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If The Protestant Ethic is a classic, it is not so much because of its main thesis--which has been contested by historians ever since it was first published in 1904 (Fischoff 1944)--but because as a prime work in the tradition of the German Geisteswissenschaften, it has become our finest example of interpretative sociology. His reconstruction of the ethos (or moral habitus) of the early Protestant entrepreneurs and its determinant role not only in the rise of Northern capitalism but also, more generally, in the emergence of Western rationalism makes it a paradigmatic exemplar of and for moral sociology.
To clarify this link, the author uses tools of analysis borrowed from the interpretative sociology of Max Weber and his followers.
This serves as an apt background to discuss Max Weber's interpretative sociology.