The mournful cage: Max Weber as a hunger artist




Reddekop, Jarrad

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Many accounts of Max Weber’s thought would seek to portray him as a theorist of responsibility or “re-enchantment” – as one who can confirm for us the appropriateness of a liberal position given the conditions of life as moderns, thus preserving the possibility of a renewed project of management at every turn. Such a reading may well be comforting today, insofar as it enables a reconciliation to the constellations of technological thinking within which we already find ourselves engaged. Over and against such accounts, this thesis attempts to elaborate an image of Weber as a hunger artist, as one who brings into emphasis a fundamental sense of loss attendant to “modernity”, and who broods upon that loss as the condition of a more faithful reflection upon the character of being. Not only does Weber offer insight into modern conditions of research and the theorization of politics; he is one who thinks such questions in their mournful profundity, gesturing towards what cannot be carried forward within their terms. In the melancholy of his thought, it is suggested, we glimpse the contours of a horizon from which we have still not emerged.



Max Weber, disenchantment, technology, Martin Heidegger, nihilism, modernity, rationalization, politics, theology, metaphysics, Franz Kafka, religion, mythology, culture, iron cage, hunger artist, mournful cage, subjectivity, flight of the gods