By Martin Albrow
A learn of the paintings of German sociologist, Max Weber, together with a short biography and an exploration in Weberian social concept.
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Additional info for Max Weber’s Construction of Social Theory
Marianne's reference to the maternal family is to Weber's mother Helene and to her sister, Ida Baumgarten, who exercised considerable influence on him when he spent a year at Strasbourg as a student. Both his mother and aunt were devout Protestants endeavouring throughout their lives to subject each day to God's moral law, given to studying the writings of Protestant divines and actively engaged in good works for the suffering and needy. They and Weber conversed and wrote to each other on religious topics.
It was the way he viewed the world long before it became a part of his world-view. Kant's is a system of thought which makes order, unity, universality, the world, the central motive and target for the thinker. As such it has been the inspiration for many attempts since to create intellectual order out of a chaotic world. Lucien Goldman says something similar in his account of Kant: 'Kant seems to me to be the first modern thinker to recognize anew the importance of the totality as a fundamental category of existence, or at least to recognize its problematic character' (1971: 36).
It is a special case of what has been called the 'hermeneutic circle': in order to understand Weber, his person and work, we need to appreciate the influence of Protestantism, but our understanding of Protestantism has been deeply influenced by Weber. We cannot escape this by turning to his critics either, say toR. H. Tawney or Werner Sombart, for however much they disagreed with Weber about the consequences of Puritanism for the capitalist economy, they still shared with Weber a very common estimation of the qualities of the Protestant personality.