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date: 27 January 2022

Abstract and Keywords

Max Weber was a realist not only from a political but also from an epistemological perspective. This chapter tries to shed light upon this aspect of Weber’s works, stressing the central importance of his concept of a “science of reality” (Wirklichkeitswissenschaft). He viewed science not so much as a destiny for modern humanity but, rather, as a choice. The main sources of his realism are examined, as well as two weaknesses of the Weberian science of reality: its weak historical teleology and a value-based conception of culture. Finally, it is suggested that the current “realist turn” in human sciences is sowing seeds of a Weber renaissance in the twenty-first century.

Keywords: science of reality, realism, philosophy of history, historicism, neo-Kantianism

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