1991 (13) Issue 1
Table of Contents
Title: Die Dimensionen der Ungleichheit in der modernen Gesellschaft
Author: Thomas Burger
Abstract: Recent developments in advanced industrial societies have increased the prominence of kinds of social inequality not adequately accomodated in traditional theories of class and social stratification. It is argued that the source of this failure is not, as has been claimed, the vertical imagery informing these theories, but rather their one-dimensionality, i.e., their assumption of a single unitary distributive mechanism as the essential generator of comprehensive social inequality. The weakness of a one-dimensional approach is illustrated through an anlysis of Beck's criticism of a class-hierarchy model and his notion of 'individualized' inequality. The analytic superiority of a three-dimensional view of social stratification is advocated, and its systematic foundations in Weber's statements on classes, estates, and political domination are explicated and elaborated. The shortcomings of Weber's views on social status are diagnosed, some elements of a theory of status inequality compatible with Weber's analytical schema are presented, and the multidimensionality of status inequality is underscored.
Title: Max Weber and the Legitimacy of the Modern State
Author: David Beetham
Abstract: Max Weber's typology of legitimate ,Herrschaft, has provided the basis for the treatment of legitimacy in twentieth century sociology and political science. The thesis of the article is that this typology is a misleading tool for the analysis of the modern state, and especially for the comparative analysis of political systems. This is because of basic flaws in Weber's conceptualisation of legitimacy itself, and in his account of the normative basis of authority. The article offers an alternative, multi-dimensional account of political legitimacy, and suggests how it might be used to develop a typology of forms of ,Herrschaft, more appropriate to the analysis of the modern state.
Title: Two Theorists of Action: Ihering and Weber
Author: Stephen P. Turner
Abstract: Rudolf von Ihering was the leading German philosopher of law of the nineteenth century. He was also a major source of Weber's more famous sociological definitions of action. Characteristically, Weber transformed material he found: in this case Ihering's attempt to reconcile the causal and teleological aspects of action. In Ihering's hands these become, respectively, the external and internal moments of action, or intentional thought and the factual consequences of action. For Weber they are made into epistemic aspects of action, the causal and the meaningful, each of which is essential to an account of action, but which are logically and epistemically distinct. Ihering thought purposes were the products of underlying interests, but included 'ideal' interests in this category. Weber radicalized this by expanding the category and making it historically central. This radicalization bears on rational choice theory: if ideal interests have a large historical role independent of material interests, and are not fully explicable on such grounds as 'sourgrapes,, the methods appropriate to the study of the transformation of ideas, meaning genealogies in the Nietzschean sense, are central to the explanation of action.
Title: Is Analytical Action Theory Reductionist?
Author: Ian Carter
Abstract: Steven Lukes and Alasdair MacIntyre have accused analytical action theory of being motivated by reductionist aims and of ignoring the fact that what is distinctively human about actions is their essentially social character. These reductionist aims are said to 'subvert, the search for the distinctively human. Enterprises that have particularly come under fire (and which Lukes recommends ,abandoning,) are the search for 'basic' actions and attempts to solve problems regarding the 'individuation' of actions. Lukes and MacIntyre are mistaken however, both in their interpretation of the aims which motivate analytical action theory, and in their characterisation of the search for the distinctively human. 'Individuated' or 'basic' actions are not complex social actions reduced down to their 'simplest elements'. They represent attempts to resolve problems which arise prior to the examination of the social character of actions.
Title: Rawls and the Socratic Ideal
Author: Kai Nielsen
Abstract: John Rawls's recommendation that political philosophy should be kept free of metaphysics has recently come under attack by Jean Hampton. According to her philosophy as a Socratic quest has to orient itself by radical probing and that unavoidingly involves us in metaphysical commitment. Non-Socratic philosophy in the later Rawls, she claims, reduces itself to a mere modus vivendi. In defending Rawls the article makes clear how Hampton underrates the method of reflective equilibrium. Rawls makes a rationally reconstructed use of the Socratic ideal, that can be turned not only against Hampton's critique of Rawls, but also against its relativist appropriation by Richard Rorty.
Title: Objectivity of the Concepts of Health and Disease
Author: Paul Thompson
Abstract: It is now widely accepted that the concepts of "health" and "disease" in psychiatric and psychological contexts are value laden. In this article I argue that even in the realm of physical illness and disease (appendicitis, phenylketonuria, etc.), the concepts of "health", "illness" and "disease" are value laden. I explore the four most common bases used to objectively ground the key concept "normal functioning", namely, genetic structure, evolutionary fitness, non-premature death and absence of pain. I argue that they all fail to adequately provide an objective grounding for the concept "normal functioning" (health) and, hence, for "abnormal functioning" (illness, disease). The reason an objective grounding cannot be given is that physical "health", "illness" and "disease" rest on widely shared values in addition to the condition of the organism.
Title: Wrong Register: Kindstötung als Nichtaufnahme in den Club
Author: Peter Koslowski