Marx and Weber on the Method of Abstraction (II)
In the second part of my paper, I reconstruct Weber’s notion of the method of abstraction, especially as related to so-called ideal types. Similarly to the previous part, I focus on the cognitive goals, with which the application of the method is associated, the epistemic status of the results of its application, the criteria of the correct application of the method and the supposed relation between abstraction and the natural/social sciences distinction. Deriving from the comparison of Marx’s and Weber’s views on abstraction I show that the contributions of both thinkers confirm the hypothesis that analytic (non-empirical) methods of abstraction and idealization, as used in the social sciences, do not in principle differ from similar procedures used in the natural sciences.
Abstraction, Ideal type, Idealization, K. Marx, M. Weber