Abstract

Animal ethicists have worried that hoping for the success of the animal rights movement is epistemically irrational because it contradicts our best evidence and practically irrational because it makes animal rights advocates complacent. Against these worries, this article defends the claim that animal rights advocates can rationally hope for the success of their movement despite grim prospects. To this end, the article draws on Philip Pettit's (2004) account of hope to articulate the novel notion of “careful substantial hope.” Hope in this sense is a cognitive strategy of thinking as if movement success is likely because the right strategies and tactics will be employed. The article concludes with suggestions for how philosophers can encourage this kind of hope.

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