Oleg Kil'dyushov 1
  • 1 National Research University Higher School of Economics, 20 Myasnitskaya Str., Moscow, 101000, Russian Federation

Max Weber as a Researcher of Confucian Ethics

2015, vol. 14, No. 3, pp. 106–112 [issue contents]
The article is a companion text to the first Russian translation of the fragment of Max Weber’s fundamental study The Religion of China: Confucianism and Taoism. The article presents a brief history of this work first published 100 years ago. Weber’s book is analyzed as an integral part of his study of the genesis of Western rationalism. The author puts the thesis forward that the publication of a theoretical work on Confucianism marks a shift in Weber’s research interest, from the study of Protestant sectarian ethics in Europe to the universal, historical research of world civilizations. Furthermore, author demonstrates the close connection between the problems of the sociology of religion and the sociology of domination within Weber’s conceptual framework. The article also shows that the latter, in its turn, forms the sociology of rationalism because its main cognitive interest constantly revolves around the question of the extent to which religious and ethical worldviews are influence, through the practical orientation of their agents, the socio-structural evolution of societies, whose rationality is so different from Western capitalist and legal rationality. In the main section of the paper Weber’s reconstructed understanding of Confucianism is outlined as a type of practically-oriented secular rationalism which is not properly a “religious ethic” because of the absence in it of such ideas as sin, radical evil, and the related problem of theodicy. The article concludes with the thesis of persisting heuristic importance of Weber’s study of ancient Chinese doctrines which formed a unique rational and practical attitude to the world as a form of adaptation to it.
Citation: Kil'dyushov O. (2015) Maks Veber kak issledovatel' konfutsianskoy etiki [Max Weber as a Researcher of Confucian Ethics]. The Russian Sociological Review, vol. 14, pp. 106-112 (in Russian)
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