Maximilian Karl Emil Weber, 1864 - 1920
Born: 21 April 1864, Erfurt, Saxony, Kingdom of Prussia
Died: 14 June 1920, Munich, Bavaria, German Reich
Biography from Wikipedia
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Max Weber quotes:
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- A fully developed bureaucratic mechanism stands in the same relationship to other forms as does the machine to the non-mechanical production of goods. Precision, speed, clarity, documentary ability, continuity, discretion, unity, rigid subordination, reduction of friction and material and personal expenses are unique to bureaucratic organization. permalink
"'The Theory of Social and Economic Organization"
- Bureaucratic administration means fundamentally domination through knowledge. permalink
- For the true mystic the principle continues to hold: the creature must be silent so that God may speak. permalink
The Rejection of the World and Theodicy
- In order to make possible a rational utilisation of the means of production, a system of in-kind accounting would have to determine "value" — indicators of some kind for the individual capital goods which could take over the role of the "prices" used in book valuation in modern business accounting. But it is not at all clear how such indicators could be established and in particular, verified; whether, for instance, they should vary from one production unit to the next (on the basis of economic location), or whether they should be uniform for the entire economy, on the basis of "social utility," that is, of (present and future) consumption requirements.... Nothing is gained by assuming that, if only the problem of a non-monetary economy were seriously enough attacked, a suitable accounting method would be discovered or invented. The problem is fundamental to any kind of complete socialisation. We cannot speak of a rational "planned economy" so long as in this decisive respect we have no instrument for elaborating a rational "plan". permalink
- Mysticism intends a state of "possession," not action, and the individual is not a tool but a "vessel" of the divine. Action in the world must thus appear as endangering the absolutely irrational and other-worldly religious state. permalink
The Rejection of the World and Theodicy
- No sociologist ... should think himself too good, even in his old age, to make tens of thousands of quite trivial computations in his head and perhaps for months at a time. One cannot with impunity try to transfer this task entirely to mechanical assistants if one wishes to figure something, even though the final result is often small indeed. permalink
- One can say that three pre-eminent qualities are decisive for the politician: passion, a feeling of responsibility, and a sense of proportion. permalink
- Only by strict specialization can the scientific worker become fully conscious, for once and perhaps never again in his lifetime, that he has achieved something that will endure. A really definitive and good accomplishment is today always a specialized act. permalink
- Only he has the calling for politics who is sure that he will not crumble when the world from his point of view is too stupid or base for what he wants to offer. Only he who in the face of all this can say In spite of all! has the calling for politics. permalink
- Sociology is] the science whose object is to interpret the meaning of social action and thereby give a causal explanation of the way in which the action proceeds and the effects which it produces. By "action" in this definition is meant the human behaviour when and to the extent that the agent or agents see it as subjectively meaningful ... the meaning to which we refer may be either (a) the meaning actually intended either by an individual agent on a particular historical occasion or by a number of agents on an approximate average in a given set of cases, or (b) the meaning attributed to the agent or agents, as types, in a pure type constructed in the abstract. In neither case is the "meaning" to be thought of as somehow objectively "correct" or "true" by some metaphysical criterion. This is the difference between the empirical sciences of action, such as sociology and history and any kind of a priori discipline, such as jurisprudence, logic, ethics, or aesthetics whose aim is to extract from their subject-matter "correct" or "valid" meaning. permalink
The Nature of Social Action (1922)
- The decisive reason for the advance of the bureaucratic organisation has always been its purely technical superiority over any other form of organisation. permalink
- The development of the concept of the calling quickly gave to the modern entrepreneur a fabulously clear conscience — and also industrious workers; he gave to his employees as the wages of their ascetic devotion to the calling and of co-operation in his ruthless exploitation of them through capitalism the prospect of eternal salvation. permalink
- The fate of our times is characterized by rationalization and intellectualization and, above all, by the disenchantment of the world. Precisely the ultimate and most sublime values have retreated from public life either into the transcendental realm of mystic life or into the brotherliness of direct and personal human relations. It is not accidental that our greatest art is intimate and not monumental. permalink
Science as a Vocation (1918)
- The modern man is in general, even with the best will, unable to give religious ideas a significance for culture and national character which they deserve. But one can, of course, not aim to replace a one-sided materialistic with an equally one-sided spiritualistic causal interpretation of culture and of history. Each is equally possible, but each, if it does not serve as the preparation, but as the conclusion of an investigation, accomplish equally little in the interest of historical truth. permalink
The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (1905)
- The origin of a rational and inner-worldly ethic is associated in the Occident with the appearance of thinkers and prophets ... who developed in a social context which was alien to the Asiatic cultures. This context consisted of the political problems engendered by the bourgeois status-group of the city, without which neither Judaism, nor Christianity, nor the development of Hellenistic thinking are conceivable. permalink
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