Coming Soon:

The following books by Robert Paul Wolff are available on Amazon.com as e-books: KANT'S THEORY OF MENTAL ACTIVITY, THE AUTONOMY OF REASON, UNDERSTANDING MARX, UNDERSTANDING RAWLS, THE POVERTY OF LIBERALISM, A LIFE IN THE ACADEMY, MONEYBAGS MUST BE SO LUCKY, AN INTRODUCTION TO THE USE OF FORMAL METHODS IN POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY.
Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.

NOW AVAILABLE ON YOUTUBE: LECTURES ON KANT'S CRITIQUE OF PURE REASON. To view the lectures, go to YouTube and search for "Robert Paul Wolff Kant." There they will be.

To contact me about organizing, email me at rpwolff750@gmail.com




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Sunday, November 6, 2011

AN INTERESTING QUESTION

An old friend, Howard Berman, prompted by the Weber mini-tutorial, asks the following question:

"How much is Weber's thesis on the Protestant ethic generalizable: in the sense that an other-worldly group, usually religious, breaks out into the wide world, and has a secular impact?
Your familiarity with historical examples may exceed mind; but today's Republican Right comes to mind. As does Islam: Mohammed was a prophet who wielded an Empire. The early Christians were an otherworldly sect. I'm sure there are examples in Jewish History. We can play a parlor game all night dreaming up examples. Perhaps Buddhism; which started from asceticism and which grew into (I think) Ashoka's Indian Empire and became a state religion in China. Have scholars before us investigated this line of thought?"

I don't know the answer. One would think Weber might have prompted specialists in a vareiety of historical and cultural fields to think about this. Does anyone have any idea?

1 comment:

Don Schneier said...

If Bob Ackermann was correct to argue that religion has historically functioned as a critique of the status quo, then religious otherworldliness is a transitional stage in a potential transformation of a society.