Value Polytheism and Democracy in Max Weber’s Political Thought
Max Weber’s emphasis on the impossibility of a scientific foundation for value systems has been accused of being relativistic. What is the point of a social science that a priori refuses to discover and establish a common good? What are we supposed to do if social theory does not even allow us to demonstrate that certain political and ethical stances are undeniably wrong?
In contrast, Weber’s insistence on the inexorable plurality, divergence, incompatibility and even incommensurability of the guiding principles that orient social action can also give us some significant elements to think about our contemporary democracies and even rethink his own concept of democracy.
In place of this projection of social harmony, Weber’s value polytheism implies the permanence of politics, conceived as pluralism, debate and reflection, as well as conflict and dissensus and the constant challenge of finding compromises.
Join Yannis Ktenas and Lucía Pinto in conversation with Costas Polyzos in the second session of our Online Event Series ‘Max Weber as Political Theorist? Domination, Democracy and Revolution in the late writings (1917–1920)’, on December 7th at 18:00 (CET)!
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