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Versions of Vocation: Max Weber’s ‘Wissenschaft als Beruf’ in Translation11I would like to thank Peter Höyng, Suzanne Lechner and reviewers for their helpful comments.

DOI https://doi.org/10.15543/MWS/2018/2/6

Frank J. Lechner


Expanding on prior discussion of the perils in translating the work of Max Weber, this paper compares five English versions of ‘Science as a Vocation’ (‘Wissenschaft als Beruf’) to show that none achieves maximum fidelity. The contrasting versions reflect divergent translation strategies that make the anglicized Weber a protean figure whose voice and meaning come through unevenly. The comparison points to a need for broader scholarly attention to problems of translation and suggests a different approach to future translations of classic texts in social science.

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