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Issues in translating Weber’s writings on economics


Sam Whimster

It is argued that only a semantic translation of Chapter 2 of Economy and Society can bring out the the train of Weber’s thinking as an economist. The existing Henderson and Parsons’ translation shifts Weber’s economic thinking into a neoclassical mode which fails to bring out sufficiently the nature of economic power and the relation between inequality and the ‘division of labour’. A glossary of key terms is provided at the end.

Sam Whimster is emeritus professor of sociology in the Global Policy Institute at London Metropolitan University. He is currently preparing a co-authored book on central banks from a Weberian and Schumpeterian perspective. His ‘Afterword’ to Empires and Bureaucracy in World History, ed. P. Crooks and T. Parsons, is published by Cambridge University Press, 2016.


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