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3 pages26 viewsWinter 2011

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Irving Zeitlin

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1) In his Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, Weber sought to show that capitalism as
an economic system was a creation of the Reformation.
2) Weber’s great contribution to the methodology of the social sciences was to show that
science can provide guidance in the selection of morally worthy ends.
3) Weber claimed that, in order to study any social phenomenon, the social scientist should try
to approach it without any presuppositions.
4) The notion of ideal type was adopted by Weber from the natural sciences and introduced as
a conceptual tool in the social sciences
5) For Weber, objectivity does not mean achieving a condition of being literally “value-free”.
6) Zeitlin observes that Weber’s notion of an intersubjective world of meaning suggests that
the relations among humans have no objective consequences for them.
7) Weber’s concern with the actors subjective meanings is based on the assumption that actors
are always conscious of their intentions and purposes.
8) According to Weber, goal-rational action is characterized by the fact that the end chosen
allows only for certain means.
9) Marx’s modes of production”, Tocqueville’s dichotomy “aristocracy democracy” and
Durkheim’smechanical andorganic” solidarity are examples of ideal types.
10) Pareto, as a positivist, makes a convincing argument that humans are predominantly
instinctual creatures.
11) For Pareto, the concept of “sentiment is sometimes used as a synonym for “instinct.
12) The governing elite or class is restored by the loss of its degenerate members and by
families rising from the lower classes and bringing with them the vigor it needs.
13) Pareto’s concept of “masses is roughly equivalent to Marx’s concept of class.
14) In his work, Mosca revived the old doctrine of the “golden mean”, first found in Aristotle
and later developed by other thinkers, especially Montesquieu.
15) Mosca claimed that, historically, it was a mistake to grant universal suffrage.
16) Mosca accepted the evolutionary hypothesis which regards human history as a development
from lower to higher cultural stages.
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