Max Weber (1864–1920)

Max Weber (1864–1920) was a German philosopher, historian, and political economist. Weber’s ideas along with those of Karl Marx (1818–1883) and Émile Durkheim (1858–1917) played a significant role in the development and growth of the social sciences.  Weber advocated research that was value free or unencumbered by the researchers own views. However, Weber understood that social behavior did not fit precise measures like time and temperature, thus he advocated using versthen (German for “understanding” or “insight”) to develop the ability to see the world as other do. Using versthen. Weber studied the meanings and purposes that individuals attach to their own actions in a non-empirical manner called antipositivism. Weber’s most well known work combined the study of religion and economics in the The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (1905).

Audio Pronunciation: ( Max We·ber)

Download Audio Pronunciation: Max Weber.mp3

Related Quotations:

  • “According to Weber, sociology should be value free and people should become more aware of the role that bureaucracies play in daily life” (Kendall 2006:37).

Related Terms: 



Kendall, Diane. 2006. Sociology in Our Times: The Essentials. 5th ed. Belmont, CA: Thomson/Wadsworth.