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Did Weber believe that, even though facts are one thing and values another, social and economic facts could be evaluated without the analysis being influenced by values? And what is the relation of objectivity to values? Could objectivity, for instance, be used to show that one value is superior to another? Or does objectivity apply only to the analysis of facts? Do one's values or perspective stem from human nature, metaphysical views, personal identity, or is it just as likely that they are a mere construct of culture?
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These questions, and others like them, underlie much that has been considered ambiguous in Max Weber's writings: His methodology. Since his death, sociologists and political scientists have been disputing where Weber stood with regard to questions concerning the relationship of objectivity to facts and values. "Most of Weber's commentators," Edward Bryan Portis writes, "have assumed his advocacy of the fact-value dichotomy, despite his explicit and implicit assertions to the contrary, because of his numerous statements denying the ability of science to refute any normative position or to help one choose among contending normative orientations." Indeed, hardly a scholarly piece is written on Weber, it seems, without the preamble that Weber's views on this subject have been widely misunderstood, with the implication that the scholar at hand intends to finally set the record straight.