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Keywords:

  • Weber;
  • science;
  • technology;
  • economic change;
  • economics;
  • sociology of science and technology

ABSTRACT

Several disciplines have contributed to the understanding of the relationship between science, technology, and economic change. Weber's perspective on this relationship, however, has not been properly explored. In the first part of this paper, we give an account of Weber's perspective. In the second part, we critically assess Weber's ideas, indicating those that are useful and those that deserve to be abandoned. We also confront a revised Weberian perspective with those of the main contemporary competitors, the key ideas of economists and economic historians on one side and social constructivists on the other. We conclude that a Weberian comparative-historical approach compares favourably with these competitors, and suggest where his approach still requires further work.