Max weber


Max Weber was a renowned German- born sociologist who taught before and during the First World War at the Universities of Freiburg, Heidelberg and Munich. He was best known to the world for his political views , in particular for his enormously and influential definition of the state as a community “successfully claiming a monopoly on the legitimate use of physical force within a given territory . 

  • When was he born:  04/21/1864
  • Where he was born:  Erfurt, Germany
  • When he died:  06/14/1920
  • Where he died:  Munich, Germany

Who was Max Weber?

He was a German economist and political sociologist considered one of the founders of the modern ” anti-positivist ” study of sociology and public administration . His works deal with the sociology of religion and government , but also with economics .


His fame in the field of management rests essentially on the ideas presented in two of his books: the first, “The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism “ , in which he linked the morality of Puritan Protestantism , especially Calvinism , with the momentum behind entrepreneurship and capitalism; and the second, ” The theory of social and economic organization, “ which was not published until four years after his death.

  • Biography of Max Weber
  • Thought of Max Weber
  • Theories
  • Contributions
  • Works by Max Weber
  • Phrases

Biography of Max Weber

Maximiliano Weber was born in Erfurt, Germany , in the year 1864, he was the eldest of seven siblings children of Max Weber, a prominent politician and civil servant, and of his wife Helene Fallenstein. Although his parents came from Protestant families , it was his mother who had strong religious commitments and exemplified a Calvinist sense of duty .

In 1882, he enrolled at the University of Heidelberg as a law student . In addition to his work in law, he attended economics conferences and studied medieval history and theology . In the fall of 1884, Weber returned to his parents’ home to study at the University of Berlin . In 1886, he passed the ” Referendar ” exam, comparable to the bar exam in the American legal system, and obtained his doctorate in law in 1889.

After his immense productivity in the early 1890s, he finally resigned as a professor in the fall of 1903. In 1904, Max Weber began publishing some of his most important articles, notably his essay ” Protestant Ethics ” and ” The Spirit of the Spirit. Capitalism ”. This became his most famous work and laid the foundation for his later research on the impact of cultures and religions on the development of economic systems .

From 1918, Weber resumed teaching, first at the University of Vienna, then in 1919 at the University of Munich where he directed the first sociology institute of the German University. Max Weber died of pneumonia in Munich on June 14, 1920.

Thought of Max Weber

Max Weber thought that religion was the most important aspect that had influenced the development of Western and Eastern cultures . It was based on the sociology of religion , social stratification and government, and it defined the State as an entity that holds a monopoly on violence and coercion , which was later essential to study political science today.


Max Weber’s theories were as follows:

  • Theory of bureaucracy : made observations of the development of the bureaucracy and the aspects that helped shape it such as the monetary economy , the capitalist system , the industrial revolution , and the Protestant ethic . He tried to establish the conditions under which the person who holds power justifies their legitimacy and the ways in which the subjects over whom power is exercised submit to it.
  • Theory of social action : he defined this theory of social action as any type of proceeding by people that was guided by the actions of another, which can be present or expected as future .
  • Comprehensive theory : its central approach was to study society from the interpretation of individual behavior and social action carried out by the people who make it up, to understand and explain its causes and effects.


His main contributions were the following:

  • Sociology : Helped sociology from being an academically exotic product to a university discipline. His books are key in teaching any academic sociology program. He developed concepts of historical interpretation that contained empirical insights and a rational interpretation .
  • Religion : his work had an impact on the development of religion, education , law , organization , the family, and even ethno-sociology . He was recognized as a Christian sociologist for his respect for religion.
  • Politics : many of his contributions were in the field of politics. He made it known that the greatest political value resided in the national state and was considered as a follower of Machiavelli .

Works by Max Weber

Among his most recognized works we can mention the following:

  • Protestant Ethics and The Spirit of Capitalism
  • Sociology of Religion
  • The Methodology of Social Sciences
  • The ” Objectivity “ of Knowledge in Social Science and Social Policy
  • The politician and the scientist
  • Sociology of power
  • Fundamental sociological concepts
  • The transition from slavery to feudalism
  • General economic history
  • Roman agrarian history.


Among the most famous phrases of Max Weber we can mention the following:

  • The decisive means of politics is violence .
  • Only he who is convinced that he will not disintegrate , even if the world, from his point of view, is too stupid or too mean to deserve what he intends to offer, only he who is capable of saying “In spite of everything!” ; has a political vocation .
  • The state is defined as the institution that has the legitimate monopoly of violence within a territory.
  • The politician must have: passionate love for his cause; ethics of their responsibility; restraint in their performances.
  • All the meteorological signs of the economy indicate a growth of non- freedom .
  • You cannot be a man of action and a man of study at the same time , without undermining the dignity of both professions, without missing the vocation of both. But political attitudes can be adopted outside the University, and the possession of objective knowledge, although not indispensable, is certainly favorable for reasonable action.

Leave a Comment