Weber And Durkheim: Founding Fathers Of Sociology

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The two prominent names: Weber and Durkheim; considered the “founding fathers of Sociology”. Their writing in the late 19th century considered to be revolution and brought profound changes in the modern life. Although, both of these men studied the society, its structure and trends, but their methodology and theoretical approach were different. In the early years of his life, Durkheim was influenced and impressed by the evolutionary perspective of Herbert Spencer and later, with the works of August Comte. Whereas, Weber owed his approach much to the Neo-Kantian Philosophy. Therefore, When Durkheim talked about (Social Facts- indicated that there were forces beyond individual control that affected their behaviour in any society.) society’s objective…show more content…
Therefore, for Durkheim, social structures are as objective and given as nature. For him, structural features are as given for the inhabitants of a society, who encounter them at birth as the natural world. However, for Weber on the other side, opposed positivism as for him social facts do not exist on its own until and unless we interprets them as such. In his regard, objectivity has nothing to do with science, infact, Weber’s notion of sociology was largely shaped by the debates going in the then German universities which were surrounded by the arguments drawn upon the distinctions made between the natural and social science- their methodologies and approaches. This was an outgrowth of German Idealism and philosophy of Immanuel Kant. Acc. To Kant, individuals create meaning and are independent to decide their action. Hence, it is not possible generate universal laws regarding human behaviour and actions. Therefore, it could be said that human life and society cannot come under preview of scientific investigation. However, Weber maintained a different view that researches in social sciences can also based upon generalizations like of natural science. He saw sociology as a science that employs both interpretative understanding and casual explanation of social actions and interaction. As claimed, his theory being subjective motivational and historical and dualism rather than naturalistic, empirical. For him, these social action are classified as – means end rational action, value rational action and effectual or tradition actions, these are also the “ideal types”. This is why; Weber developed his now known “Ideal Type Theory” to study the society as a method of analysis of producing generalizable finding based on real life observations. Thus, it is not inherently less scientific than natural science investigation. As he
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