynamic of adaptation, perseverance, and hard-won growth, than with any slow or ritual reconciliation to finality. The quest for transcendence is ultimately a dance of life, and the perpetually renewable resolve to remake a world not yet entirely hospitable to our aspirations. "The more hopeful are those whose habit of hopefulness is more deeply rooted, forming a more stable part of their characters such that it is less likely to wax and wane with changing circumstances." Shade draws astutely here on the American philosophical tradition of pragmatism, the tradition of Peirce, Dewey, William James, and (more recently) Cornel West. If there is anything we humans know well, it is the precarious nature of our circumstances; and if there is a practical emphasis in philosophy more instrumental than the pragmatists' emphasis on habit, it would be a difficult case to make.Read more ›
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