You are on page 1of 7

166

 Weber wants to explain the institutionalization of purposive-rational action in
terms of a process of rationalization. It is from this rationalization process, which
takes on the role of explanans in the explanatory scheme, that the diffusion of
purposive-rational action arises. With regard to the initial conditions of
modernization, two moments above all are important: the methodical conduct of
life, along the lines of a vocational ethic, on the part of entrepreneurs and
government officials; and the organizational measures of formal law.

167
 Occidental rationalism is preceded by religious rationalization. And Weber
deliberately brings this universal-historical process of the disenchantment of
mythical interoretive systems under the concept of rationalization as well.
168
 Concepts of Rationality. Weber reminds us again and again that "rationalism" may
mean very different things, "It means one thing if we think of the kind of
rationalization the systematic thinker performs on the image of the world: an
increasing theoretical mastery of reality by means of increasingly precise abstract
concepts. Rationalism means another thing if we think of the methodical
attainment of a definite, given, practical end by the way of an increasingly precise
calculation of the adequate means. These types of rationalism are very different, in
spite of the fact that ultimately they belong inseparably together.
169

 A. Weber starts with a broad concept of "technique" in order to make clear that the
aspect of regulated employment of means, in a very abstract sense, is relevant to
thr rationality of behavior. "Rational technique" is a use of means "consciously and
systematically oriented to experience and reflection."

B. Weber qualifies the broad meaning of "technique" and "rationalization of
means" by way of specifying the means. If we consider only means with which an
acting subject can realize set ends through intervention in the objective world, the
evaluative criterion of success comes into play. This permits us to distinguish
between "subjectively purposive-rational" and "objectively correct" actions.

170
 So far Weber is considering rationality only from the standpoint of employing
means. He then differentiates this concept by distinguishing two aspects of the
rationality of goal-directed actions: not only the means and the way they are
applied can be more or less rational, i.e., effective in relation to given ends; even
the ends themselves can be more or less rational, i.e., chosen correctly in an
objective sense, in view given of values, means, and boundary conditions.

171
 Strictly speaking there is no rationality of value postulates or belief systems as
regard their content. Nevertheless, the way in which the actor ground his
preferences, in which he is oriented to values, is for Weber and aspect under
which an action can be viewed as rationalizable. “Actions are purely value rational
when the agents, regardless of foreseeable consequences, act according to their
convictions of what seems to them to be required by duty, honor, beauty, a
religious call, piety, or the importance of some „cause‟ no matter in what it
consists. Value rational action is always action in accordance with „commands‟ or
„demands‟ which the actor believes himself to be placed under. The rationality of
values underlying action preferences is not measure by their material content but
by formal properties, that is, by whether they are so fundamental that they can
ground a mode of a life based on principles.

172
 The distinction between interests and values is relevant in this context. Interest
position change, where as generalizable values are always valid for more than
merely one type of situation. Utilitarianism does not take into account this
categorical difference worked out by the neo-Kantians; it makes a vain attempt to
reinterpret interest orientation into ethical principles, to hypostatize purposive
rationality itself as a value.

the instrumental rationality of an action is measured by effective planning of the
application of means for given ends; the rationality of choice of an action is
measured by the correctness of the calculation of ends in the light of precisely
conceived values, available means and boundary conditions; and the normative
rationality of an is measured by the unifying, systematizing power and penetration
of the value standards and the principles that underlie action preferences. Weber
calls actions that satisfy the conditions of rationality of means and choice
"purposive-rational" and thus that satisfy the conditions of normative rationality.
173
 The rational, sober, purposive character of action not submitting to the world and
its success, are signs of God's blessing thereupon. This inner worldly asceticism
had a number of characteristic consequences not found in any other religion. It
demanded for the believer not celibacy, as in the case of the monk, but the
elimination of all idle enjoyment of unearned wealth and income, and the
avoidance of all feudalistic, life-loving ostentation of wealth; not the ascetic
death-in-life of the cloister, but an alert, rationally controlled conduct of life and
the avoidance of all surrender to the beauty of the worlds, to art, or to one's own
moods and emotions.
174

 the complex concept of practical rationality, which Weber introduces as an ideal
type in connection with the methodical conduct of life in Protestant sects, is still
partial. It points to a concept of rationality that encompasses both theoretical and
practical rationality. At any rate, Weber derives such a concept from structures of
consciousness that find expression not directly in actions and forms of life, but
primarily in cultural traditions, in symbol systems, The two catchphrase under
which Weber investigates a corresponding cultural rationalization are the "the
systematization of worldviews" and "the inner logics of value spheres".

