The Causality of Freedom: Max Weber and the Practical Activation of Schutz’s Postulate of Adequacy

Human Studies:1-19 (forthcoming)
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Abstract

This essay argues that Johannes von Kries analysis of the status in the criminal law of the rationally intending subject and the doctrine of _mens rea_ so closely associated with it (cf. Kries, 1886 ; 1888 ) was well known to Max Weber, who had initially trained in law, and highly significant both for the development of his sociology of subjective understanding and his parallel view that the social sciences must be jointly committed to combining a generalizing objective with an individualizing method in their research. It also sees many indications that Weber believed that social scientific investigations could and should go further toward franchising the subject of such social research by encouraging active, even critical responses in his/her testimony in the interests of better achieving both causal and meaning adequacy. From this it would have been only a short step to what I call the practical activation of Alfred Schutz’s postulate of adequacy, which requires that intellectual type constructs in the social sciences not only make sense to research subjects but accord with their perceptions, observations and views. The essay discusses the obstacles provided by the environing authoritarian social and political framework, including the trajectories of those professions on which the social sciences had little choice but to model themselves, as reasons explaining why practical activation of the postulate of adequacy has not yet fully come to pass. It concludes by addressing new Weber scholarship which sees him as a complex and dynamic probabilist whose constructivist and interpretivist theory of human social action is based much more on _Chance_ and orientation than we thought, even to the point of being a model for practical activation of the postulate of adequacy as well as a new and revised basis for the analysis of social interaction itself (see Weber, [ 1913 ] ( 1981 ).

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References found in this work

Critique of Pure Reason.I. Kant - 1787/1998 - Philosophy 59 (230):555-557.
Causality and determinism.Georg Henrik von Wright - 1974 - New York,: Columbia University Press.
Explanation and Understanding.Georg Henrik von Wright - 1974 - Philosophy and Rhetoric 7 (3):187-190.
Methodology of the Social Sciences.Felix Kaufmann - 1944 - Journal of Philosophy 41 (22):604-612.
Johannes von Kries’s Principien: A Brief Guide for the Perplexed.Sandy Zabell - 2016 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 47 (1):131-150.

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