Max Weber’s China: the Transcendental and the Empirical

Speaker: Professor Scott Lash, Goldsmiths, University of London.


Max Weber was one of the very few to integrally work through Chinese thought on the one hand and empirical Chinese society on the other. To link as it were the transcendental and the empirical. The transcendental of Daoism on the one hand and the empirical of Confucianism on the other. The wuming on the one hand and the zhengming.  And probably the most penetrating juxtaposition of the West on the one hand and China on the other. The Western trinity of creation, revelation and redemption, on the one hand, and China where there is neither Creation nor redemption but which is ‘trapped in an infinity’. 

Scott Lash PhD Sociology, London School of Economics was Lecturer and Professor from 1977-98 at Lancaster University and founding Director of The Centre for Cultural Studies at Goldsmiths from 1998-2017.  He is Research Associate and Oxford COMPAS and Guest Professor at Central Academy of Fine Art. His 12 books, 8 translated into Chinese include The End of Organised Capitalism, Economies of Signs and Space, Reflexive Modernisation and more recently (co-authored with Michael Keith) China Constructing Capitalism and Experience: New Foundations for the Human Sciences