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SOCB43H3 (167)
Dan Silver (151)
Lecture

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6 Pages
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Department
Sociology
Course Code
SOCB43H3
Professor
Dan Silver

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SOCB43 Lecture 5
Weber: Science as a Vocation
Durkheim’s Life
Social Facts
DOL: Agendas, Function and Mechanical Solidarity
Create your own ideal type, in the same way Weber did. Use your type to illustrate what he need
by an ideal type (explain what it is, how it works, what it does)
-increasing power of rationalization – the rise of science as a social authority
-Science as a vocation: can it match religion, at, math … being a noble leader, political
leader, etc
-Historically, science was not important
-People who use science: Is it worth it? Is it important?
-Weber says that the idea of trying to make school fun is a vocation of science because
real science had qualities that make it incompatible
-These qualities/main features of science are:
1.Specialization – strive for perfection you have to understand something through and
through to be a true scientist (not like journalists who scan an idea and write about it). In
our world, it is impossible to know everything about something (old times, one was
thought to know everything). The possibility of perfectly knowing something now is only
possible in speculation. Weber describes it as your whole life hanging from getting the
next thing right.
2. Fuses enthusiasm and discipline – some argued that science needs more inspiration for
discovery; Weber says it has moments of creativity but it is more to that. You can’t only
have inspiration and wait for ideas to come to you, it also come to people who ponder day
and night and things ‘just come to them’.
3. Science defined by progress – build a cumulative body of knowledge; if you are a true
scientist, you want someone to disprove what you say to expand on it. In the world of art,
for example, there is no such thing as progress (a great masterpiece cannot be changed
and it is always seen as great; no false painting). What a scientist proposes is constantly
attacked. Science is an example of where progress is the most important.
Why do people do something when they know their contributions will be criticized,
revamped and won’t last?
- people do science independent of results
- they know their job prospects are close to zero
www.notesolution.com
Why is science at high value? Science is like the modern spirituality, value system:
Demagification (disenchantment take away meaning from life and meaning from science)
(Tolstoi, writer)
The driving force behind the rationalization of the world; what does it mean that the world is
becoming more rationalized. It doesn’t mean that we have more knowledge of the world we live
in.
Attitude that we have: there are no mysteries, no magic in the world; everything happens for a
reason even though we don’t know all the answer. In principle it can’t just happen, there is an
underlying reason
If you have this attitude towards the world, you see that religion is the highest source of value.
You want to remove mystery from the world and replace it with reason. Religion gives us
answers.
If this is our highest value, does science do the job of removing magic and enchantment, like
religion did?
Science cannot do the job. In a world where science has the highest value, is a world with no
meaning. Why? Science is a continuum of Q and A, problem and solution.
In the scientific world, it is impossible to die in contempt. We die knowing that there will be
something that we could have possibly imagined and it probably will be good, better, interesting
(beyond the technical: relationships between people, for example)
Ancient Greeks – finding out mathematical answers was like a religion; they formed cults to
answer questions
Weber: Early laboratories – exploring god’s truth in nature; get into the divine structure of nature
Whoever says that is childish; problem: science cannot tell you the right way to live. It
tells you a lot of things but can’t tell you if something is worth living, if its good or bad,
what’s beautiful or not, are bombs good or bad
-Science can tell you how to implement knowledge. It is in a way a consequence, nihilism:
nihil – Latin for nothing nothing-ism, in the end you believe in nothing valuable; no such
thing that is compelling; nothing in the world worth caring about at all
we lack an ultimate final standard that we use to judge what is the best/highest. We care
about a lot but we can’t decide which among them is most important.
-Science is held on a pedestal; science is how you know about things. If the thing that
knows everything can’t tell you about life equates to nothingness.
-Our highest value system cannot decipher what is good/bad – clash of god’s (god of
politics, religion, art, etc). we have no way to decide about what we should care about
www.notesolution.com

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Description
SOCB43 Lecture 5 Weber: Science as a Vocation Durkheims Life Social Facts DOL: Agendas, Function and Mechanical Solidarity Create your own ideal type, in the same way Weber did. Use your type to illustrate what he need by an ideal type (explain what it is, how it works, what it does) - increasing power of rationalization the rise of science as a social authority - Science as a vocation: can it match religion, at, math being a noble leader, political leader, etc - Historically, science was not important - People who use science: Is it worth it? Is it important? - Weber says that the idea of trying to make school fun is a vocation of science because real science had qualities that make it incompatible - These qualitiesmain features of science are: 1. Specialization strive for perfection you have to understand something through and through to be a true scientist (not like journalists who scan an idea and write about it). In our world, it is impossible to know everything about something (old times, one was thought to know everything). The possibility of perfectly knowing something now is only possible in speculation. Weber describes it as your whole life hanging from getting the next thing right. 2. Fuses enthusiasm and discipline some argued that science needs more inspiration for discovery; Weber says it has moments of creativity but it is more to that. You cant only have inspiration and wait for ideas to come to you, it also come to people who ponder day and night and things just come to them. 3. Science defined by progress build a cumulative body of knowledge; if you are a true scientist, you want someone to disprove what you say to expand on it. In the world of art, for example, there is no such thing as progress (a great masterpiece cannot be changed and it is always seen as great; no false painting). What a scientist proposes is constantly attacked. Science is an example of where progress is the most important. Why do people do something when they know their contributions will be criticized, revamped and wont last? - people do science independent of results - they know their job prospects are close to zero www.notesolution.com
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