Max Weber’s lecture ‘Science as a Vocation’ is a classic of social thought, in which central questions are posed about the nature of social and political thought and action. The lecture has often taken to be a summation of Weber’s thought. It can also be argued that, together with the responses of its admirers and critics, it provides a focus for discussion of the nature of modernity and its political consequences, and of the philosophical and political implications of the social or human sciences. This volume provides a full, clear, revised translation of the lecture, together with translations from the German of key contributions to the lively debate that followed its publication. The book concludes with a substantial essay on the current significance of the lecture, which discusses its relevance to the debates about the nature of science as a cultural phenomenon; the disjunction between science and nature; Weber’s conception of the disenchantment of the world; the division of scientific labour; and the fundamental nature and place of sociology.
1. Science as a Vocation Max Weber 2. The Vocation of Science Erich von Kahler 3. For Science: Against the Intellectuals Among its Despisers Arthur Salz 4. The Revolution in Science Ernst Troeltsch 5. Max Weber on Science as a Vocation Ernst Robert Curtius 6. Max Weber’s View of Science Heinrich Rickert 7. Sociology and the Study and Formulation of Weltanschauung Max Scheler 8. Max Weber’s Exclusion of Philosophy Max Scheler 9. Max Weber’s Significance for Intellectual History Siegfried Landshut 10. The Crisis of Science in Germany in 1919 Erich Wittenberg 11. Max Weber’s Ethical Criticism and the Problem of Metaphysics Erik Wolf 12. Max Weber’s Position on Science Karl Lowith 13. Max Weber on Science, Disenchantment and the Search for Meaning Peter Lassman and Irving Velody