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We Are the Crisis

We Are the Crisis


(Palgrave Macmillan, 2014)

By Thomas Kemple


Complementing the author’s Reading Marx Writing: Melodrama, the Market, and the ‘Grundrisse’ (Stanford, 1995), this book treats three lectures that Weber gave in the last decade of his career as a podium or prism from which to approach his best-known treatises and essays on the rise of occidental capitalism. His remarks on ‘Technology and Culture’ (1910) and his famous ‘Science as a Vocation’ (1917) and ‘Politics as a Vocation’ (1919 lectures) offer a standpoint for assessing the contemporary relevance of Weber”s notion of ”interpretive understanding”, including the place of ideal types and value-judgments in sociology, as well as the use of rhetorical techniques and literary methods in scholarly discourse more generally. These public moments invite us to consider how both his most celebrated and least known arguments about the origins of the ”spirit” of modern capitalism and the fateful force of bureaucracy continue to raise questions about the prospect and promise of intellectual work that still concern us today.

First published in


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