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30/08/2006 · Best Answer: Can Sociology Be Value Free

A Value-Free Sociology: Myth or Fact / Essays / ID: 952090

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But how, given this assertion by Weber, can he be seen to advocate a value-free analysis once a perspective has been established? The first hint lies in the quotation itself. Weber does say that there is no objective analysis "independent of special and 'one-sided' viewpoints," a remark that does not rule out objectivity, only objectivity prior to a perspective.

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The Myth of a Value-Free Sociology | Cultural Apparatus
Having examined Weber's views of the role of perspective and values in social scientific analysis, the evidence, both from Weber's writings and from commentaries on them, must now be considered in support of the interpretation that Weber took a two-tiered approach to value-free social science.


Anti-Minotaur: The Myth of a Value-Free Sociology, Alvin W

Free Sample karl marx Science Term Paper on Should Sociology be Value Free
In the end, the kind of objective knowledge that historical andcultural sciences may achieve is precariously limited. An action canbe interpreted with objective validity only at the level of means, notends. An end, however, even a “self-evident” one, isirreducibly subjective, thus defying an objective understanding; itcan only be reconstructed conceptually based on a researcher’sno less subjective values. Objectivity in historical and socialsciences is, then, not a goal that can be reached with the aid of acorrect method, but an ideal that must be striven for without apromise of ultimate fulfillment. In this sense, one might say that theso-called “value-freedom” (Wertfreiheit) is asmuch a methodological principle for Weber as an ethical virtue that apersonality fit for modern science must possess.

They they arenot supposed to have an affair, but they do so anyway.Undoubtedly as a reaction to the overly determined view of socialization, a group of interpretive sociologists has reasserted theindependence of They reject view of socialization as internalized values,norms, and habits, and they reject the notion of society as something out there(a given) that affects individuals the way Parsons suggested it did.

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All in all, one might say that:“the preoccupations of Kant andof Weber are really the same. One was a philosopher and the other asociologist, but there… the difference ends” [Gellner1974, 184]. That which also ends, however, is Weber’ssubscription to a Kantian ethic of duty when it comes to thepossibility of a universal law of reason. Weber was keenly aware ofthe fact that the Kantian linkage between growing self-consciousness,the possibility of universal law, and principled and thus free actionhad been irrevocably severed. Kant managed to preserve the precariousduo of non-arbitrary action and subjective freedom by asserting such alinkage, which Weber believed to be unsustainable in his allegedlyNietzschean age.

Sociology as a Value-free Science;

The way in which Weber understood Kant seems to have come through theconceptual template set by moral psychology and philosophicalanthropology. In conscious opposition to the utilitarian-naturalisticjustification of modern individualism, Kant viewed moral action assimultaneously principled and self-disciplined and expressiveof genuine freedom and autonomy. On this Kantian view, freedom andautonomy are to be found in the instrumental control of the self andthe world (objectification) according to a law formulated solely fromwithin (subjectification). Furthermore, such a paradoxical compound ismade possible by an internalization or willful acceptance of atranscendental rational principle, which saves it from falling prey tothe hedonistic subjectification that Kant found in Enlightenmentnaturalism and which he so detested. Kant in this regard followsRousseau in condemning utilitarianism; instrumental-rational controlof the world in the service of our desires and needs just degeneratesinto organized egoism. In order to prevent it, mere freedom of choicebased on elective will (Willkür) has to be replaced bythe exercise of purely rational will (Wille). Instrumentaltransformation of the self is thus the crucial benchmark of autonomousmoral agency for Kant as well as for Locke, but its basis has beenfundamentally altered in Kant; it should be done with the purpose ofserving a higher end, that is, the universal law of reason. A willfulself-transformation is demanded now in the service of a higher lawbased on reason, or an “ultimate value” in Weber’sparlance.

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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.