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NONTHEMATIC / Vol. 36, No. 1 (Spring 1969)

Gerhard Colm was a professional economist. He soon became a statistician--not in the modern mathematical sense, filling British and American textbooks- but in a sense, which, in the present writer’s opinion, is more important: he displayed an almost uncanny ability, at least during the Washington period, of estimating statistically the current state of the economy.

Sociologists and historians have too long been ill-served by partisan wrangles over Weber’s views on the relations between the “Protestant Ethic” and the “Spirit of Capitalism.” Weber himself is not entirely free of blame for the confusion. The evidence indicates that from the start of his work he allowed himself to be trapped in an ambiguity from which he never quite extricated himself.

Current sociological analysis of the processes involved in scientific development is couched predominantly in functionalist terms and derives primarily from the work of Robert Merton. Although Merton’s approach has come to be adopted by sociologists almost without question it has very tenuous empirical foundation and involves considerable theoretical difficulties.

“The principle of modern subjectivity” groups together certain leading modern philosophical thinkers from Descartes through Hegel, though the paper’s focus is on Rousseau as in certain ways peculiarly representative of the subjective thinking.

The aim of this paper is to help the general sociological reader to understand an important development currently taking place in the field; namely, the rise of mathematical sociology. Above all, the reader, who, however skeptical in his initial stance toward a mathematical treatment of sociological problems, takes the time to study the author’s remarks with an unprejudiced eye, should come to comprehend and agree with the central thesis of the paper.

China is at present going through an internal purge and ideological struggle which is unprecedented in the annals of modern totalitarianism, both in scope and character. It will be some time before the outside world can piece together the whole story, let alone assess its significance. It is possible, however, to make certain broad statements about the origins of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution.

Since 1956 an estimated three and a half million of the former Untouchable Castes in India have become Buddhists. Their leader, Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, publicly adopted Buddhism at a Diksha ceremony in Nagpur shortly before his death. Millions have followed him in this choice. The conversion movement has often been labeled “pure expediency,” “a political fient” of the leader, a maneuver to strengthen the scheduled Castes’ of collective bargaining power, a calculated and cynical attempt to rise in the social scale. Can it in any sense be called a true religious conversion, in spite of these harsh judgements?

Review of book by Heinrich PopitzTubingen: C. B. Mohr (Paul Siebeck), 1968. 42 pp.

Review of book by Wolfgang Rudolph. Berlin: Duncker & Humboldt, 1968. 291 pp.

Review of book by Tamotsu Shibutani. Indianapolis: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, Inc., 1966. 262 pp.

Review of book by Ernst Fischer. Baltimore: Penguin Books, 1964. 225 pp.

Review of book by Klaus Hinst. Bern: Hans Huber Verlag, 1968. 149 pages.

Review of book by Gonzalo Cevallos. Geneva: Librairie Droz, 1968. 270 pp.

Paris: Ediciones Ruedo Iberico. 1968. 419 pp.

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