top-rated free essay

The Ideologies of Max Weber

By vmcpartland Jan 12, 2011 629 Words
Max Weber
Max Weber was allied to the Neo-Kantian tradition in German thought rather than the Hegelian which were philosophers of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries who followed the teachings of Immanuel Kant. Kant saw that human beings as existing partly in the world of natural casualty and partly in realm freedom, governed by moral rules rather than causes. Weber also believed than physical nature is a realm of rigid, mechanical determination, while mental life is one of freedom and the absence of casualty. Generalities can be useful in the study of history and society as a whole as means t another end, as they help us to understand the individual case better. Weber believed that a generalizing approach to sociology was subordinate to history, as it provided abstract concepts, which could be useful in understanding complex, concrete individual cases. Concepts like these were created precisely for their usefulness in informing historical studies. Weber wrote two major essays which created controversial views to this day on politics and science as vocations, most noticeably the idea that science should be ‘value free’. For Weber the distinction between the scientific and the political was the recognition of a long standing philosophical distinction between facts and values – values are unable to be deduced from facts. Scientists can only report upon what happens and how things are, they cannot tell us how they should be, how we should live, or what we should do. The provision of research and evidence cannot relieve us of the necessity to make choices at the level of values. Scientific knowledge can be of value in politics but it cannot replace of substitute for politics itself. This is merely an illusion as politics entails struggle between values, not the facts of empirical knowledge. The ‘individual’ which captured Weber’s scientific interest was the capitalist civilization of the West. Weber’s inquiries into the origins of modern Western, capitalist society were into a specific set of conditions, and were not directed towards indentifying any necessary, general tendencies of history. Weber’s fame lies upon his account of ‘The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism’ (1985). Weber’s account was not of capitalism but of one of its forms which was the rational form. As the capitalist business continues to accumulate profit even though the level of profits exceeds what its recipients can ever spend. The aim of business is the forever expansion of profits which is not seem to derive from greed but it seen as morally righteous, with the resulting profit being the capitalists’ just deserts for their industry. Weber believed that the spirit of capitalism looked very like a secularized form of the Protestant ethic. The spirit of capitalism could have grown out of the Protestant ethic as they are very much alike- except that God command one and the other is freestanding, secular morality, held for its own sake. As religions often demand a lot of self control this struck Weber as providing another parallel with secular- especially business- conduct under capitalism, namely its extensively rationalized. According to Weber historical events are a matter of the coming together of independent casual chains which have previously developed without connection or direct import for one another. Weber also provided some general concepts for sociological analysis about world religions. He looked upon the organization of society as involving struggles for power. A key element in his account is that of stratification. The three dimensions of power are (1 economic, (2 prestige and (3 pure power. Among these three kinds of groups is the historically decisive struggle over power are apt to take place. Weber also defines classes, status groups and parties as part of his scheme when describing peoples struggle for power in society.

Cite This Document

Related Documents

  • Max Weber

    ... Max Weber Max Weber I chose to write about Max Weber because of the three founding fathers of Sociology (Marx, Durkheim and Weber) I found Max Weber to be the most interesting and well-rounded sociologist. Max Weber had many influences in his life. These influences helped to develop his sociological theories. I will examine what I f...

    Read More
  • Max Weber

    ...Ironic Social Theory of Max Weber: The ‘Iron Cage’ Steven Seidman Wiley-Blackwell publishing Ltd. Max Weber has long been recognized as one of the founders of modern sociology. He has had an immense impact on how we understand the development and nature of our capitalist society today. Looking at almost all the major world c...

    Read More
  • Max Weber

    ...of sociology Max Weber was born on April 21, 1864 in Erfurt in Thuringia, Germany. He was the oldest of seven children of Max Weber Sr. and his wife Helene Fallenstein. His father was a prominent politician and politics was a major theme Weber was surrounded and grew up. From the early years Weber proved to be very intelligent. When he was only...

    Read More
  • Max Weber

    ...Introduction of Max Webber: M ax Webber was born in April 21, 1864 at Erfurt, Prussia (Germany). He was German sociologist and political economist who profoundly influenced social theory, social research and discipline of sociology itself. Webber is often cited with Emile Durkheim and Karl Marx as one of the three principle architects of Mo...

    Read More
  • Max Weber

    ...MAX WEBER I. INTRODUCTION A) Biography Birth name: Karl Emil Maximilian Weber Birth date: April 21 1864 (Erfurt, Germany) Parents: Max Weber Sr. and Helene Fallenstein Death: June 14, 1920 (Munich, Germany) Spouse: Marianne Schnitger (feminist and author) * Studied in the universities of Heidelberg and Berlin and was trained in l...

    Read More
  • Max Weber

    ...Max Weber on Religion Max Weber, a German social scientist born in 1864, felt religion played an important role in society. Weber attended the University of Berlin where he studied economics and law, along with several other subjects including philosophy, religion and art. He had three tools of sociological inquiry that focused on explaining hu...

    Read More
  • Max Weber: a Short Biography

    ...Max Weber: A Short Biography Introduction Being a man with great aspirations, Max Weber’s life was filled with complexities and complications. Therefore, it is worthy of one’s time to explore the reasons of his success, a revolutionary thinker of the 19th century whose theories still remained as the subjects of interest among academics of ...

    Read More
  • Max Weber: Iron Cage

    ...“IRON CAGE” In the fast moving times of the modern world, human beings have become very calculating, manipulative and running after the material pursuit in which they are eventually getting trapped into the invisible prison from which escape is almost impossible. This is what Max Weber meant by the metaphor "Iron Cage". Max Weber, a great...

    Read More

Discover the Best Free Essays on StudyMode

Conquer writer's block once and for all.

High Quality Essays

Our library contains thousands of carefully selected free research papers and essays.

Popular Topics

No matter the topic you're researching, chances are we have it covered.