The Place of Max Weber in Ricœur’s Philosophy: Power, Ideology, Explanation

Ernst Wolff


This article offers an encompassing interpretation of Paul Ricœur’s reception of Max Weber’s sociology. Three main domains in which Ricœur redeployed and revised insights from Weber are examined: (1) political responsibility and the definition of the state, (2) significant categories for understanding social interaction (notably ideology and authority) and the social ontology implied by this view on action and, finally, (3) the role of explanation in the interpretive social sciences. As a whole, this article argues that Weber was a significant interlocutor of Ricœur on a number of significant themes in the philosopher’s work. In particular, the article profiles the Weberian aspect of Ricœur’s social and political philosophy.


Paul Ricœur; Max Weber; Responsibility; State; Ideology; Explanation; Interpretation; Social sciences

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