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Fugitive DemocracyAnd Other Essays$
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Sheldon S. Wolin and Nicholas Xenos

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780691133645

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691133645.001.0001

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Max Weber

Max Weber

Legitimation, Method, and the Politics of Theory

(p.195) Chapter 9 Max Weber
Fugitive Democracy

Sheldon S. Wolin

, Nicholas Xenos
Princeton University Press

Max Weber is widely regarded as one of the founders of twentieth-century social science and probably its greatest practitioner. Modern and ancient theorists commonly believed that founding was the most notable action of which political man is capable. Thus, to found a form of social science entails an act of demarcation that indicates the subject matter peculiar to the science, the kind of activities that are appropriate (e.g., empirical inquiry), and the norms that are to be invoked in judging the value of the results produced by the activities. This chapter analyzes the political nature of Weber's activity as a founder. It suggests that laying the foundations of social science was a possible action only because of the prestige of the natural sciences.

Keywords:   Max Weber, social science, political theory, theoretical founding, natural science

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