Economy, ideology and culture
Otto Neurath's approach to a precarious relationship
The concept of base and superstructure has been one of the hotly debated issues in Marxist theory. Otto Neurath, who considered Marxism to be decisive for empirical sociology, accepted the significance of economic conditions as a driving force in the historical process. In contrast to Max Weber and Werner Sombart, he put the importance of ideas and the "capitalist spirit" into perspective. However, he also generally rejected the idea of economic determinism that was then very common among Marxists. In assuming a "coherence" of social structure, mode of production, way of life and (political) ideology, Neurath's approach enabled even an extensive understanding of cultural phenomena. Although he never elaborated a cultural theory (and was sceptical of then-contemporary concepts), his assumptions on this subject are worth considering.
Sandner, G. (2007)., Economy, ideology and culture: Otto Neurath's approach to a precarious relationship, in E. Nemeth, S. W. Schmitz & T. Uebel (eds.), Otto Neurath's economics in context, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 141-155.
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