Off-campus UNL users: To download campus access dissertations, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your NU ID and password. When you are done browsing please remember to return to this page and log out.

Non-UNL users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this dissertation through interlibrary loan.

The Nature and Value of Hope

Trevor Adams, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


Hope is a ubiquitous attitude that has gained more attention recently from contemporary analytic philosophers. Many philosophers have offered novel theories of the nature of hope, some have developed interesting epistemic insights into the cognitive aspects of hope, and many more have talked about the value hope has for our lives. In this dissertation, I offer a novel theory of the nature of hope, I explore a few different epistemic aspects of hope, and I demonstrate two important values hope has for our lives. In the first chapter I explain my theory of hope which I call the Emotional Investment Model of hope. I contend that what separates hope from despair is the way we perceive the hoped-for-outcome. The hopeful agent sees the outcome as worthy of emotional investment and on that basis emotionally invests in the outcome. I argue that there are a few benefits to this view over the competing theories. The second chapter focuses on the cognitive aspect of hope. Hope requires that we be uncertain whether or not the hoped-for-outcome will obtain. I argue that many philosophers have ignored certain important distinctions regarding this uncertain cognitive attitude, and that hope is compatible with knowledge. The third chapter focuses on the value of hope in our lives. I argue that hope is necessary for love and for our intellectual pursuits.

Subject Area


Recommended Citation

Adams, Trevor, "The Nature and Value of Hope" (2023). ETD collection for University of Nebraska-Lincoln. AAI30488405.