Max Weber's observations and conclusions regarding modernity and its causes have named him one of the most influential sociologists of our era. Weber believed that in the West rationality had come to become the predominant impetus for action. Weber said that Rationality was one of four motivations towards actions--the remaining three, Traditional, Affective, and Value-Oriented, had been based on more humanistic qualities and had all faded into almost insignificance in the modern age. He thought that this change in stimulus had led to men becoming dehumanised, trapped in the 'iron cage' of production and bureaucracy. Weber's writings sought to understand why Capitalism had come to predominate in the West, rather than other parts of the world, and to examine the different aspects of such a society. Weber argued that sociology was inevitably a subjective science that was dominated by the importance of the individual; this belief led him to employ very unique methods of analysis.
In order to fully understand some of Weber's key ideas, it is necessary to quickly look at his very unique methodology. Notably, Weber's basic view of Sociology was quite different to his contemporaries, most distinctly to Emil Durkheim, as he didn't believe that it was an objective, scientific field. He argued that the natural sciences entailed people observing processes, such as cell formation, and devising laws and rules based on what they had seen. Conversely, social science entailed the observation of people, all of who were guided by subjectivity and motivated by emotions. Weber was inspired by Kant's belief that it was impossible to have knowledge free of interpretation; our cultural values would lead us to lay emphasis on certain aspects of a given topic and to focus on particular concepts. These differences had to be taken into careful consideration when making conclusions,