It is not mere business astuteness, that sort of thing is common enough, it is an ethos." He continues, "The earning of money within the modern economic order is, so long as it is done legally, the result and the expression of virtue and proficiency in a calling; and this virtue and proficiency are, as it is now not difficult to see, the real Alpha and Omega of Franklin's ethic." One of the criticisms of Weber is that he misunderstood what Franklin was saying.
In their article, "In Search of the Spirit of Capitalism: Weber's Misinterpre tation of Franklin," Tony Dickson and Hugh Mc Lachlan disagree with Weber that Franklin was talking about an ethic in the selection quoted above.
Nonetheless, it does suggest a rather cavalier attitude towards evidence, particularly as the writings of Franklin are the only 'evidence' that he presents in his original essays to demonstrate the existence of the 'spirit of capitalism'. reminded their flocks that the Christian life was 'a serious life, a life of toil and not of diversion, play or pleasure' so that one ought never to forget that it 'should be filled with some useful and sober occupation suitable for one's state of existence.' The Jesuits stressed almost the same beliefs.
Most of the other criticisms of Weber rest on his assertion that modern capitalism could not have flourished in Europe without an ethic or spirit which had its roots in ascetic Protestantism. Robertson, a historian at the University of Cape Town, asserted in "A Criticism of Max Weber and His School" that the Roman Catholic Church and the Protestant Churches stressed the same precepts in the 16th and 17th centuries. and also in the second place from natural causes, as a result of which it happens that there are different aptitudes for different occupations amongst different men." Robertson continues in support of his thesis: "The Jansenists . In France the Church went out of its way to welcome the honest bourgeois on the ground that he was the only type of man who followed God's commands and lived in a 'calling'." Amintore Fanfani, an economic historian in Rome, shared Robertson criticism of Weber but from a different aspect.
This paper will take a look at some of the criticisms of Weber's capitalism/protestantism theory from various points of view.
I cannot begin to cover all of Weber's critics in the course of this paper, but I will present some representative criticisms of the theory.