Max Weber als Begriffspolitiker
Max Weber’s well-known distinction between science and politics should not prevent us from recognising that his view of scholarly activity has resemblance to politics in several respects. Both refer to forms of contingent and controversial striving for power shares and their redistribution, and in so far is the scholarly activity part of politics. This does not hold only for the struggles for academic power shares but also for the contest between theories and approaches among scholars. Weber’s own use of concepts for contesting or legitimising standpoints or perspectives is worth discussing. Weber uses different rhetorical strategies. Occasionally he refers to a seemingly shared sense of a concept but subverts the apparent consensus and advocates an entirely different view. For example when Weber defends ‘objectivity’ this does not refer to the object-dependency of research but to the fair competition between different perspectives of interpreting the object. He also uses rhetoric of provocative laughter, for example against the politically dilettantish ”ink bottle” literati. Demagogy is a concept that Weber uses in depreciating, neutral or appreciating tone depending on the context. Also in his academic politics Weber prefers the politician to the official.
Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics
VII (2005) 2
EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste
Kari Palonen, "Max Weber als Begriffspolitiker", in: Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics, VII (2005) 2, pp. 1-20.