[SydPhil] Philosophy @ UNSW, Monday 17 September: Pedro Tabensky (Rhodes), Agape or Philia?: A Critical Evaluation of Gabriel Marcel¹s Conception of Hope

Joanne Faulkner j.faulkner at unsw.edu.au
Wed Sep 12 10:41:45 AEST 2012

Date:               Monday 17 September
Time:              1 p.m.
Venue:           Morven Brown 310, University of NSW
Map ref. C20: (1.7MB)<http://www.facilities.unsw.edu.au/Maps/pdf/kensington.pdf>

Dr Pedro A. Tabensky (Rhodes)

Agape or Philia?: A Critical Evaluation of Gabriel Marcel’s Conception of Hope
I will engage with Gabriel Marcel’s rich and unfortunately understudies account of hope. I think he is partly right to think that hope is the virtue by which the “temptation [to despair] is actively and victoriously overcome”, but I will argue that some important adjustments are required. Marcel argues that loveunderstood as “true charity” (agape) is a necessary condition for hope in the superlative sense. By loving in a disinterested manner, Marcel argues, we become hopeful and thus are able once and for all to “victoriously overcome” the temptation to despair. Whereas I agree with him that hope in the superlative sense necessarily involves love, I will move away from Marcel'stheistic concerns with salvation and argue that hope in the superlative sense requires both agape—construed secularly —and philia. Ideally, these two modes of loving are mutually constitutive. This will motivate several adjustments to Marcel’s views. One thing that will follow is that we typically cannot once and for all “victoriously overcome” the temptation to despair unless our integrity is deeply compromised. Hopefulness in the superlative sense does indeed protect us from the temptation, but immunity can never beguaranteed.

Pedro Tabensky lectures in the Department of Philosophy, Rhodes University. He is the author of Happiness: Personhood, Community, Purpose (Ashgate, 2003) and editor of Judging an Understanding (Ashgate, 2006) and The Positive Function of Evil (Palgrave, 2009). His research interests are Moral Philosophy, Moral Psychology, African Philosophy, Aristotle.

Dr Joanne Faulkner, j.faulkner at unsw.edu.au
School of Humanities

Dr Joanne Faulkner
ARC DECRA Research Fellow
School of Humanities
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Room 338, Morven Brown Building
University of New South Wales
Kensington, NSW 2052

j.faulkner at unsw.edu.au
+61 2 9385 2287
Co-Government/Institutional Representative, Australasian Society for Continental Philosophy: http://www.ascp.org.au
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