The Method of Hope examines the relationship between hope and knowledge by investigating how hope is produced in various forms of knowledge—Fijian, philosophical, anthropological. The book discusses the hope entailed in a wide range of Fijian knowledge practices such as archival research, gift giving, Christian church rituals, and business practices, and compares it with the concept of hope in the work of philosophers such as Immanuel Kant, Ernst Bloch, Walter Benjamin, and Richard Rorty.
The book participates in on-going debates in social theory about how to reclaim the category of hope in progressive thought. The book marks a significant departure from other such efforts by combining a detailed ethnographic analysis of the production of hope in Fijian knowledge practices with an imaginative reading of well-known philosophical texts. The aim is to carve out a space for a new kind of relationship between anthropology and philosophy.
About the author
Hirokazu Miyazaki is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Cornell University.
"Innovative and theoretically provocative."
"What is hope? Can one hope to understand it? Must one hope in order to understand it? Is hope, then, a method of knowing rather than an object of knowledge? In a brilliant synthesis of philosophy and anthropology, Miyazaki engages the reader with these questions in a path-breaking example of contemporary ethnography."
—Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute
"A lucid and compact work, The Method of Hope will ideally reorient anthropological knowledge, not only about Fiji but also about the ways in which, as Miyazaki writes, 'hope is a common operative in knowledge formation, academic and otherwise.'"