175
 This rationalization of worldviews attaches to the internal relations of symbol
systems. However, there are two different sides to the improvement of formal
qualities that Weber accentuates as the results of the intellectuals' labors. On the
one side rationalized worldviews satisfy to a greater degree the requirements of
formal-operational thought. This aspects of rationalization can be studied, for
example, in connection with the formalization, scientific systemization, and
professional specialization of the specialized juridical knowledge which was, to
begin with, a matter of practical training in a profession.

176

 to the degree that the rationalization of worldviews leads to a differentation of
cognitive, evaluative, and expressive elements of culture, and in this sense to a
modern understanding of the worlds, it satisfies the intial conditions for cultural
rationalization in the narrower sends. This sets in when "the internal and
autonomous logics" of the values spheres, "the spheres of external and internet,
religous and secular values... come to consciousness with all their implication.
177
 What "value enhancement" means in the domain of modern science is
unproblematic at first glance; progress in knowledge in the sense of an expansion
and improvement of theoritical knowledge. Value enhancement in the sphere of
legal and moral representations is more problematic. Here Where reckons wtih a
change in structures, an ever more precise working out of the universalistic
principles of legal and moral theory- otherwise he could not set up a hierarchy
among traditionbound legastic ethics, ethics of conviction, and ethics of
responsibility.

178 - 179


 We shall see how Weber brings these phenomena of societal rationalization -
above all the establishment of the capitalist economy and the modern state- under
concepts he has first elucidated in connection with other pheonomena, with
manifestation of motivational and cultural rationalization

 He regarded rationalism as "Occidental" not only int the sense that it was in
Europe that those historical constetllations emerged in which an essentially
general phephenomenon could appear for the first time; he also uses the
expression "rationalism" for features of this particulat Western culture.

180-181


















182.

 Value rationality. Within individual spheres of life, such as the economics,
religous, educational, and so on, the value patterns under which one acts rationally
in a means-ends sense can vary. In each case these values have a concrete
historical form; they are of a particular nature and provide points for what Weber
misleadingly calls substantive [materiale] rationality.
183

 He is conviced that cropes conflicts that are grounded in the inner logics of the
value spheres. But this critique refers not to the differentation of the inner logics
of invidual value spheres but to some value spheres becoming predominant at the
expense of others.


184-185
 A thing is never "irrational" in itself but only from a particular 'rational' point of view.
For the unbeliever, every religious way of lige is 'irrational' as is every ascetic way of life
for the hedonist; it makes ni difference whether they count as 'rationalization' when
measured against their ultimates values.


186-187

 Ideas and interest. The rationalization of culture becomes empirically effective only
when it is transposed into a rationalization of action orientations and life orders.

188
 Orders of life can be viewed from two sides. On the one side, they regulate the
appropriation of goods, that is, the satisfaction of material and ideal interest; on
the other side, the actualize ideas or values. And the two are interconnected:
Interests can be satisfied through norms of social intercourse in the long run only
if they are connected with ideas that serve to provide reasons for them; and ideas
in turn cannot establish themselves empirically if they are not connected with
interest that supply them with power.
189

 Weber speaks of normative validity and legitimacy when an order is subjectively
recognized as binding. The recognition rests directly on ideas that harbor a
potential for grounding and justification and not on self-interest.

190
 A sphere of value to which socially influential ideas belong can generally be only
incompletely embodied in a legitimate order. This can be seen in the force
[Gewalt] that is built into the structure of action norms despite their “consensual
character”. Normes require sanctions, either external sanctions or inner sanctions.

191.

 The problematic of societal rationalization arises from the fact that “ideas of the
validity of norms “ are supported with reasons and can thus also be influenced by
the intellectual treatment of internal relations of meaning, by what Weber calls
“intellectualization”
192






193








194







196 - 197

>











198
 The interest position are supposed to explain both the impetus behind the developement
of the worldview structures according to an inner logic, and the selective filling out of the
possibilities opened up by new cognitive structures , that is the sorts of worldview
contents.

199
 If we seperate the results of religious rationalization-that is, the development of modern
structures of consciousness in the dimension of law and morality- from the process of
value actualization through which a form a social integration specific to modern society
came about, the distribution of the burden of proof to internal
and external factors become clear

200











201

















224
 The conduct of life that Weber calls "methodical" is acterize in particular by the fact
that the vocational sphere is "objectified" ; this means that it is morally segmented
and morally superelevated. Interaction with in the sphere of labor in one's calling are
morally neutralized to the degree that communicative action can be detached from
norms and values and switched over to the success-oriented pursuit of one's one
interest.