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A philosophical memoir about becoming a father in an increasingly terrible world – can I hope that the child growing in my partner’s womb will have a good enough life?
Kafka once speculated that we are merely “nihilistic thoughts… that come into God’s head.” But luckily, “our world is only a bad mood of God, a bad day of his.” Outside of the world as we find it, there is “plenty of hope, an infinite amount of hope – but not for us.”
In Infinitely Full of Hope, Tom Whyman argues that Kafka was right. Our world, right now, is terrible: we lurch from crisis to crisis and disaster to disaster, nothing ever gets better and no-one ever seems to learn anything. But beyond it, lurks the possibility of something magically other – the promise of a good enough life. The real question, then, is how we might be able to grasp it.
Part memoir, part theory, and part reflection on fatherhood, Infinitely Full of Hope asks how we can cling to hope in an increasingly unstable and terrifying world.
Tom Whyman is a philosopher and writer who lives in the north east of England. He has taught at a number of UK universities, and was a contributing writer to The Outline.