I. Introduction In 1902, a new phase in the scientific production of Max Weber began. Still suffering from his breakdown in 1898 which forced him to refrain from any intellectual work for several years, Weber started working on a different field of interest than before his crisis; he focused on methodological issues. Weber had, already at the age of thirteen, actually written an essay which touched upon fundamental questions of the philosophy of history, like establishing of alaws of historya. The occasion on which Weber started writing his academic methodological works was a request by his colleagues at the University of Heidelberg to contribute an essay for a Festschrift of the university. aRoscher und Knies und die logischen Probleme der historischen NationalApkonomiea was the first of the methodological essays written by Max Weber from 1902 on. The value of Max Weberas methodological essays was often underestimated. In Reinhard Bendixas aIntellectual Portraita e.g. they are aintentionallya left out in favor of Weberas empirical work . Oakes even judges Weberas metatheoretical project as a failure because of a lack of examination, understanding and evaluation on the part of his successors. In this paper, I am going to focus on the Weberas essay on aRoscher and Kniesa as a primary source, because the conclusions reached by Weber here are premises for his later methodological work. My aim is not to give a comprehensive analysis of this essay, but rather an overview of central points in Weberas concept. As secondary literature, I shall use Oakes aIntroductory essaya to the aRoscher and Kniesa essay, Toby Huffas study in Weberas methodology and for the biographical context, parts of Marianne Weberas biography of her husband. First of all, I shall look at the Methodenstreit in the German sciences which constituted the intellectual context inspiring and -in a way- provoking Weber. Secondly, I shall examine his critiques both of the anaturalista and of the aintuitionista positions and also take Weberas remarks on airrationalitya into account. Then, I shall try to reconstruct the main thoughts of Weberas own concept as it is shown in his rejection of Wundtas category of acreative synthesisa and in his theory of acausal explanation and meaningful interpretationa. After a short summary of Weberas ideas, I shall conclude with the attempt to show the importance of Weberas methodological concept for the theory of history. [...]My aim is not to give a comprehensive analysis of this essay, but rather an overview of central points in Weberas concept.
|Title||:||Max Weber's Methodological Essay on Roscher and Knies|
|Publisher||:||GRIN Verlag - 2004-05-20|