En klassiker - død eller levende?


  • Hans Henrik Bruun




Hans Henrik Bruun: A Classic – Dead or Alive? What Use is Max Weber today? This article, based on the author’s Inaugural Lecture, discusses two related questions. The first question is how to deal with the great classics of sociology. And the second is to what extent Max Weber – arguably the greatest sociological classic of them all – is still relevant today. As for the study of sociological classics, it is important to keep the original context of their ideas firmly in mind, in order to avoid the dangers of misunderstanding, misattribution and banalization. The analysis of the place in contemporary sociology of Weber’s core methodological concepts of value freedom, objectivity and the ideal type, as well as his Protestantism thesis, concludes that, to a significant extent, they have now fallen prey to one or more of these dangers. On the other hand, Weber’s ideas continue to fascinate because of the exceptional lack of closure of his thought, and, more generally, because his approach reflects, with paradigmatic clarity, the tension between intentionality and necessity inherent in social action. Moreover, Weber’s insistence that scholars be passionate in their pursuit of and respect for truth, however uncomfortable the results of their endeavours, remains a durable ethical legacy to the discipline of sociology.