Student No. 1: "Would it be fair to say that, to Weber, Ben Franklin represents the spirit of capitalism?
Prof: "I think it would. What aspect of Franklin's homilies does Weber focus on? Franklin's attitude appears to be completely utilitarian, but if you really think about it, there is actually an ethical dimension here. You have a duty towards the accumulation of your capital. What's so peculiar about this?"
Student No. 2: "Because money is a means, not an end."
Prof: "Traditionally, if there is money around, it's a means, right? It's a means toward another end, such as that house you want, or that college education. Whereas with Ben Franklin, what is the relationship of life and means, according to Weber?"
Student No. 3: "With Franklin, your life is a means for acquiring more money."
Prof: "Right. Your life becomes the means, money becomes the end. And, as Weber points out, from the point of view of the individual's happiness, this is a totally irrational end. . . . "
The Life of the Mind: The University of Chicago 2010 Prospectus, pp. 6, 9 (Labels indicating speakers and emphasis added).