The Ethical Irrationality of the World: Max Weber and Hindu Ethics

By Pratap Bhanu Mehta
Critical Horizons, 22 September 2001

This paper argues that Weber ought to be read as a comparative ethicist who brings his German intellectual inheritance, especially Schopenauer and Nietzsche, to a dialogue with ethical traditions in India and China. It shows that Weber not only had a supple understanding of the tensions within Hindu ethics, his own account of value often closely corresponds to Hindu axiology and was enriched by an encounter with it.