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The Peculiar Political Logic of Max Weber

Stone, Liam (2009) The Peculiar Political Logic of Max Weber. PhD thesis, Murdoch University.

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This thesis argues that Max Weber‟s peculiar political logic consists of three modes of thought: a civil philosophy of politics and nationalism; a reduction of politics to sovereign power; and a control of society‟s role in politics. To demonstrate these modes of thought, the thesis compares Weber with the civil philosopher Christian Thomasius and finds strong similarities in their respective uses of political and civil ethics. It compares Weber with the legal philosopher Carl Schmitt and argues that both thinkers based their politics on a sovereign power that is at once exceptional, extra-legal, extra-moral and extra-sociological. The thesis appeals to contemporary context by summarising and dividing the Weber scholarship into three categories. In doing so, it avoids the trend in secondary literature of conflating Weber‟s political logic with his social theory and sociological methodology, and instead argues that his political logic must be assessed in terms of its own merits as well as the ideas of other political thinkers. The thesis encourages more assessment of Weber‟s political logic along these lines by summarising Weber‟s various responses to the 'social question'. Ultimately, the thesis provides a new understanding of Weber‟s analysis of the social and its role in politics.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Social Sciences and Humanities
Supervisor(s): Wickham, Gary
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