Talk:Ideal type

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"Weber admitted employing "ideal types" was an abstraction but claimed it was nonetheless essential if one were to understand any particular social phenomena because, unlike physical phenomena, it involved human behavior which must be interpreted by ideal types"

This sentence is grammatically circular but ignoring that, it still seems doomed to being a non-sequitor. Must not physical phenomena be also interpreted with ideal types? No actual physical data would ever precisely correspond to the mathematical description. For example the three angles of a triangle add to 180 degrees, says Euclidean geometry. In reality however, there is no such thing as a triangle. Attempts to manufacture one will fail and even if they somehow succeeded - presumably, not a molecule out of place - we couldn't know it.

I believe CF Gauss actually decided to check this particular physical phenomenon by measuring the angle at three hilltops. All sorts of things would have got in the way: atmospheric refraction, deviation of the vertical, and instrument error as well as observer error which he would have been interested in. - Pepper 04:40, 24 January 2006 (UTC)

"Typological term"[edit]

The intro says "Ideal type [...] is a typological term." Because typological goes to a typology disambiguation page, which if used correctly would lead back to this very same article, this is an example of defining a word by the word itself. In other words, the intro is meaningless self-reference. I am not familiar enough with the concept myself to write a better intro, but please someone do so. Theshibboleth 07:19, 17 May 2006 (UTC)


A fair chunk of this entry is plagiarised from the Stanford Encyclopedia article, which it helpfully links to so we can read where someone copy-and-pasted it from. Someone who knows this stuff better than I do should re-phrase or, better, re-write it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:47, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

  • That's pretty funny. I've hoped to see this article improved for some time, but haven't felt knowledgeable enough. But I've added some useful sources to a template above ... Agradman talk/contribs 17:59, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

The whole entry is poorly written and needs a complete makeover... —Preceding unsigned comment added by Epirenton (talkcontribs) 21:09, 12 January 2010 (UTC)