Max Weber's Methodology: The Unification of the Cultural and Social Sciences

Max Weber's Methodology: The Unification of the Cultural and Social Sciences

by Fritz Ringer, Jane Bendix
     
 

ISBN-10: 0674556577

ISBN-13: 9780674556577

Pub. Date: 02/28/1998

Publisher: Harvard University Press

At a time when historical and cultural analyses are being subjected to all manner of ideological and disciplinary prodding and poking, the work of Max Weber, the brilliant social theorist and one of the most creative intellectual forces in the twentieth century, is especially relevant. In this significant study, Fritz Ringer offers a new approach to the work of

Overview

At a time when historical and cultural analyses are being subjected to all manner of ideological and disciplinary prodding and poking, the work of Max Weber, the brilliant social theorist and one of the most creative intellectual forces in the twentieth century, is especially relevant. In this significant study, Fritz Ringer offers a new approach to the work of Weber, interpreting his methodological writings in the context of the lively German intellectual debates of his day. According to Ringer, Weber was able to bridge the intellectual divide between humanistic interpretation and causal explanation in historical and cultural studies in a way that speaks directly to our own time, when methodological differences continue to impede fruitful cooperation between humanists and social scientists. In the place of the humanists' subjectivism and the social scientists' naturalism, Weber developed the flexible and realistic concepts of objective probability and adequate causation.

Grounding technical theories in specific examples, Ringer has written an essential text for all students of Weber and of social theory in the humanities and social sciences. Fully reconstructed, Max Weber's methodological position in fact anticipated the most fruitful directions in our own contemporary philosophies of the cultural and social sciences. Ringer's conceptualization of Weber's approach and achievement elucidates Weber's reconciliation of interpretive understanding and causal explanation and shows its relevance to intellectual life and culture in Weber's own time and in ours as well.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780674556577
Publisher:
Harvard University Press
Publication date:
02/28/1998
Pages:
208
Product dimensions:
6.37(w) x 9.29(h) x 0.81(d)
Lexile:
1410L (what's this?)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

Introduction

Aspects of Weber's Intellectual Field

The German Historical Tradition

The Threat of ëPositivismí

The Revival of the Humanistic Disciplines

Weber's Adaptation of Rickert

Rickert's Position and Its Problems

Weber's Adaptation

Against Naturalism, Holism, and Irrationalism

Singular Causal Analysis

Objective Probability and Adequate Causation

The Frameworks and Tactics of Causal Analysis

Contemporary Formulations

Interpretation and Explanation

From Interpretation to Causal Analysis

Interpretive Sociology

The Ideal Type and Its Functions

Objectivity and Value Neutrality

The Two Components of Weber's Position through 1910

The Maxim and Ethos of Value Neutrality

Contemporary Formulations

From Theory to Practice

Neither Marxism nor Idealism

From Methodological Individualism to the Comparative

Analysis of Structural Change

An Example of Weber's Practice: The Protestant Ethic

Conclusion

Bibliography

Index

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