Introduction: “Science as a Vocation” as a Spiritual Exercise

Paul du Gay, José Ossandón


This brief essay is an invitation to today’s sociologists to go back to Weber’s "Science as a Vocation" with Keith Tribe and Ian Hunter as guides. We highlight two main aspects of their readings. First, "Science as a Vocation" appears as an exemplary exercise on the sociology of academic life. Weber’s lecture is not only a diagnosis of the conditions of the early Twentieth century scientist. It formulates also a set of key questions that could guide the sociological diagnostic of the conditions of social research in contemporary universities. Second, "Science as a Vocation" is Weber’s spiritual exercise. It could be read as providing a stance that sociologists should follow in order to live up to the demands of their academic office.


"Science as a Vocation"; Sociology of Academic Life; Value Free; Weber; Spiritual Exercise

DOI: 10.6092/issn.1971-8853/8431


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