Max Weber on Law in Economy and Society (Twentieth Century Legal Philosophy)

Max Weber

Published by Harvard University Press, 1954
ISBN 10: 0674556518 / ISBN 13: 9780674556515
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Ever since it was made known to English-speaking readers by R. H. Tawney and Tolcott Parsons, the thought of Max Weber has attracted increasing attention among students of sociology, history, economics, jurisprudence, political science, and political philosophy. His far-flung ideas were systematically brought together in his last book, Economy and Society, the major part of which was not published until after his death in 1921. Of this most comprehensive and significant of all of Weber’s writings, only the Introductory Part has so far been available in English.

The present book contains an English translation of those parts of Economy and Society in which Weber investigates the relationship between the social phenomenon “law” and the other spheres of social life, especially the economic and the political. The translation, by Edward A. Shils and Max Rheinstein, is accompanied by an extensive introduction and explanatory and bibliographical notes by Max Rheinstein. The Introduction will acquaint the reader with the problems of sociology of law in general and with Weber’s approach and methods in particular. The notes are meant to help the reader understand Weber’s wide-ranging references to institutions of Western and Oriental systems of law of both past and present; they also contain references to the sources used by Weber and to later literature which will help the reader evaluate Weber’s statements and conclusions.

Max Weber’s main problem was to discover the causes of the rise of modern capitalism. In his discussions of the law he is primarily concerned with finding what features of Western law, if any, were favorable to the development of the capitalistic economy and in what ways this economy has reacted upon methods of legal thought. Is logical rationality, peculiar to certain parts of the Western world, connected with that rational method of economic thought which is characteristic of Western capitalism? His concern with methods of legal thought renders Weber’s ideas specially significant for present American and English jurisprudence.

Among the other problems he discusses are those of freedom of contract, its origins, its rise and its place among the institutions of capitalist and non-capitalist societies; the development of rational processes of law making; the connections between kinds of legal thought and the types of social functionaries by whom law is shaped in a given society; the social factors favoring or counteracting codification; and the economic and political significance of ideas of natural law.

About the Author: Max Rheinstein was a student of Max Weber's at the University of Munich. He taught law and jurisprudence in Germany and the United States. As Max Pam Professor of Comparative Law at the University of Chicago he was the director of that university's Comparative Law Research Center. He has written numerous articles on law and jurisprudence; he was an advisor on the American Law Institute's Restatements of Torts and Property; and he has published books on the law of contracts and of decedents' estates.

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Title: Max Weber on Law in Economy and Society (...
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publication Date: 1954
Book Condition: Good

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Max Weber
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Weber, Max; Rheinstein, Max [Translator]; Shils, Edward A. [Translator];
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Max Weber; Translator-Max Rheinstein; Translator-Edward A. Shils
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