Philosophers and social scientists will welcome this highly original discussion of Max Weber's analysis of the objectivity of social science. Guy Oakes traces the vital connection between Weber's methodology and the work of philosopher Heinrich Rickert, reconstructing Rickert's notoriously difficult concepts in order to isolate the important, and until now poorly understood, roots of problems in Weber's own work.Guy Oakes teaches social philosophy at Monmouth College and sociology at the New School for Social Research.
The general area of this essay is an issue left unexplored by the tradition of commentary on Rickert's philosophy and Weber's methodology: the question of the relationship between Rickert's value theory and the validity of Weber's methodological positions. Within this area, the essay focuses on the question of the relationship between Rickert's analysis of the problem of the objectivity of values and Weber's conception of the objectivity of the cultural sciences. The thesis defended is that a solution to Weber's problem (...) of the objectivity of the cultural sciences depends upon Rickert's doctrine of the objectivity of values. In this sense, Rickert's position on the objectivity of values is essential to the validity of Weber's methodology. (shrink)
Carl Schmitt, the author of such books as Political Theology and The Crisis of Parliamentary Democracy, was one of the leading political and legal theorists of the twentieth century. His critical discussions of liberal democratic ideals and institutions continue to arouse controversy, but even his opponents concede his uncanny sense for the basic problems of modern politics.Political Romanticism is a historical study that, like all of Schmitt's major works, offers a fundamental political critique. In it, he defends a concept of (...) political action based on notions of good and evil, justice and injustice, and attacks the political passivity entailed by the romanticization of experience.The book has three strands. The first is an attack on received notions of the origins of the Romantic Movement. Schmitt argues that this movement represents a secularization, subjectification, and privatization in which God is replaced by the emancipated, private individual of the bourgeois social order. The second is an assault on political romanticism that includes a broader attack on the new European bourgeoisie, which Schmitt characterizes as the historical bearer of the movement.The third strand is a defense of political conservatism and a refutation of the view that political romanticism is intrinsically linked with romanticism. Here Schmitt argues that the political romantic is tied not to positions but to aesthetics, and can therefore as easily become a Danton as a Frederick the Great.Guy Oakes's introduction places the book in historical context and also suggests its continuing relevance through his discussion of the latest outcropping of political romanticism in the late 1960s, intriguingly brought out in his example of Norman Mailer as a political romantic.Political Romanticism is included in the series Studies in Contemporary German Social Thought, edited by Thomas McCarthy. (shrink)
Heinrich Rickert was one of the leading neo-Kantian philosophers in Germany and a crucial figure in the discussions of the foundations of the social sciences in the first quarter of the twentieth century. His views were extremely influential, most significantly on Max Weber. The Limits of Concept Formation in Natural Science is Rickert's most important work, and it is here translated into English for the first time. It presents his systematic theory of knowledge and philosophy of science, and deals particularly (...) with historical knowledge and the problem of demarcating the natural from the human sciences. The theory Rickert develops is carefully argued and of great intrinsic interest. It departs from both positivism and neo-Hegelian idealism and is worked out by contrast to the views of others, particularly Dilthey and the early phenomenologists. (shrink)