RHETOR 103B Study Guide - Comprehensive Midterm Guide: Dialectic, Ethnology, Nuclear Family

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RHETOR 103B
MIDTERM EXAM
STUDY GUIDE
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Rhetoric 103B
Lecture 1 -- 1/19/2017
SCIENCE AS A VOCATION - MAX WEBER
Weber
- German academic who analyzed German society, coined term “sociology,”
political economist and social theorist
- Important figure in social sciences, anchored the discipline of sociology
- Responded to Marx
- Explored relationship between Protestantism and the rise of capitalism
- Rejects causal relationships
- But tries to unpack this relationship
- Sociologist of religion
DISENCHANTMENT with the world
- Loss of spirituality
- Loss of wonder and curiosity at the functionality (ex. Of the street car) around
the world
- Today, we no longer have wonder or puzzlement, but concerned with case,
results and calculation
- Modern world of rationalization and bureaucratization, not take into account
the divine, supernatural > secularization
- World of instrumental logic
Is science worthwhile? Not useful because there is no end to science?
Challenge: how to engage science
** This text is about MODESTY in intellectual research
- Academics seek clarity and meaning - work is never complete but continue to
engage the world to gain clarity, “each with their own demons” > their own
journeys
- No need to figure out if science is worthwhile (we take this for granted) but to
gain clarity
Lecture delivered in 1917 in the midst of WWI addressed to graduate students
- First gives advice, then ventures to unpack the meaning of science
- 3 sections (1) external conditions of vocation (2) inner vocation for science (3)
inner vocation of science > meaning of science
EXTERNAL CONDITIONS
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- We do not research in a vacuum, external conditions set limits and/or open up
opportunities
- Compare German and American systems
- Miserable, grief > we constantly wonder “why am I doing this”
- Both G/A universities depend on capitalist systems > state and private actors
- We are no longer OWNERS of our resources or of tools of our profession
because we work for someone else
- Appointments are made to please crows and attract students - do not say
anything about the quality of the teaching
- Chance is always central
- Important and not to be criticized
- There remains chance DESPITE our calculated world - we must
embrace this as an open possibility
- Classroom not democracy but filled with aristocratic spirit
- Why?
- Objective is to explain ideas to the “untrained” so that you think about
them independently, with your own demons
- Weber is against indoctrination and laws that explain everything >
develop own thinking
INNER VOCATION FOR
- Why read or research or go to university? Esp given the situation of the world,
of the university and of job opportunities
- Need to understand conditions under which we engage in intellectual activity
- We live in a world of specialized science
- This is important
- Required to dig deep to get somewhere in the profession and life
- Specialization is part of disenchantment
- But this allows for development of passion
- If we pursue knowledge narrowly in a specialized way, alone with
inspiration, we get a lot of grief
- COLD CALCULATION (p8)
- Widespread notion exists that calculation involves cool intellect and not
heart and soul
- Response: for an idea to arise, there must be inspiration
- “Some idea has to occur to someone’s mind, and it has to be a
correct idea, if one is to accomplish anything worthwhile. Such
intention cannot be forced”
- Nothing to do with calculation
- STRANGE INTOXICATION (p8)
- Is what we need
- Nothing has value unless pursued with passion > but this does not
guarantee success
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