Dimitri D'Andrea

Absolute goodness as inability to shape a world: Acosmistic love and social order in Max Weber

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Max Weber; acosmistic love; violence; world images; politics.

The contribution reconstructs the meaning and systematic function of the notion of Liebesakosmismus (Acosmistic Love) in Max Weber. Acosmistic love is the extreme and perfectly coherent form of love of neighbour - unconditional and unlimited duty to help the neighbour and radical rejection of violence: an absolute form of goodness which coincides with the inability to shape a world. This notion allows Weber to identify - ex negativo - the conditions of the social and political order. According to Weber the world is the space that arises when one begins to establish distinctions, when the absolute consistency with the principle of love of neighbour gives way to the articulation of the differences, exclusions, exceptions. Distinctions and differences are, however, elements that depend on a world image (Weltbild), the cognitive synthesis that takes the place of the unattainable experience of the world as a whole and that possesses the irreplaceable practical function of horizon within which the individuals understand themselves, interpret their needs, formulate their plans and define their expectations, articulate their evaluations. A transformation of the world image is also what explains the sudden reversals, ever possible, of the absolute ethics of the love of neighbour in the last violence of the revolutionary millenarianism.

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