- Copyright Page
- About the Editors
- Abbreviated Titles for Max Weber’s Texts
- Chronology of Max Weber’s Life
- Max Weber Past, Present, and Future
- Economics and Society and the Fate of Liberal Capitalism
- Max Weber’s Analysis of Capitalism
- Money, Credit, and Finance in Capitalism
- Law and the Development of Capitalism
- Is There a Future for Bourgeois Liberalism?
- Contemporary Capitalism and the Distribution of Power in Society
- Weberian Social Theory: Rationalization in a Globalized World
- Democracy, Partisanship, and Civil Society
- Nation, Nation-State, and Nationalism
- The Weberian City, Civil Society, and Turkish Social Thought
- The Modern State and Its Monopoly on Violence
- The Relevance of Weber’s Conception and Typology of Herrschaft
- The Supranational Dimension in Max Weber’s Vision of Politics
- Plebiscitary Politics and the Threats to Legality: Some Classical Insights on a Current Phenomenon
- Politics and Ethics, and the Ethic of Politics
- Max Weber’s Ethics for the Modern World
- Max Weber and the Late Modernization of Catholicism
- The “Disenchantment of the World” or Why We Can No Longer Use the Formula as Max Weber Might Have Intended
- The Literati and the Dao: Vernacular and Nation in China
- Class, Caste, and Social Stratification in India: Weberian Legacy
- Including Islam
- The Study on Ancient Israel and Its Relevance for Contemporary Politics
- The Rationalizations of Culture and Their Directions
- Max Weber and the Sociology of Music
- Contemporary Life Conduct and Existential Cultures
- From Occidental Rationalism to Multiple Modernities
- Max Weber and the Idea of the Occident
- Intellectuals, Scholars, and the Value of Science
- The Iron Cage in the Information Age: Bureaucracy as Tangible Manifestation of a Deep Societal Phenomenon
- Causation, Value Judgments, Verstehen
- Realism and Reality in Max Weber
Abstract and Keywords
Max Weber believed that the Occident had produced a set of unique institutions whose distinctiveness could be characterized using ideal types that accentuated their type and degree of “rationalism.” The rise of modern capitalism, one element within this set, had been enabled by the presence of other elements, he famously argued, none of which had indigenously arisen anywhere else in the world. This chapter reconstructs Weber’s idea of the Occident and examines how he understood the place of his own “modern European cultural world” within the development of occidental rationalism. It also considers the ways in which Weber’s comparative project might have been contaminated by various forms of “Eurocentric” biases, such as cultural prejudices, misapprehensions of Western uniqueness, and inept applications of the ideal-typical method. The most serious methodological difficulty with Weber’s comparative project is not his assertion of occidental difference, this chapter suggests, but rather his assumption that many paradigmatic cultural institutions were shared by societies whose developmental trajectories ultimately diverged. By attempting to understand non-Western institutions in terms of ideal types that were derived from European experiences, Weber often failed to appreciate the distinctive norms that structured the dynamism of non-Western societies.
Joshua Derman is associate professor of humanities at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. His research focuses on modern German history and, in particular, the international dimensions of German political and social thought. His book Max Weber in Politics and Social Thought: From Charisma to Canonization (2012) is the first comprehensive history of Weber’s early impact in Germany and the United States.
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