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Sarah Amsler

Subject Philosophy
Sociology » Sociological and Social Theory

People Husserl, Edmund

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405124331.2007.x


Hope most generally refers to a desire for positive futures that are considered possible, either theoretically or in practice, but not guaranteed. Whether “open” and “absolute” or “goal-directed” and “ultimate,” hope is the expression of a belief in the possibility of possibility (Webb 2007). Beyond this generality, however, the term signifies a contested terrain of understandings of future-oriented thought, feeling, and action. While there have been some recent attempts to systematize these definitions (for example, see Crapanzo 2003; Webb 2007), the concept remains discursively diverse. In sociology, hope is commonly associated with problems of subjectivity, agency, social and political change, and utopianism; however, in other fields it is also related to ontology and epistemology (philosophy), religious faith (theology), cognitive and affective expectation (science, bioscience, and technology), well-being and health (medicine), cultural adaptation and survival (anthropology), motivation and self-esteem (psychology), imagination (creative arts), and pedagogy (education). It has been variously described as an element of human nature, experience, way of knowing, form of action or behavior, learned orientation to the future, discourse, and state of consciousness. Intellectual interest in the nature of hope and its role in social life can be traced to antiquity, and the ethics and ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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