In Chapter 1, a view of PUS as concerned with public meanings of science was outlined, coupled with a strong claim that this is properly a matter of concern to sociologists. Fundamentally, PMS asks the question, what does it mean to live in a scientific society? This question concerned the founders of sociology, but is perhaps most explicitly put by Max Weber. At any rate his reply has been widely taken up in contemporary sociology in respect of two main features: a view of the prevalence of instrumental rationality with an associated orientation of mind that Weber called ‘disenchanted’; and an associated process of secularization in which religious and ‘magical’ outlooks in general progressively lose their influence over the organization of practical social activity and the attitude of mind of individual actors (the classic statement being Wilson 1966). Thus, in what I call the standard view of rationalization, disenchantment is seen as the principal outcome of ‘intellectualist rationalization’, which Weber (1948b: 139) linked directly to ‘science and … scientifically oriented technology’ and meant that ‘there are no mysterious incalculable forces that come into play, but rather that one can, in principle, master all things by calculation.’ For Weber (1976: 1331), this is to be understood as part of a wider process of rationalization marking the historical uniqueness of the modern west, in which what he took to be the formally rational characteristics of different ‘value spheres’ of society (notably the economy, polity and intellectual/ spiritual) develop to their progressively fullest realization. From this has developed a prevailing instrumental attitude of mind marked by calculative, means-ends reasoning concerned with achieving a given goal by the most logical means possible without regard to other, specifically moral considerations.