Rationality - What it is to be Modern

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Manage episode 231686182 series 2502413
By La Trobe University and Dr Nicholas Herriman. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

What is rationality and why is it important? According to Weber, the most rational actions are scientific ways of achieving scientific ends. You and I act according to scientific means and ends, and this defines us as modern. As such, our guiding principles for action are general, universal and abstract. For instance, medieval European cathedrals were built mostly according to specific local knowledge and practical trial and error. Modern buildings are constructed largely according to general laws of gravity, abstract engineering principles, and universal ideas about construction. Honestly, I’m not sure which kind of building I’d rather spend my time in, but I know I’d rather hop on plane that built according to scientific principles. As for Weber, he detested the modern, rational world, seeing it as an iron cage that we have built around ourselves.

Copyright 2013 Nicholas Herriman / La Trobe University, all rights reserved. Please contact for permissions.

26 episodes