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Max Weber on Sense - Dictionary of Arguments

Habermas III 22
Sense/Rationality/Max Weber/Habermas: Weber's hierarchy of action terms is based on the type of purpose-driven action, so that all other actions can be classified as specific deviations from this type. Weber analyzes the method of understanding the sense in such a way that the more complex cases can be related to the borderline case of understanding purpose-rational action: The understanding of the subjectively success-oriented action requires at the same time its objective evaluation (according to standards of correctness rationality).
Habermas III 229
Sense/Weber/Habermas: the empirical and completely mathematically oriented world view develops in principle the rejection of any viewpoint that asks for a 'sense' at all of the inner world happening.
Wherever rational empirical recognition has consistently carried out the de-enchantment of the world and its transformation into a causal mechanism, tension finally emerges against the claims of the ethical postulate: that the world is a God-ordered, thus a somehow ethically meaningful cosmos. (1)
Habermas III 315
Sense/Rationality/Weber/Habermas: That the world as a cosmos meets the requirements of rational religious ethics, or has some 'meaning', had nothing more to do with religious recognition. The cosmos of natural causality and the postulated cosmos of ethical equal causality were incompatible. The intellect created an unbrotherly aristocracy of rational cultural heritage independent of all personal ethical qualities of human beings. (2) (See also Protestant Ethics/Weber, Rationalization/Weber.)
HabermasVsWeber: this explanation of social rationalization is unsatisfactory: Weber fails to prove that a principle-driven moral consciousness can only survive in religious contexts.
Habermas III 335/336
Sense/Weber/Habermas: Weber, Thesis of the loss of meaning: in view of the rational laws of modern life orders, both the ethical and theoretical unification of the world - whether in the name of religion or in the name of science - is no longer possible. Weber sees (in reference to the late work of J. St. Mill) a new polytheism, an objective figure of an antagonism between impersonal value and life orders. (3)
Habermas: this reflects the generation-typical experience of nihilism.
Habermas III 337
Habermas: Weber justifies the thesis of the loss of meaning in this way: reason itself splits into a plurality of value spheres and destroys its own universality. The individual should now try to create this unit, which objectively can no longer be produced, in the privacy of his/her own biography.
Habermas III 377
Sense/Weber/Habermas: Weber introduces "sense" as an (undefined) basic concept for defining action. Thus, Weber has no theory of meaning behind him, but an intentionalist theory of consciousness. I.e. he does not refer to linguistic understanding but to the opinions and intentions of a subject of action.
Habermas III 378
So it is a matter of purposive action, not communication. Communication can then only be constructed secondarily with the help of a concept of intention. (4)

1. M. Weber, M. Weber, Die protestantische Ethik, (Ed) J. Winckelmann, Vol. 2, Hamburg 1972, p. 569.
2. M. Weber, Gesammelte Ausätze zur Religionssoziologie, Bd. I. 1963, p. 569.
3.M. Weber, Gesammelte Aufsätze zur Wissenschaftslehre, (Ed) J. Winckelmann, Tübingen 1968, p. 603f.
4.M. Weber, Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft, (Ed) J. Winckelmann, Tübingen 1964, p. 3.

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.
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

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

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

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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2021-03-02
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