Max Weber’s Methodology: the Unication 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, insufciently appreciated) relevance to current issues in the cultural and social sciences. Ringer ’s approach is inuenced in part by Pierre Bourdieu’s notion of the intellectual eld. 1 He therefore interprets Weber ’s attempt to unify the methodologies of the historical, cultural and social sciences in the light of the specic 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
Historical Materialism – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2003
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