I argued that Neurath misunderstood Weber insofar as he overlooked his employment of causal reasoning as a control instance for the attribution of beliefs and desires or preferences and of intentions. Neurath’s opposition to Weber’s interpretive sociology contributed much to his own mischaracterization as a reductive behaviorist. But that Neurath was wrong on this count does not mean that he was wrong in every one of his assessments of Weber’s conception of social science as categorically different from natural science. Two prominent examples are Weber’s ideal type methodology and his claim that all of social science is interpretivist. The employment of so-called ideal types—concepts without exact complements in empirical reality—was regarded by Weber and others as a distinguishing criterion of social science that bars their integration into unified science. Neurath was skeptical about the use of Weberian ideal types for a number of reasons, all of them reflecting concern with the lack of empirical control over such theorizing, and he therefore rejected the categorical distinction Weber urged. This paper reconstructs Weber’s ideal type theory and Neurath’s criticism and briefly outlines his alternative.
|Title of host publication||The History of Understanding in Analytic Philosophy|
|Subtitle of host publication||Around Logical Empiricism|
|Editors||Adam Tamas Tuboly|
|Place of Publication||London|
|Number of pages||32|
|ISBN (Electronic)||9781350159211, 9781350159228|
|Publication status||Published - 10 Feb 2022|