Cover image for The Protestant ethic and the "spirit" of capitalism and other writings
The Protestant ethic and the "spirit" of capitalism and other writings
Weber, Max, 1864-1920.
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Protestantische Ethik und der Geist des Kapitalismus. English
Publication Information:
New York : Penguin Books, 2002.
Physical Description:
lxxii, 392 pages ; 20 cm.
The Protestant ethic and "spirit" of capitalism -- "Churches" and "sects" in North America -- Critical remarks in response to the foregoing "critical contributions" -- Remarks on the foregoing "reply" -- Rebuttal of the critique of the "spirit" of capitalism -- A final rebuttal of Rachfahl's critique of the "spirit of capitalism."
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BR115.C3 W413 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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In The Protestant Ethic , Max Weber opposes the Marxist concept of dialectical materialism and relates the rise of the capitalist economy to the Calvinist belief in the moral value of hard work and the fulfillment of one's worldly duties. Based on the original 1905 edition, this volume includes, along with Weber's treatise, an illuminating introduction, a wealth of explanatory notes, and exemplary responses and remarks-both from Weber and his critics-sparked by publication of The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism . This is the first English translation of the 1905 German text and the first volume to include Weber's unexpurgated responses to his critics, which reveal important developments in and clarifications of Weber's argument.

Author Notes

Max Weber, a German political economist, legal historian, and sociologist, had an impact on the social sciences that is difficult to overestimate. According to a widely held view, he was the founder of the modern way of conceptualizing society and thus the modern social sciences. His major interest was the process of rationalization, which characterizes Western civilization---what he called the "demystification of the world." This interest led him to examine the three types of domination or authority that characterize hierarchical relationships: charismatic, traditional, and legal. It also led him to the study of bureaucracy; all of the world's major religions; and capitalism, which he viewed as a productof the Protestant ethic. With his contemporary, the French sociologist Emile Durkheim---they seem not to have known each other's work---he created modern sociology. (Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Weber's classic work (in sociology, economics, religious studies, history of ideas) is more often cited than read and this new translation is worthwhile if for no other reason than serving to rectify that neglect. Kalberg (Boston Univ. and author of Max Weber's Comparative-Historical Sociology, CH, Jul'94) has produced an improved translation, the first since Talcott Parson's oft-criticized version of 1930. (In one notable example, Parson's "iron cage" is more accurately, if less elegantly, translated as "steel-hard casing.") Kalberg renders Weber's work more accessible by identifying persons named in the text and translating foreign phrases. Other helpful aids include a glossary and a subject guide to Weber's extensive footnotes. The introduction historically contextualizes Weber's work in prior debates over the origins of capitalism and summarizes key ideas. Though not new translations, the inclusion of Weber's essay Protestant Sects and the Spirit of Capitalism, with its American focus, and his Prefatory Remarks to Essays in the Sociology of Religion, with its more global viewpoint, add breadth to the primary text. Interest in Weber continues unabated, and this particular work retains relevance to contemporary debates concerning capitalism, modernity, and secularization. Highly recommended; all readership groups and levels. J. Gresham Fontbonne College

Table of Contents

Introductionp. ix
Suggestions for Further Readingp. lxv
Note on the Translationp. lxix
The Protestant Ethic and the "Spirit" of Capitalism (1905)p. 1
"Churches" and "Sects" in North America (1906)p. 203
Critical Remarks in Response to the Foregoing "Critical Contributions" (1907) (Weber's first rejoinder to H. Karl Fischer)p. 221
Remarks on the Foregoing "Reply" (1908) (Weber's second rejoinder to H. Karl Fischer)p. 232
Rebuttal of the Critique of the "Spirit" of Capitalism (1910) (Weber's first rejoinder to Felix Rachfahl)p. 244
A Final Rebuttal of Rachfahl's Critique of the "Spirit of Capitalism" (1910)p. 282
I. Rejoinders to Werner Sombart and Lujo Brentano (1920)p. 341
II. Prefactory Remarks to Collected Essays in the Sociology of Religion (1920)p. 356