Max Weber's Methodology: the Unification of the Cultural and Social Sciences FRITZ K. RINGER

Max Weber's Methodology: the Unification of the Cultural and Social Sciences FRITZ K. RINGER Max Weber’s Methodology: the UniŽcation of the Cultural and Social Sciences F RITZ K. R INGER Cambridge, MA.: Harvard University Press, 2000 Reviewed by B OB J ESSOP This book, originally published in hardback in 1997, has now appeared in a very welcome paperback edition. Its author, Fritz Ringer, is well versed in German intellectual history. This enables him to offer the reader an excellent reconstruction of Weber ’s views on methodology, situate them in the major contemporary debates in Weber ’s Germany, and assert their continuing (and, indeed, insufŽciently appreciated) relevance to current issues in the cultural and social sciences. Ringer ’s approach is inuenced in part by Pierre Bourdieu’s notion of the intellectual Želd. 1 He therefore interprets Weber ’s attempt to unify the methodologies of the historical, cultural and social sciences in the light of the speciŽc debates that structured Weber ’s own formulation of problems and his attempts over time to respond to the issues raised therein. In this context, Ringer sees Weber as a good example of ‘the clarifying critic who restates, rationalises, and thus partly transcends the assumptions of his own culture’ (p. 168). Thus he wa s ‘at once a causalist http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Historical Materialism Brill

Max Weber's Methodology: the Unification of the Cultural and Social Sciences FRITZ K. RINGER

Historical Materialism, Volume 11 (2): 265 – Jan 1, 2003

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© 2003 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1465-4466
eISSN
1569-206X
D.O.I.
10.1163/156920603768311336
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Max Weber’s Methodology: the UniŽcation of the Cultural and Social Sciences F RITZ K. R INGER Cambridge, MA.: Harvard University Press, 2000 Reviewed by B OB J ESSOP This book, originally published in hardback in 1997, has now appeared in a very welcome paperback edition. Its author, Fritz Ringer, is well versed in German intellectual history. This enables him to offer the reader an excellent reconstruction of Weber ’s views on methodology, situate them in the major contemporary debates in Weber ’s Germany, and assert their continuing (and, indeed, insufŽciently appreciated) relevance to current issues in the cultural and social sciences. Ringer ’s approach is inuenced in part by Pierre Bourdieu’s notion of the intellectual Želd. 1 He therefore interprets Weber ’s attempt to unify the methodologies of the historical, cultural and social sciences in the light of the speciŽc debates that structured Weber ’s own formulation of problems and his attempts over time to respond to the issues raised therein. In this context, Ringer sees Weber as a good example of ‘the clarifying critic who restates, rationalises, and thus partly transcends the assumptions of his own culture’ (p. 168). Thus he wa s ‘at once a causalist

Journal

Historical MaterialismBrill

Published: Jan 1, 2003

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