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But first, just what is Weber's own standpoint, as determined by his ultimate values? It is, no doubt, influenced by one of his key concerns: "the quality of human being in any given economic and social order." Sometimes, however, his standpoint is nationalistic. And in yet other essays, it champions individual liberty. Indeed, Weber's perspective changes, and it is likely to be driven not by one value but by levels of them, ranging from humanism to a concrete objective. But the fact that Weber had a perspective lends little support to the two-tiered interpretation, other than to show that he believed it was permissible for a social scientist to possess a value-determined standpoint. His treatment of perspective is another matter, however.
Weber's own writings support Lassman and Speirs' conclusion that Weber considered ultimate values and their subsequent political values to be subjectively determined. For instance, in "Between Two Laws" Weber writes that certain communities are able to provide the conditions for not only such "bourgeois" values as citizenship and true democracy, "but also much more intimate and yet eternal values, including artistic ones." The language that Weber uses to characterize these two types of values leads to the interpretation that he held them to be a subjective matter. Regarding the first set of values, labeling them "bourgeois" brings to light their contingent nature: They are the product of a class, a strata. Regarding the second set, the labels "intimate" and "eternal" clearly set them apart from any objective foundation. An "intimate" value is by definition personal, an opinion. Further: It carries the connotation of emotion, of mystification. Likewise with "eternal."
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One hint that begins to shed light on Weber's view on the fact-value question is a characteristic that recurs in several of Weber's essays and speeches: Weber announces, often at the beginning of a speech or essay, the standpoint from which he plans to evaluate a given situation or set of facts. Likewise, if he changes his focus during a presentation, he often declares the new standpoint. In his opening remarks of "The Nation State and Economic Policy," one of Weber's early speeches, he sets a precedent for this pattern while unveiling a justification for his perspective. The "inaugural lecture is an opportunity," Weber says, "to present and justify openly the personal and, in this sense, `subjective' standpoint from which one judges economic phenomena," revealing that he maintained that even the examination of such seemingly hard data as economic facts were subject to the influence of a perspective determined by values. When Weber shifts course later in the speech to prescribing what should be done to deal with the problems on Germany's eastern frontier, he discloses his new perspective: "the standpoint of the German people." The solution would obviously be quite different if it were made, say, from the standpoint of the Polish workers. Similarly, in one of his later lectures, "The Profession and Vocation of Politics," Weber tells his audience near the beginning of his remarks that he will expose "the political deficiency of this system ... from the standpoint of success."
The answer, as will be shown, is both yes and no -- because, this essay will argue, Weber maintained a two-tiered approach to value-free social science. On the one hand, he believed that ultimate values could not be justified "scientifically," that is, through value-free analysis. Thus, in comparing different religious, political or social systems, one system could not be chosen over another without taking a value or end into consideration; the choice would necessarily be dictated by the analyst's values. On the other hand, Weber believed that once a value, end, purpose, or perspective had been established, then a social scientist could conduct a value-free investigation into the most effective means within a system of bringing about the established end. Similarly, Weber believed that objective comparisons among systems could also be made once a particular end had been established, acknowledged, and agreed upon, a position that allowed Weber to make what he considered objective comparisons among such economic systems as and socialism. Thus, even though Weber maintained that ultimate values could not be evaluated objectively, this belief did not keep him from believing that social problems could be scientifically resolved -- once a particular end or value had been established.
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Furthermore, again despite Portis' claims to the contrary, part of the power and allure of Weber lies in the dual legacy that he handed down: He succeeded, at least in the totality of his work, in being overtly political while remaining true to his integrity as a social scientist. At least one work by Weber -- his short essay titled "The President of the Reich" -- directly bears this out. And even if, as Portis argues, Weber did become psychologically tormented by the tension he felt between his need to voice his political views and his need to feel integrity as a social scientist, what allowed him, in the end, to succeed in being both political and scientific was his two-tiered approach to value-free social science.
Democracy in india college essays India, officially the Republic of India (Bhrat Gaarjya), is a country in South Asia. Is the seventh largest country by area, the second most populous.
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Regardless of whether a social scientist's value-orientation stems from cultural norms, nationality, or a worldview, what remains certain for Weber is that the value is neither intrinsic to the subject matter nor specific to its context -- a view that categorically separates value from facts. Weber takes care to refute such views in his discussion of the methodology of political economy in "The Nation State and Economic Policy." First, Weber assails those economists who maintain that political economy can derive its own ideals from the subject matter. The notion that there are independent or socio-political ideals shows itself to be a delusion as soon as one delves into the literature in an attempt to identify the basis for its evaluation, Weber says. "The truth is that the ideals we introduce into the subject matter of our science are not peculiar to it, nor are they produced by this science itself." Rather, the values stand above the subject matter; they are of a higher order. For Weber, it is less important what another analyst's core values are than whether he clarifies them for the benefit of both himself and his audience.
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This essay has more humble ambitions. Although it takes issue in the final section with part of the exhaustive view laid out by Portis, this essay does not purport to set forth yet another definitive interpretation of Weber's views on objectivity. Rather it seeks to shed light on Weber's view of the applicability of objectivity by attempting to answer the overarching question that sits at the foundation of those posed above: Was Weber an advocate of value-free social science?
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Weber himself seems to adhere to his own values -- or at least he argues repeatedly for the veracity of one `cause' over another. Perhaps this is among the trends that have led many Weber scholars astray, especially since "Weber feels that no cause can be `proved', simply by intellectual means, to be superior to any other." Despite his own attachment to, for example, the values of individual liberty, his "philosophical stance did not provide a mechanism for validating democratic values in and of themselves."
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