Leo Strauss’s critique of positivism Weberian


Espíritu: ISSN 0014-0716, Year 58, Issue 138, 2009, pages 67-78




Does moral blindness, unavoidable according to positivist scientist analysis, lead to nihilism? When Max Weber tries to defend, for instance, the per se value of intellectual honesty, he is falling in an inconsistency: he tangles himself in the critical moment that led Thrasymachus to his fall, knocked down by Socrates, in the first book of Plato’s Republic. Leo Strauss warned about this danger of falling into nihilism as the underlying fate of the modern social sciences. Does the principle of value-neutrality lead in practice to a vague indifference? Were this true, social science would actually turn into a mere instrument of domination serving to a certain established social order, unable to call, for instance, tyranny by its own name.

Key words:

positivism, nihilism, value-neutrality, Max Weber, Leo Strauss



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