Philosophy 1000 Essay

Submitted By DeLeemans96
Words: 520
Pages: 3

Key Contributions of M. Weber:
1) Theory of Society: Similarities and Differences with E. Durkheim and K. Marx: action vs. structure; individual vs. collectivity;
2) 3-fold Methodology: comparative method, verstehen, ideal types
M. Weber: Theory of Society
Max Weber (1864-1920):
Overview of Weber’s legacy: similarities and differences to Durkheim and Marx;
Topics of interest: history of religion; bureaucracy; social stratification; capitalism and Protestantism; states and societies; power and authority.
Main argument: human action increasingly formally rational over the course of human history.
Human action = individual meaningful, purposive behaviour;
Formal rationality = careful, planned and calculated matching of means to ends;
M. Weber: Theory of Society
Formally rational action: to identify and use means that will likely bring a desired end; a dominant feature of modern societies; - key feature of human being – modern society: our ways of thinking is more organized, evidenced based, but in the past they were as formally rational way of thinking (not as calculated)
Rationalization: a key aspect of modern Western cultures, based on the use of methodical practices e.g. record keeping, filing, coding, etc.
Weber’s work: concerned with increasing dominance of bureaucracies that created “disenchantment of the world” i.e. loss of creativity and individuality due to excessive bureaucratic rules or “red tape” despite purported efficiency in organizing massive information. – less face to face interactions in dealing with problems or to discuss issues (eg twitter, facebook) – dominated by technology
M. Weber: Theory of Society
Theory of Society: the study of individuals’ meaningful, purposive actions; - says individuals are the driving force of society contrasts with Durkheim and Marx’s view of society in terms of external forces or collective structures outside of individual will; individuals as the driving force of social change – micro-social thinker
Max Weber: Biography
Born in Erfurt, Germany into a prominent family
Conflict with father had profound health effects;
Majored in law and became a university professor;
Product of his time: living in a chaotic state with 3 groups