Compare and contrast Marx and Weber

Essay by Anonymous UserUniversity, Bachelor'sB, October 1996

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During the nineteenth century, Karl Marx and Max Weber were two of the most influential sociologist. Both their views on the rise of capitalism have various similarities and differences. They believe that capitalism is relatively new to the modern world. Their views differ on the rise of capitalism. Regardless of Marx and Weber's differences, both theorists agree that capitalism is a system of highly impersonal relations.

Karl Marx was born on May 5, 1818 to the father of a Jewish lawyer. As a young student Marx often read works written by Hegel. From school, Marx wrote to his father of his feelings on Hegel. He had found a disliking for those Hegelians who sought to "draw atheistic and revolutionary conclusions from Hegel's philosophy" (Granat Encyclopedia, pg.153) In order to better understand the views of Marx we must look at the philosophy of Hegel.

German philosophy in the nineteenth century was dominated by the ideas of Hegel.

Hegel's philosophy was based on the concept of idealism. By looking at prior philosophers one will see that Hegel's philosophy was similar to that of Immanuel Kant. Kant was interested in the study of knowledge. Kant had argued, that ideas or concepts are apriori. Apriori ideas are one which exist before one's knowledge of the world, that is ideas are not empirical.

Hegel's philosophy was an expansion on the philosophy of Kant. Hegel believed that apriori knowledge came from "geist" or the holy spirit. History, according to Hegel, consisted of a set of ideas or a thesis. For every thesis there was an opposite set of ideas or an antithesis. It is through this contradiction that a new set of ideas or a synthesis are born. The synthesis of the thesis and the antithesis forms Hegel's theory of the dialectic. History was a set...