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Max Weber and the moral ideas of sociology.
For example, Weber considered European political history as a struggle by different rulers "to appropriate the financial and military means that in feudal society were relatively dispersed." (Gerth and Mills, p. 48). That is, economic factors affected politics, but not through the direct route from the bourgeoisie to the ruling class of Marx. Military factors, the control of territory, and political power in itself all played important roles in affecting politics and history.
Additionally, responsibilities and powers to this type of authority are clearly outlined (Pugh, 2007).
Weber revealed state definition which had become essential to social thought of the western world.
Max Weber - Sociology - Oxford Bibliographies
This element of mystification, of faith in what is ultimately unknown and unknowable, materializes in other pieces of evidence that help substantiate Weber's view that ultimate values cannot be objectively established. "The nature of the cause the politician seeks to serve by striving for and using power is a question of faith." Yet here Weber refers to the politician, not the social scientist. But could the same theorem not be applied to the social scientist? Could "social scientist" not be substituted for "politician" and, say, "facts" for "power"? And then could the social scientist not be asked to use those facts objectively while maintaining a commitment to his values? Answering these questions in the affirmative, which can be done only through an argument by extension, a frail but not hopeless step, leads to interpreting "The Profession and Vocation of Politics" as a metaphor for the actions of the social scientist, showing that the values he seeks to serve are also a question of faith.
Weber lived in Heidelberg and his home became a meeting place for intellectuals. The first world war broke out in 1914, and this interrupted Weber's work. He worked as a reserve officer in military hospitals. Later, he became disillusioned with the war, questioning the competence of the military and political regime. tried to convince the generals to stop fighting, but this had no effect. After the war, Weber served as an advisor to the German delegation at Versailles, helped draft a German constitution and became an important political figure. He opposed the Kaiser's conservative government, but was also opposed to the socialist parties. Given that there was not a middle grouping in Germany at the time, this left him little opportunity to make much positive contribution.
A principal founder of modern sociology, Max Weber Jr
While Weber considers the capitalistic labour market to be important for the development of capitalism and has profound structural consequences for society, he provides little analysis of this in . In quote 7 he notes: "Exact calculation – the basis of everything else – is only possible on the basis of free labour." (, p. 22) Giddens notes that "only in the West, and in relatively recent times, has capitalistic activity become associated with the . By ‘rational organisation’ of labour here Weber means its routinised, calculated administration within continuously functioning enterprises. .... a disciplined labour force, and the regularised investment of capital." (Giddens, "Introduction," p. 3).
Politics played an important role in Weber's life and intellectual activity. Prussia was dominated by the , aristocratic landowners who were opposed to free trade in grain and to liberal, capitalistic reforms. Germany was still divided into separate principalities at the time of Weber's birth, at was at war with Austria and France. By 1871, Count Bismarck had unified Germany and Prussia "attained complete control over most of German-speaking Europe" (Ashley and Orenstein, p. 264). Bismarck was able to balance the interests of the Junkers and the western German industrialists, and was able to push through some progressive reforms, such as social security or pension plans. The unification of Germany helped encourage the expansion of industry, German capitalism and the German working class. The latter supported various socialist parties, and Marxist influences were strong in the working class. The German political system was not liberal and democratic, but "administered by monarchists, militarists, and industrialists." (Ashley and Orenstein, p. 266). Weber also lived during the first world war, and the Versailles settlement that was imposed on Germany. After this, politics was dominated by the fights between the governing Social Democratic Party and the power of the nationalist and right-wing elements. This ultimately led to the Nazi triumph in 1933. Hadden notes that Germany was generally in a chaotic political situation during much of Weber's lifetime, and as a result Weber was pessimistic about achieving national unity and cohesion, political aims that he valued highly (p. 126).
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Max Weber thought that "statements of fact are one thing, statements of value another, and any confusing of the two is impermissible," Ralf Dahrendorf writes in his essay "Max Weber and Modern Social Science," acknowledging that Weber clarified the difference between pronouncements of fact and of value. Although Dahrendorf goes on to note the ambiguities in Weber's writings between factual analysis and value-influenced pronouncements, he stops short of offering an explanation for them other than to say that Weber, being human, could not always live with his own demands for objectivity. Indeed, Dahrendorf leaves unclear exactly what Weber's view of objectivity was. More specifically, Dahrendorf does not venture to lay out a detailed explanation of whether Weber believed that the social scientist could eliminate the influence of values from the analysis of facts.
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Weber argued that the concept of freedom was an important aspect of the serfs’ desires and decisions. This was not a simple influence of the idea of freedom in the abstract, but emerged in a specific social and economic context, that of peasants on German estates when feudal forms were disappearing and market influences were being felt. That is, there was a clash between ideas of "deference and patronage on the one hand, and an attitude of economic individualism on the other." (Giddens, p. 124) Weber argued that sociologists should "examine the possible bearing of deep-rooted social and economic changes upon the nature of value held by the members of a given stratum or society." (Giddens, p. 123). Weber considered himself as social reformer, who was attempting to understand how change occurs.
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Did Weber believe that, even though facts are one thing and values another, social and economic facts could be evaluated without the analysis being influenced by values? And what is the relation of objectivity to values? Could objectivity, for instance, be used to show that one value is superior to another? Or does objectivity apply only to the analysis of facts? Do one's values or perspective stem from human nature, metaphysical views, personal identity, or is it just as likely that they are a mere construct of culture?
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