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The Anthropocene ProjectVirtue in the Age of Climate Change$
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Byron Williston

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198746713

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198746713.001.0001

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(p.133) 6 Hope
The Anthropocene Project

Byron Williston

Oxford University Press

After analysing the nature of hope considered as a virtue, the chapter allows us to identify the complex object our hope should take in face of the possibility of future climate catastrophe. It is that we will (a) decarbonize our economy quickly enough to (b) preserve a meaningful normative continuity between our generation and subsequent generations, where the connecting thread is the impartial or cosmopolitan sense of justice. However, if we fail utterly in respect of (a) the prospect of our achieving (b) is dim. It may not be possible to achieve either unless we are willing to alter almost everything about the way we now live. Our hope therefore must be ‘radical’ (in Jonathan Lear’s sense) which is equivalent to saying that it must be revolutionary. The various social and political forces blocking our apprehension of these facts are uncovered in the course of the analysis.

Keywords:   hope, radical hope, revolution, decarbonization, normative continuity

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