Keywords: Polytheism, Vocation, World Image, Subjectivity, Nominalism.
In Weber, the metaphor of polytheism has three different dimensions of meaning: it is a piece of his world image (Weltbild), a component of his Zeitdiagnose of late modernity, a normative proposal. This contribution intends to reconstruct the articulated semantics of Weberian Polytheismus with particular reference to the identification of the conditions of possibility of the normative proposal of a dedication/service to values and values spheres conceived as mutually exclusive. The thesis I intend to argue is that Weber was not fully aware of the fragility of this attitude towards values and of its dependence on a certain configuration of the world image. The distance that separates the virtuosistic subjectivity of Weberian absolutist polytheism from the post-moralistic (Lipovetsky) and singularist (Rosanvallon) individualism that dominates contemporary Western societies has its roots in a double movement: on the one hand, the definitive affirmation of a Man Image coherently nominalist; on the other hand, the positioning of this Man Image at the center of the World image shared in Western liberal democratic societies.