Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist

Rationalities in History
A Weberian Essay in Comparison

$95.00 (P)

  • Date Published: October 2010
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521199209

$ 95.00 (P)
Hardback

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:
Paperback, eBook


Looking for an examination copy?

If you are interested in the title for your course we can consider offering an examination copy. To register your interest please contact collegesales@cambridge.org providing details of the course you are teaching.

Description
Product filter button
Description
Contents
Resources
Courses
About the Authors
  • In Rationalities in History the distinguished historian David d'Avray writes a new comparative history in the spirit of Max Weber. In a strikingly original reassessment of seminal Weberian ideas, d'Avray applies value rationality to the comparative history of religion and the philosophy of law. Integrating theories of rational choice, anthropological reflections on relativism, and the recent philosophy of rationality with Weber's conceptual framework, d'Avray seeks to disengage 'rationalisation' from its enduring association with Western 'modernity'. This mode of analysis is contextualised through the examples of Buddhism, Imperial China and sixteenth-century Catholicism – in the latter case building upon unpublished archival research. This ambitious synthesis of social theory and comparative history will engage social scientists and historians from advanced undergraduate level upwards, stimulating interdisciplinary discourse, and making a significant contribution to the methodology of history. D'Avray explores the potential of this new Weberian analysis further in his companion volume, Medieval Religious Rationalities.

    • The distinguished medievalist David d'Avray proposes a new interdisciplinary approach for combining comparative world history with social theory
    • This book, and its companion volume Medieval Religious Rationalities, will be of great use to teachers of social theory and comparative history, both of which are taught widely at major research universities
    • D'Avray's original combination of Weberian social theory and empirical examples provides a fresh perspective on the methodology of history
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    "Historians are often cautious about theory; this book ought to persuade them they are wrong. David d'Avray puts Max Weber back at the centre of the historical project in a powerful study; we are all in his debt." -Christopher Wickham, University of Oxford

    "This is an unprecedentedly sophisticated reading of Weber on rationality. Through careful conceptual analysis and arresting examples from a range of different cultures, past and present, David d'Avray shows how Weber's ‘ideal types', too often thought to be empirically and historically as well as analytically distinct, in fact combine to maintain and adapt a range of justifications in religion, law, economics, and politics. No-one interested in how people have reasoned should ignore it." -Geoffrey Hawthorn, University of Cambridge

    "In this carefully crafted volume, D.L.D'Avray offers a strong argument about how various rationalities can be found in history and in populations around the world. By doing so, he discredits the association of formal rationality with modernity, and claims that instrumental reasoning is a human universal." -Raul Acosta, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute

    "Unlike those historians who prefer to remain the prisoner of theories which are held unconsciously, David D'Avray's aim in these two sister volumes is to engage explicitly with the 'ideal types' of rationality catalogued in Max Weber's work in order to show their empirical value in the study of the religion of the medieval West...In many ways, these two volumes constitute a model of how historians can engage with social theory. They are clearly and wittily written and resort to technical jargon in order to clarify the argument rather than to obscure it. They are logically structured and address issues which are of interest not just to medievalists but also to historians of other periods, as well as to philosophers, anthropologists, sociologists and social theorists. They draw effortlessly on an impressive range of empirical examples and are the product of wide reading in philosophy and social science." -S.H.Rigby, English Historical Review

    See more reviews

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity

    ×

    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?

    ×

    Product details

    • Date Published: October 2010
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521199209
    • length: 224 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 156 x 17 mm
    • weight: 0.49kg
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction
    1. Universal and specific rationalities
    2. The structure of values and convictions
    3. The dynamics of values and convictions
    4. The value-instrumental interface
    5. Formal rationality
    6. The formal-substantive interface
    Conclusions
    Appendix: Rationalities in a case before the congregation of the council.

  • Author

    D. L. d'Avray, University College London
    D. L. d'Avray is Professor of Medieval History at University College London. A fellow of the British Academy since 2005, d'Avray has published widely on his research interests in medieval history.

Sign In

Please sign in to access your account

Cancel

Not already registered? Create an account now. ×

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email lecturers@cambridge.org

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner www.ebooks.com. Please see the permission section of the www.ebooks.com catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.

Cancel

Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

×
Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.
×