of all social scientists, Max Weber. Marianne Weber, in her famous biography of her husband, informs us that Dilthey was a frequent visitor to the Weber household in Berlin ([8.111], 39) and confirms that Weber based his own concept of Verstehen, so central to his sociology, on that of Dilthey ([8.111], 312). Another central concept of Weberian sociology—that of meaning and the meaningful—likewise looks to have a Diltheyan ancestry. However, some care is needed here, and it is perhaps as important to point to the differences as to the similarities in the conceptual schemes of the two men. According to Weber, the subject-matter of the social sciences is ‘social action’, and by ‘action’ he means ‘all human behaviour when and insofar as the acting individual attaches a subjective meaning to it’ ([8.112], 88) In other words, for Weber, the meaning of an action is defined by the agent’s motives and intentions: understanding is grasping these motives and intentions. Weber’s concept of understanding or Verstehen, therefore, seems to derive from the earlier, pre-hermeneutic phase of Dilthey’s thought—the later, hermeneutic phase had no influence on him. Nor did Weber (unlike Dilthey) see any incompatibility between understanding (Verstehen) and causal explanation (Erklären)—in his view of the social sciences the two must go hand in hand.
Only a fraction of Dilthey’s work was published in his lifetime. Since his death, his students and followers have undertaken a multi-volume publication in German of his entire oeuvre, the Gesammelte Schriften (Collected Works). The undertaking, not yet complete, projects a total of thirty-two volumes. So far, twenty volumes have been published. The first twelve volumes were published jointly by B. G. Teubner of Stuttgart, and Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht of Göttingen; subsequent volumes by Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht alone. The titles, editors and original publication dates of individual volumes are as follows: