Nineteenth Century Philosophy

Sociology and Philosophy

Was Max Weber himself ascetic?

Yes. Weber’s father was hedonistic and shallow, his mother cultured, and he found intellectual and moral discipline in the household of his aunt and uncle. When, in the 1880s, he embarked on a study of the East-Elbian agricultural workers, writing 900 pages in one year, it was combined with a lectureship at the University of Berlin and a full-time legal job. His regime was rigid, and he divided his daily schedule into hourly components. In 1893, he married Marianne Schnitger, a cousin on his father’s side. The marriage was based on close intellectual companionship, but was never consummated sexually. Only in an affair in his late forties did Weber accomplish that.


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