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The Protestant Ethic DebateMax Weber's Replies to His Critics, 1907-1910$
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David Chalcraft and Austin Harrington

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780853239765

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.5949/UPO9781846313868

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Karl Fischer's Review of The Protestant Ethic, 1907

Karl Fischer's Review of The Protestant Ethic, 1907

From the Archiv für Sozialwissenschaft und Sozialpolitik, vol. 25, pp. 232–42

(p.27) Chapter 1 Karl Fischer's Review of The Protestant Ethic, 1907
The Protestant Ethic Debate
Liverpool University Press

This chapter provides a summary of Karl Fischer's review of The Protestant Ethic in 1907. Fischer aimed to contend Weber's ‘idealist interpretation of history’. His first argument criticized the translation of relevant passages in the Bible, such as the word Beruf used to refer to the sense of ‘worldly calling’. Fisher suggests that the religious aspect of worldly callings could easily be explained in terms of adaptation to existent economic conditions. His argument suggested that a more psychological explanation to the rise of capitalist attitude is sounder than Weber's notion of a religious consciousness. Fisher believes that the foundation of the capitalist sense of duty in a calling might better be accredited to our association of feelings directed to more distant and generalized goods that have a more lasting kind of wellbeing than feelings that requires instant satisfaction in the present.

Keywords:   idealist interpretation, passages, Beruf, worldy calling, religious consciousness

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