Max Weber (1864-1920), generally known as a founder of modern social science, was concerned with political affairs throughout his life. The texts in this edition span his career and include his early inaugural lecture The Nation State and Economic Policy, Suffrage and Democracy in Germany, Parliament and Government in Germany under a New Political Order, Socialism, The Profession and Vocation of Politics, and an excerpt from his essay The Situation of Constitutional Democracy in Russia, as well as other shorter writings. (...) Together they illustrate the development of his thinking on the fate of Germany and the nature of politics in the modern western state in an age of cultural 'disenchantment'. The introduction discusses the central themes of Weber's political thought, and a chronology, notes and an annotated bibliography place him in his political and intellectual context. (shrink)
For more than 100 years, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism has set the parameters for the debate over the origins of modern capitalism. Now more timely and thought-provoking than ever, this esteemed classic of twentieth-century social science examines the deep cultural "frame of mind" that influences work life to this day in northern America and Western Europe. Stephen Kalberg's internationally acclaimed translation captures the essence of Weber's style as well as the subtlety of his descriptions and causal (...) arguments. Now, for the first time in one volume, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism with Other Writings on the Rise of the West integrates Weber's exploration of the spirit of capitalism's origins with his larger project: a multi-causal analysis of the West's distinctiveness and its sources. Weber's texts present wide-ranging discussions on the Western city, state, forms of rulership and law, and modes of economic innovation. Moreover, in many selections Weber offers in-depth and insightful comparisons to China and India. Readings on the "economic ethics" of Confucianism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, and Catholicism further illuminate the distinct qualities of the West's trajectory and its diverse causes. A separate section examines the long-range influence of the ascetic Protestant sects and churches on American society.To draw readers into the material, this engaging volume includes extended introductions by the editor, many new translations, a chronology of Weber's life, an expanded glossary and bibliography, and numerous clarifying endnotes. In addition, Kalberg addresses a variety of debates concerning the central elements of contemporary life. Ideal for courses in sociology, anthropology, political science, history, international relations, and economics, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism with Other Writings on the Rise of the West is an essential resource for anyone seeking to understand the origins and endurance of the modern West. (shrink)
The chapter of Max Weber’s The Religion of China: Confucianism and Taoism analyzes the basic life orientations within Confucian ethics, and their economic implications. The author suggests that since the Chinese civilization had no powerful independent social class of priesthood, its functions were performed by the state bureaucracy. Furthermore, the author points out the absence of natural law and formal juridical logic in Chinese life, which had a significant impact on Chinese legal consciousness. In the main part of the chapter, (...) the author reveals the essence of Confucianism as a type of rational secular ethics. He emphasizes the freedom of metaphysics, and the secular nature of Confucianism. Weber makes the notion of “decency” central to his analysis of the Confucian ethical worldview. He also demonstrates, through the concept of “deference”, the structural identity of personal relationships within the family and the bureaucratic hierarchy. The economic views of Confucian-educated bureaucrats, or the so-called mandarins, is analyzed as based on the strict rejection of any professionalization and specialization. The author emphasizes the positive attitude of Confucianism towards personal wealth and well-being, which was not perceived as an ethical problem. Weber underlines the importance of a classical literary education of potential candidates for responsible positions in the civil service, and the resulting personal benefits. Weber also posits the fundamentally pacifist nature of Confucianism. Weber concludes with the thesis of the absence in Confucianism of any methodical life orientations that characterize the religions of salvation. (shrink)
In this unique and comprehensive book, George McCarthy examines the influence of Greek philosophy, literature, arts, and politics on the development of twentieth-century German social thought. McCarthy demonstrates that the classical spirit vitalized thinkers such as Weber, Heidegger, Freud, Marcuse, Arendt, Gadamer, and Habermas.