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American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly

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published on June 10, 2020

Christopher A. Bobier

Aquinas on the Emotion of Hope
A Psychological or Theological Treatment?

Hope is important in Thomas Aquinas’s account of the emotions: it is one of the four primary emotions and the first of the irascible emotions. Yet his account of hope as a movement of the sensory appetite toward a future possible good that is arduous to attain appears to be overly restrictive, for people often hope for things that are not cognized as arduous (e.g., when I hope for fine weather on my wedding day, that a professional athlete remains in good health, or that an experimental medicine is effective). This paper examines Aquinas’s reasons for limiting hope to arduous goods.

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