Concept of Ideal Things Represented by Weber and Durkheim

The concept of the ideal world, ideal type, and other ideal things is the sphere of philosophical thinking. As a result, the ideas precondition the understanding of the world and its concepts in an ideal way. Ideal means consisting of ideas, instead of consisting of material things and concepts, as materialistic as opposed to idealistic. The concept of ideas can be taken into consideration from the point of view of philosophical thinking.

According to the ideas of Emile Durkheim “It is in assimilating the ideas elaborated by society that (the individual) has become capable of conceiving the idea. It is society…leading him within its spheres of action (which) had made him acquire the need of raising himself above the world of experience” (Calhoun 189). Thus the author represents his vision of the aspect of ideal.

Emile Durkheim claims that the existence of the ideal is impossible without mankind because it is a society that creates the ideal world and ideal life. “A society can neither create nor recreate itself without at the same time creating an ideal” (Calhoun 189). This idea gives a clear explanation of the author’s thoughts; it indicates the society as the author of the ideal and vice-versa, the ideal as the product created by the society.

The world of ideas is made by the society, as using thinking and acquiring knowledge the society produces different kinds of ideas and creates the ideal world, ideal society, and ideal universe. Emile Durkheim gives the idea of the origin of the world and suggests that everything in this world is the result of human ideas.

One more thought represented by Durkheim presupposes idealization as the result of collective thinking. Thus the only aspect which can make the individual produce ideas and, consequently, the ideal world and ideal society is the society itself. The fact of living within the society is the determinant of the origin of the ideas. The author suggests that the individual is capable of producing the ideas only due to society.

Meanwhile, the main idea of the ideal type represented by Max Weber suggests that “…the idea of an ethical imperative or a model of what ‘ought to exist is to be carefully distinguished from the analytical construct, which is ‘ideal’ in the strictly logical sense of the term” (Calhoun 212). Thus the concept of ideal type is discussed within the aspect of capitalistic culture.

Max Weber introduces the definition of the concept of ideal type as the one “formed by one-sided accentuation of one or more points of view and by the synthesis of… individual phenomena, which are arranged according to those one-sidedly emphasized viewpoints into a unified analytical construct” (Calhoun 211). Thereby the concept of the ideal type is represented as the synthesis of opinions and individual aspects.

Thus Max Weber examines the concept of ideal type taking into consideration the “idea” of capitalistic culture. The author involves the two methods of cognition; meanwhile, he attributes the ideal type to the empirical science and considers it within the field of meaningful features.

Thereby the two authors examined the concept of ideal and ideal type from different points of view: Durkheim considers the ideal as the result and integral part of the society; whereas Weber deals with the concept of ideal type within the capitalistic culture.

Works Cited

Calhoun, Craig J., and Joseph Gerteis, and James Moody, and Steven Pfaff, and Indermohan Virk. Classical Sociological Theory. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2007.

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