Session 2: Places of Hope
Chair: Nancy Mardas
Hope and Reason: The Desire of Immortality at the Spanish Philosophy
Pedro Jesus Perez
Department of Philosophy of Rights, Morals and Politics, University of Valencia, Spain
The hope plays an important role along the Modern philosophy. So, Kant dedicated to this concept one of the most important questions of his philosophy: “what can we hope?” Also, he argued about the possibility of the religion inside the boundaries of the reason.
Other philosophers criticize the Kantian approach and defend the antagonism between reason and the hope. In this context we find the philosophy of Miguel de Unamuno. This Spanish philosopher was one of the most important thinkers about the religious hope in the last century.
Unamuno argues that the man has one desire of immortality, and the role of the philosophy is the reflection about this question. But the key point here is that the philosophical reflection about the hope arises not from the reason, but from the feeling. While Kant thinks God as one practical reason´s postulation that guarantees the soul´s immortality, Unamuno defends that the reason is skeptical about the hope, and is our “hungry of immortality” what lead us to believe in God, not our reason. So, the hope also arises from the feeling and it has an active role: the hope is not to wait the realization of one think we believe, but to create what we desire.
This antagonism between reason and hope is for Unamuno the antagonism between reason and life, because in Unamuno the life is the desire of immortality, and the reason denies the immortality. For this reason, Unamuno doesn´t say that the man is a rational animal, because the man not only is defined by his reason, but also by his life, his hope.
Is there a real dialectic between reason and hope? This paper analyses the answer of Unamuno to this question and it proposes some solutions to this problem.
Hope in the Promised Land: A Cross-Cultural Study of Filipino Migrants and American Immigrants
Dina Lache Lacov
Bar Ilan University in Israel
The objective of the current study is to explore the construct of hope and strategies of action within two migrant groups in Israel. Hope has been conceptualized as both a cognitive process and an emotional state related to goal attainment or the discernment of possibility. In exploring the dimensions of hope which differ in their levels of abstraction, hope is placed within a framework through which culture affects action. The study seeks to conduct a cross-cultural comparison of Filipinos and Americans in Israel as representing two distinct cultural groups. Although a comparison of migrant laborers and settling immigrants has its limitations, the study employs ethnographic research techniques to consider structural constraints while examining cultural influences on the construction of hope and action.
Preliminary findings suggest that divergent value orientations may be linked in part to varying forms of hope, paralleling different forms of agency, perceived possibilities and courses of action. It is posited that migration may enable a departure from the dominant collectivistic or individualistic value orientations of one’s culture. As such, migration offers a better fit between the hopes and values of migrants and the opportunities afforded by a particular society. In other words, Israel may enable Americans to fulfill relatively collectivistic hopes while offering individualistic possibilities to Filipinos. Additionally, the study examines the role of distinctive migrant networks as well as the unique position of Israeli culture as affecting divergent manners and channels of hope. Factors such as cultural identification and the fluidity of definitions are also considered with regard to the nature of hope. By examining hope within the context of migration, the study aspires to enhance the nascent body of knowledge regarding the role of culture in the construction of hope, ultimately illuminating aspects of the relationship between culture and action.
NGOs in Brazil – Hope is not a Verb, it is an Adverb: It is not an Action, it is a Modality
Master Practitioner in Neurolinguistic Programming and Voluntary Teacher in Brazilian NGOs Working with Abandoned or Ailing Children
An Italian poet, Eugenio Montale, ends one of his poems with these two lines “But nothing comforts the child who grieves/ for the balloon that’s gone between the houses”. Children have dreams but, sometimes, their hands are left empty by occurrences that in a split second change their lives for ever. A child that is told he has cancer, a child who finds himself alone in the street, with no place or person to go to, has lost the balloon that was making him look at the sky, a far-away target. They need somebody who patiently and carefully weaves that thin invisible thread, so necessary in life, which is called ‘hope’. The experiences reported in this paper refer to two NGOs in Brazil, in Vitória (ES).The first one, ACACCI (Associação CApixaba Contra o Câncer Infantil) deals with children from shanty towns who have to undergo cancer treatment. They give meaning to the word ‘human’, offering a ‘Family Home’, a place which can host up to 30 children with their mothers to avoid therapy interruptions due to long distances, financial or social issues. The children receive, once they leave the hospital for their daily treatment, health, hygiene, nutrition and life style advice and are involved in recreational activities, while their mothers learn handicraft or improve their knowledge of their mother tongue. The second NGO is called ‘Casa Lar’, a House ‘Home’. It is a family experience with a married couple who, on a voluntary basis and under supervision, welcomes as ‘parents’ a certain number of ‘meninos de rua’, homeless children living in the streets, and leads them to discover dignity, rights and duties. The organization eventually helps the children find ‘their place’ in society and a job. Each ‘Menino de Rua’, they say, ‘is an island surrounded by omissions’.