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POLSCI 2O06 (114)

max weber

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Political Science
James Ingram

Max Weber (1864-1920) German...but different germany he grew up in vs marx’s Imperial germany: emperor Germany up and coming, industrial, highly military society Weber: upper middle class, lower reach of elite, father a politician State fighting WWI He is a political economist Interested in institiutions and their historical context Read marx...but distance Marx’s key discovery is humans make and reproduce their world Weber’s response is that is only one factor..need to look at whole picture Interpretive history/sociology Weber thinks how ppl and cultures, society make meaning for themselves...just as important as how they produce things How we organize ourselves to make life meaningful Comparative sociology of world religions Why does Europe within a few hundred yrs take over the rest of the world through their locomotives etc Weber compares religions to look for an explanation Capitalism is a result of protestant religion Intended make a Marxist crazy Weber: need to understand the culture that produced capitalism So he thought it made him a better student of religion Offers rebuttal to marx Culture and interpretation come first, material production later There is a dominant story Industrial production get more capitalism Weber is a historian of institiutions Institutions arise to pursue natural sciences ie universities, museums Rise of massive states: bureaucratized Arises parallel to capitalism First lecture, nov 1917-height of WWI, on science as a vocation Wissenschaft-all organized knowledge, products of knowing, organized knowing of any kind (not just science, broadest science) Wissenschaft als Beruf (a calling – ie a call to priesthood or painter etc – a strong pull to do something) Weber, a prof and famous scientist, is called upon to lecture on a given topic – science as a vocation First half of essay, answers question for students to decide whether to become a scientist Practical demonstration to his approach on doing science by showing his kind of science Give external description, what does contemporary university look like as an institution, compares german model with American..then gives meaning of job Modern university has become a bureaucratize..used to be feudal, medieval guilds now employee in large organization..bureacracy, which is hard to explain based on marx’s theories of capitalism Bureaucracy – independent forces that make institutions democratic and bureaucratic The separation of the worker from the means of production (marxs take on capitalism) Weber takes marx formulation and uses it in a different situation, turns it around, uses and upends Marxist ideas Modern universities are more specialized, subfields become smaller, researchers have to work on narrower questions, is state owned All these conditions affect what it is like to work in a university Like marx, weber is specific about time University 1917 in germany Should i become a scientific professor? Too many ppl getting phds, not enough jobs for them, promotions are due to chance Academic life is a gamble Abandon all hope Hard to survive without injury to your personality Competition + bureaucracy Who can have a calling for science in the modern world? P7 ‘nothing has any value unless he can pursue it with passion You need to maintain this inspiration for science Difficult because highly bureaucratic (all modern institutions are) Highly specialized Mar 20 Recap lec nov 1917 on science as a vocation Who has a calling to be a researcher? Demonstration of what you can learn Marx emphasized materialism, production, how we transform physical world around us Weber emphasized how we make world meaningful, culture, institutions, how social like is organized Weber’s themes, the lowest common denominator for how institutions work External view on knowledge business through Bureaucratization Specialization Rationalized Technicized intellectualization Family of parallel developments (above) Technology p12 / goes with rationalization At large level, bureaucracy is rational The more rational, the smarter the institution becomes, the dumber we get Technology Colonial.. Indians..hottentot we understand life any better than someone without technology We don’t know how anything we use works The knowledge that i discover today will be surpassed tomorrow, destined to be replaced Weber is not selling a career in science, it is bureaucratized, competitive...and as a kid you want to understand the world but not a good ambition, we can only understand a tiny aspect of the world to be changed tomorrow The disenchantment thesis of the world p.13 entzauberung – the magic is taken out of everything everything is filled with meaning, with magic, ie different seasons, different gods, spiritual signifance disenchantment – grim situation nothing has deep meaning but no one knows it he is underselling among you is tough enough to be a scientist? What it’s like in the modern world – he’s teaching us about the nature of science implications of getting smarter but not ahead: 1 the way we solve problems or organized things never answers all the questions You cannot look by the process in which we become smarter to answer questions about meaning P18 medicine extends life We call accountant (life insurance) when we want to extend our life, not priest etc Cannot tell us what is good health or bad, or the meaning to life, longevity, the signifinace,the value We can’t ask scientists about this 2 we cannot expect scientific explanation of things to offer us value P20 strong distinction between fact and value It is possible to describe political world, natural world etc without picking sides or being for or against it P20 Can lectures give you just the facts on political life and leave value judgments to you? You can learn, but prof cant keep his values and biases out of it Even facts will include interpretation Webers answer p20 What can education/research/science do for us? P25 technical control=knowledge is power Missing march 26 March 28 Recap Politics as a vocation/as a calling Should i become a politician? Highly sign time : german state is collapsing Nov 1919 Revolutions, some want democracy, some want new king or old king/monarchy What he tells is equally applicable to all govt regimes..anarchy, democracy, communism etc Can he conceal is own value commitment/his own standing without picking a side? Will give a demonstration on how to do sociology...model of what a Bavarian sociology of politics should look like...demonstrates his method His method is historical institutionalism Gives you a description of what kind of structure it has become, what works: shown from the outside After this sociology of four states, he gets to the internal, how politics is structured in the modern world Weber is condensing his political sociology to four pages (based on his book) -- He defines politics: politics is mostly concerned with states/govt institutions Because of its means of violence...legitimate violence Higher authority ie police is given the power to instil physical force The state: p33 “nowadays.. State the form of human community When a state fails, it is not successful in claiming authority over legitimate violence a)because ppls don’t recognize it as legitimate b) when does political authority have the right to tell you what to do, to make you stop this right of violence defines the state behaviour of politics p33 “what politics means to us when u talk about politics you have to talk about power, politics is about pursuing power, to tell ppl what to do from these definitions he will tell us who should do politics p33 ‘whoever has acted in politics.. if a politician says he is not interested in power, he is lying politics is not a pretty thing but p34 “the state rules over ppl and the state wouldn’t last this rule is not durable if ppl don’t accept it, the state would crumble hard to sustain a state through fear, ppl have to accept the rules p34 why they would accept this rule, why they would let strangers tell them what to do 3 types of authority 1. p34 “to start with the internal Traditional rule: you have to do this because this is what we’ve always done 2. charismatic rule: ruler chosen by popular vote 3. legal rule: rational These three types can be mixed together into ideal types You abstract from it to allow you to organize what goes on in the world Ie of traditional rule: patriarchial authority That’s just the way things are Ie of charismatic rule: Barack Obama, Genghis Khan, Adolf Hitler – you believe in them Ie of legal rule: a judge Less of traditional rule... Part of process of rationalization means there is less of traditional rule, even though we used to be mainly through traditional rule, but increasingly everything becomes legal rule State becomes more rule governed and bureaucratic: rationalization and bureaucracy Charisma is the exception: new things happen due to charisma rule You can’t achieve things in politics without charisma: quality to lead people Charisma is a dangerous thing: can be good or bad Weber is in favour of charisma; weber is a theorist of meaning Trend is disenchantment Not connected to decisions made Harder to find meaning in science and politics and everything Politics is a manner of bureaucracy P40 sociology of politics, people live for politics or from politics You’re a tiny cog in a vast machine Charisma brings meaning into politics; it’s the only thing that can bring us excitement and meaning in politics Charismatic politics give us a public meaningful experience, shared with many other ppl Charisma prevents modern world from being a machine and us simply being a cog in it Only three
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