Max Weber and Michel Foucault: Parallel Life-Works by Árpád Szakolczai

By Árpád Szakolczai

This booklet is the 1st to together examine Weber and Foucault and to make powerful hyperlinks among their lives and works. it is going to be priceless examining to scholars and academics of sociology and philosophy.

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Sample text

Thus, liminal situations only exist in small-scale, closed societies. Just at the moment the solution is found, it seems to fade away. In fact, Victor Turner himself leaned toward this opinion, arguing that in 24 ON POSSIBILITY OF UNDERSTANDING modern societies, there are only 'liminoid' phenomena, marginal and fragmentary events outside the main social processes, and not properly liminal situations (Turner 1982). The contrast has its importance, as the lack of rites of passage and the relative scarcity of liminal situations in modern middledass societies may itself explain the frequent complaint about the lack of real experience under conditions of modernity and the subsequent mad chase after 'experience'.

The reconstruction of the life-work of Weber and Foucault will indeed start by presenting a composite pictute of the thinkers, based on these recollections. However, before presenting the way Weber and Foucault looked to others, the next two chapters will present the way their work looked to themselves. If the testimonies of dose acquaintances, or the works of the best commentators, provide a 'privileged access' into certain aspects of the life and the work, these self-reflexions provide an 'even more privileged' 36 ON POSSIBILITY OF UNDERSTANDING access, and in three different ways: due to the person who made them (the author himself); due to their target (the underlying unity of the work, defined by the guiding problem and not concrete ideas or theories); and due to the effect they had on the life and work of the author.

The point is not to question the fundamental insights contained in the works of Marx and Freud. Quite the contrary: these should gain importance in the future, once separated from the sectarianism in which their reception was anchored for so long. Similarly, the aim is not to replace Marx and Freud by Nietzsehe within the same sectarian mentality, as is often done by some selfproclaimed post-moderns (especially those coming from the former Marxist and/or Freudian camps). However, the shift of emphasis away from Marx and Freud and towards Nietzsehe is a twice-happy occasion.

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