Optative Cartesianism

When someone asks me if I'm in line for something (and I am) my response is always the same: "I hope so." It's a maximally correct response that covers me if I'm in error. I don't pass the error onto someone elseā€”at least on a strictly logical level.

This type of response was formally identified by a philosophy professor of mine who noted that such statements were examples of "optative Cartesianism," meaning a statement that respects minimal knowledge in the Cartesian tradition in the optative or wishful grammatical mood.

The idea popped up in my mind the other day and I wanted to learn more about it. I was amazed that the phrase returned nothing on Google, not such much as a definition.

So there it is, optative Cartesianism.

Posted December 5, 2007.