The Rise of Western Rationalism: Max Weber's Developmental by Wolfgang Schluchter

By Wolfgang Schluchter

Western rationalism-nature, in fact, and genesis-was Max Weber's dominant ancient curiosity. It used to be the grand subject of his international ancient reviews, Economy and Society and The financial Ethics of the area Religions. His experiences of the relationships between economic climate, polity, legislations, and faith are lasting scholarly achievements. during this booklet Wolfgang Schluchter provides the main systematic research and elaboration ever tried of Weber's sociology as a developmental background of the West.

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Max Webers, Kritik am Kaiserreich," Rationalismus der Weltbeherrschung (Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1980), pp. 134-69. Reinhard Bendix, too, has pointed to the significance of the early writings for the crystallization of Weber's sociological perspective. r Weber, op. , especially Part I. I do not claim that the development ofWeber's work was without any discontinuities. However, I doubt the view (cf. Tenbruck, op. , p. " Cf. also Dirk Kasler, "Max Weber," Klassiker soziologischen Denkens (Mnnich: Beck, 1976), p.

Cf. "Author's Introduction,'' p. 24. 10. See ''Tile Agrarian Sociology of Ancient Civilizations" and the Collected Essays in the Social~ ofReligions. Weber's Historical Problem 9 back again to ancientjudaism. Along the way Weber continuously enlarged not only the factual basis but also the theoretical horizon of his analysis. At first he was primarily concerned with the distinctiveness of the modern European economy, but increasingly he also dealt with the particularity of modern European science, art, politics, law-in short, with the whole structure of modern European culture.

But Weber takes this view also because of the range of his historical kno~ledge. Throughout the history of mankind there has always been capitalism, including commercial capitalism on the basis of unfree as well as free labor, at least "as far back as the economic records go" (cf. "Author's Introduction," p. 19). The economic counter-concept to the capitalist economy is the oikos economy, which is frequently linked to manorialism. Its purpose is rent, not profit. 6. ''Tile Agrarian Sociology," op.

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