Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

State, Science and Economy in Traditional Societies: Some Problems in Weberian Sociology of Science

Bryan S. Turner
The British Journal of Sociology
Vol. 38, No. 1 (Mar., 1987), pp. 1-23
DOI: 10.2307/590576
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/590576
Page Count: 23
  • Subscribe ($19.50)
  • Cite this Item
State, Science and Economy in Traditional Societies: Some Problems in Weberian Sociology of Science
Preview not available

Abstract

In Weberian sociology, the social conditions which promoted the growth of rational capitalism (free cities, an autonomous merchant class, rational law and an ethic of world mastery) are typically associated with the emergence of modern science. Protestantism, capitalism and rational science are assumed to require an open discursive space, free from arbitrary restraint on conscience and consciousness. This 'uniqueness of the west' argument encounters the following difficulties. Technology and science flourished in Chinese and Islamic cultures in which the political system was patrimonial and bureaucratic. In these societies, innovative science was often associated with oppositional, magical beliefs. Furthermore, in Weber's interpretation of Protestantism, it was the irrationality of the salvational drive which led to the rationality of a calling as an unintended consequence of action. Although this sceptical viewpoint suggests that no general theory of scientific accumulation is possible, the paper employs Weber's economic sociology to identify the close historical relationship between economic change, state regulation and the patronage of intellectuals in the development of science. Scientific rationalism is the outcome of contingent features (such as the requirements of navigation), structural arrangements between the economy and the state, the presence of rational technologies (in mathematics, writing and experimentation) and finally the teleological impact of rationalization.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
[1]
    [1]
  • Thumbnail: Page 
2
    2
  • Thumbnail: Page 
3
    3
  • Thumbnail: Page 
4
    4
  • Thumbnail: Page 
5
    5
  • Thumbnail: Page 
6
    6
  • Thumbnail: Page 
7
    7
  • Thumbnail: Page 
8
    8
  • Thumbnail: Page 
9
    9
  • Thumbnail: Page 
10
    10
  • Thumbnail: Page 
11
    11
  • Thumbnail: Page 
12
    12
  • Thumbnail: Page 
13
    13
  • Thumbnail: Page 
14
    14
  • Thumbnail: Page 
15
    15
  • Thumbnail: Page 
16
    16
  • Thumbnail: Page 
17
    17
  • Thumbnail: Page 
18
    18
  • Thumbnail: Page 
19
    19
  • Thumbnail: Page 
20
    20
  • Thumbnail: Page 
21
    21
  • Thumbnail: Page 
22
    22
  • Thumbnail: Page 
23
    23