Mirko Alagna

The Monotheistic Pharisee. Ethics, politics, polytheism in Max Weber

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This article tries to define Phariseeism – in Weber’s Politik als Beruf – as the result of a double negation: on the one hand the negation of the polytheism of values and on the other hand the negation of the ethical irrationality of the world. In other words, Phariseeism is both the denial of the coexistence of life orders not only governed by their own laws and logics, but even more profoundly bearers of authentic and contradictory values; and the denial of the structural injustice of the world, and of the tragic evidence that to obtain good it may be necessary to act evil. This double misrecognition reveals a somewhat obscene affinity between Phariseeism and a category that apparently names its opposite extreme: the acosmism of love – in its pure form or in its millenarist reversal. Both, in fact, converge precisely on the inability to face and accept the fact that the world is the stage of ambiguity, ambivalences, compromises.


  • phariseeism
  • Weber
  • polytheism
  • politics
  • eroticism


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