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Max Weber on Systems - Dictionary of Arguments

Habermas III 337
Systems/Subsystems/present diagnosis/Weber/Habermas: Weber puts forward the thesis of the subsystems becoming independent of procedural rational action, which threatens the freedom of the individual. However, it does not necessarily result from the thesis of loss of meaning (see Sense/Weber).
Weber thesis: "One of the constitutive components of the modern capitalist spirit (...): the rational lifestyle based on the idea of the profession is (...) born from the spirit of Christian asceticism (...).By transferring asceticism from the monk's cells into professional life and beginning to dominate morality within the world, it helped (...) to build that mighty cosmos of modern economic order linked to the technical and economic prerequisites of mechanical machine production, which today determines the lifestyle of all individuals (...) with overwhelming compulsion.
Habermas III 338
(...) By transforming (...) the world, asceticism gained increasing and ultimately inescapable power over humans. (...) Today its spirit [the spirit of asceticism] has escaped from this housing. In any case, since it rests on a mechanical basis, victorious capitalism no longer needs this support. (...) Then, however, for the 'last humans' of this cultural development, the word could become the truth: 'experts without spirit, bon vivants without heart': this nothing imagines having reached an unprecedented level of humanity". (1)
((s) Key passage for the keywords: "The housing as hard as steel", "inner-wordly asceticism".
Habermas III 339
HabermasVsWeber: The thesis is not plausible in itself: Weber goes too far when he concludes from the loss of the substantial unity of reason that there is a polytheism of struggling powers of belief. (See Sense/Weber).
Habermas III 340
Weber has not sufficiently differentiated between the particular value content of cultural traditions and those universal value standards under which the cognitive, normative and expressive components of culture become spheres independently of value and form stubborn complexes of rationality.



1. M. Weber, Die protestantische Ethik, J.Winckelmann (Ed) Vol. I, p. 187-189.


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Weber I
M. Weber
The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism - engl. trnsl. 1930
German Edition:
Die protestantische Ethik und der Geist des Kapitalismus München 2013

Ha I
J. Habermas
Der philosophische Diskurs der Moderne Frankfurt 1988

Ha III
Jürgen Habermas
Theorie des kommunikativen Handelns Bd. I Frankfurt/M. 1981

Ha IV
Jürgen Habermas
Theorie des kommunikativen Handelns Bd. II Frankfurt/M. 1981


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