Objectivity In Social Science Max Weber Analysis

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Register to read the introduction… (80). This is true, because, firstly, social laws are there only to help us understand the social reality, and, secondly, because knowledge of cultural events is possible only on the basis of the significance which the concrete constellations of reality have for us in certain individual concrete situations.

"Culture" is a finite segment of the meaningless infinity of the world process, a segment of which human beings confer meanings and significance, reiterates Weber. (81). Scientific interest of a phenomenon rests on its cultural significance. Evaluative ideas are "subjective". The choice of the object of investigation and the extent to which this investigation attempts to penetrate into the infinite causal web, are determined by the evaluative ideas which dominate the investigator and his age. (84). Scientific truth is precisely what is valid for all who seek the
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What is the significance of theory and theoretical conceptualization for our knowledge of cultural reality? – asks he. Since social science was originally focused on economics, it viewed the reality from the point of view of increase of the "wealth" of the population. From the very beginning it was integrated into the natural law and rationalistic understanding of life of the eighteenth century. As the rational analysis of society arose in close connection with the modern development of natural sciences, so it remained related to it in its whole method of approach.(85). Natural sciences aimed at attaining a purely "objective" monistic knowledge of the totality of reality "in a conceptual system of metaphysical validity and mathematical form". (85). For this generalizing abstraction was used along with the formulation of laws based on empirical analysis. As a result understanding of the relationship between concept and reality was blurred. Naturalistic prejudices created a very dangerous in Weber's view confusion of theory and history. (95). At this point Weber introduces the concept of ideal type, the need for which was stated before. His ideal type is not meant to refer to perfect things or moral ideals, but rather to stress certain elements common to most cases of the given phenomena. As Weber puts it himself, "An ideal type is formed by the one-sided accentuation of one or …show more content…
Weber warns us against supporting our ideal-typical developmental sequences by the use of concrete illustrative material drawn from empirical-historical reality, as in this case history becomes a servant of theory. He warns us against temptation to do violence to reality in order to prove the real validity of the construct. The devastating consequences of this mistake Weber exemplifies by misunderstanding of Marxian laws and developmental constructs. From history we know that while they were ideal types, they were used as empirically valid or as real, which had devastating consequences.

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