Hoping and Democracy

In: Contemporary Pragmatism
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  • 1 Professor, University of Cincinnati School of Education and Affiliate, Philosophy Department sarah.stitzlein@uc.edu

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Too often, hope is described in individualist terms and in ways that do not help us understand contemporary democracy or offer ways to improve it. Instead, I develop an account of hope situated within pragmatist philosophy that is rooted in the experiences of individuals and grows out of real life circumstances, yet cannot be disconnected from social and political life. This account can help us to better face current political struggles related to hopelessness and despair, all the while building democratic identity. To examine the ways in which shared hoping and the content of our hopes shape our identity and our work together in democracy, I consider both how and what we hope in political contexts.

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