By Max Weber ; edited and with an introduction by David Owen and Tracy B. Strong ; translation by Rodney Livingstone.
Technological know-how as a vocation --
Politics as a vocation.
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Extra info for The vocation lectures : "science as a vocation, "politics as a vocation"
What does this "polytheism" signify? As noted above, it might appear-as it did to several generations of Anglo-American social theorists-simply a statement of pluralism, familiar from the work of liberal political thought. One of the premises of liberalism, after all, is the recognition or claim that the values that the members of any society might seek to pursue are multiple and not necessarily of a piece. 9 For Weber, however, the matter is much more serious, not to say tragic. If we were to use Nietzsche's language we might phrase it as the reality of life after the death of God.
41-2. 65 See below, P 83 f. " 67 We say "generally" as there is considerable scholarship that shows that understanding Kantian ethics as simply deontological is not accurate (nor does Weber say that it is). See the work of Dieter Henrich, Jerome Schneewind, Barbara Herman, Rolf-Peter Horstmann, and many others. xli xlii Introduction The matter, though, is not so simple as a straightforward binary opposition. While the two ethics are conceptually distinct, they can be (and under certain conditions for Weber should be) existentially linked.
As Peter Lassman has noted, for Weber it is "man's unavoidable fate to be a political animal, " 85 which today means that we 84 See here Weber's analysis of the same in Economy and Society, part 2, chapter 8 (reprinted as The City [New York: Free Press, 1958]). , The Cambridge Companion to Weber (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000), p. 84. xlix Introduction must live in a state. It is, however, also the case that a characteristic of human behavior is to try to avoid one's fate. The tactic of starting with a description of the "steel casing" of externalities, as Weber calls them at the end of The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, is precisely to enforce upon his audience the tragic nature of their situation.