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Ferdinand Tönnies and Max Weber


Niall Bond

The present article considers the encounter between Max Weber and Ferdinand Tönnies, who was the first modern German sociologist, and their reciprocal influence. Here, we consider their concepts, particularly the forms in which Weber adapted the Gemeinschaft-Gesellschaft dichotomy, as well as differing attitudes towards values, epistemology, capitalism, naturalism, enlightenment and religion, which resulted from the different consequences they drew from socializations with a religiously oriented maternal line and success-oriented, secularized paternal line and from their nuanced observations of rationalism and urbanization.

Niall Bond 1

1 Niall Bond is an intellectual historian, German areas specialist, translator and conference interpreter who teaches and conducts research at the University of Lyon and is an associate researcher at the Centre de Recherche Interdisciplinaire sur l’Allemagne at the Ecole d’hautes études en sciences sociales. He obtained his PhD from the Albert-Ludwigs-University of Freiburg and his habilitation à diriger la recherche from the EHESS.


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