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The Subversive Weber: Two Seminars on Max Weber's Teaching with Carlos Frade

The Institute of the Radical Imagination presents:

Two Seminars on Max Weber's Teaching


April 11 and 18, 2pm EST.

That there is a subversive Max Weber may go unrecognized even by Marxist scholars who may be appreciative, if critically, of Weber, to say nothing of mainstream Weber scholarship. This is not because mainstream Weber scholars try to conceal that subversive side, but rather because they entertain no desire whatsoever to see it – indeed it is this lack of desire to see any subversive aspect in Weber’s thought that defines the ‘Weberology’ they practice. That the subversive side of Weber’s thought lies in his figure of subjectivation or stance, a stance of world confrontation, may seem a very surprising claim to make. Yet, it is precisely this claim what the first seminar seeks to probe by undertaking an in-depth analysis of that stance so as to delineate its pure form and bring out the Weberian subject. In doing so we will see how Weber’s social science is both summoned by this subject and specifically suited to study it.


The second seminar will focus on Weber’s impressive sociology of domination, a political sociology which upset Leo Strauss and other conservative political thinkers who saw in the famous three types of legitimate rule-domination an attempt to do away with the traditional language and categories of political philosophy concerning political regimes (democracy, aristocracy and monarchy) and their endless circulation through its degenerated forms (anarchy, oligarchy and tyranny). Yet, Weber’s political sociology has serious problems of its own, all arising from the impossibility of the theory to deal with forms of politics which deny rule-domination and even affirm non-rule (i.e. emancipatory forms of politics). We will study the architecture of the Weberian political sociology and its impasses, paying particular attention to how Weber was haunted by that problem, as shown by his references to, but lack of engagement with, a category of non-domination and his attempts late in his career to theorise a fourth type of legitimacy.

$30 Suggested Contribution for both Seminars*


* Sliding scale registration

* Zoom details will be emailed shortly before the class starts