Max Weber and his Contributions

The Tree of Knowledge by Lucas Cranach the Elder

~ The Contributions is a collection of work not personally done by me but by friends who with sincere generosity have allowed for publication here.

Therefore, work found in the contributions may not be similar with my general line of thought. Thus, I will not comment, scrutinize, plagiarize, and justify anything that has been written here.

However, work posted in the contributions is in my sincere and humble opinion worth reading not only for knowledge but for pleasure!!

And like Voltaire, I may disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

~ ESZ, James Ee



Over the years, social scientists had been an important role in the study and understanding of human behavior. One of the famous social scientists is Max Weber, who is also an economist and a political scientist. Weber was born in Germany to a lawyer who was active in politics. He studied at Universities of Heidelburg and Strassburg which are both located in Germany where he majored in law, history, economics and philosophy. Weber’s work and his establishment of the understanding of sociology had made him one of the most prominent scientists in sociology.

Max Weber has contributed many to the world of sociology. One of his accomplishments is the infamous essay “The Protestantism and the Spirit of Capitalism”. In the essay, Weber tried to link the connection between Protestantism and capitalism. During the Renaissance period, Catholics influences were great that everything was defined by the church as an act of God. Catholic priests would have sales of indulgences, in which it requires offerings of food and clothing from the people, in hopes that their sins would be forgiven. These made many social scientists believed that capitalism started by the Catholics and during the Renaissance period, because the rich will always remain as the rich, while the poor will never get rich. Weber then argued and he tried to explain that the work ethics of the Protestants which is the system of “work-and-save” is exactly what gave rise to the world of capitalism (Max Weber, n.d.).

In 1909, Weber wrote a book known as the “Economy and Society” which he contributed his ideas of economics on the dual roles of idealism and materialism. This book has made Weber committed most of his time to study on China, India and ancient Judaism. After the book was published, Weber continued teaching and one of his famous lectures on “Universal Economic History” became famous and was published profusely by his students as lecture notes and it was later known as the “General Economic History”.

Max Weber is an important scientist to sociology because he made three new astonishing claims. He first claimed that “direct knowledge of facts is not possible” (Studio4Learning, 2008). According to Weber, this is because in a society, individual views a subject based on their own interpretation and opinion. Weber’s second claim was that the only way to study and analyze human behavior is to use ideal types which are descriptive features to define of a social group (Studio4Learning, 2008). His third and final claim was that “sociology should concern itself with how the individual function within the social setting” because as individuals have different interpretation, studying them individually would help understand how an individual perform in a society (Studioe4Learning, 2008).

In conclusion, Max Weber is definitely an important social scientist to the world of sociology and he was named as the founder of modern sociology. Weber will always be remembered as an influential social scientist and his theories will always be used and applied in the study of sociology.

~ Li Ann



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