Quotation of the Day…

by Don Boudreaux on January 6, 2014

in Economics, Science, Scientism

… is from page 18 of volume 1 of the 1978 University of California Press re-issue of Max Weber’s posthumously published 1922 treatise, Economy and Society (original emphasis):

It is a tremendous misunderstanding to think that an “individualistic” method should involve what is in any conceivable sense an individualistic system of values.  It is as important to avoid this error as the the related one which confuses the unavoidable tendency of sociological concepts to assume a rationalistic character with a belief in the predominance of rational motives, or even a positive valuation of rationalism.  Even a socialistic economy would have to be understood sociologically in exactly the same kind of “individualistic” terms; that is, in terms of the action of individuals, the types of officials found in it, as would be the case with a system of free exchange analyzed in terms of the theory of marginal utility….

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