In addition to his socio-historical and religio-sociological research, Max Weber's work aimed at establishing sociology as an academic discipline in its own right. In the area of methodology, Weber sought a resolution of the dualism between the humanities and the natural sciences, and he argued that academic research must be freed from moral value judgements. Among Weber's most important contributions in the area of political sociology was his theory of rule, in which he differentiates between typical legitimate forms of rule (charismatic, traditional, rational) and in which he stresses that all areas of life are being penetrated by a process of formal rationalization. His theory on the contribution of protestant ethics to the formation of modern capitalism was particularly widely read.
Max Weber (1864–1920), black-and-white photograph, date unknown [around 1903], unknown photographer; source: Weber, Marianne: Max Weber: Ein Lebensbild, Tübingen 1926, [table VII].