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Tragedy and History

The German Influence on Raymond Aron’s Political Thought

Scott B. Nelson

This work examines the cohesion of Raymond Aron’s political thought and argues that its unifying principles are to be found in certain intellectual problems he came upon early in life through his study of German thought. These problems consist of the relation between man and history, knowledge and action, and philosophy and politics. They are explored in three intertwined facets of Aron’s thought – History, Sociology, and Praxeology – which are elaborated by setting Aron in dialogue with three key German thinkers: Dilthey, Marx, and Weber respectively. This work argues that the roots of Aron’s political thought reach back to the 1930s and that his ongoing meditation on the philosophical problems raised at that time endure and provide the framework for his thought for the rest of his life.

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Bibliography – Works Cited


1   Books and Collected Works by Raymond Aron

Aron, Raymond. Chroniques de guerre : La France libre, 1940–1945. With preface by Jean-Marie Soutou and annotated by Christian Bachelier. Paris: Gallimard, 1990.

Aron, Raymond. D’une sainte famille à l’autre : Essai sur les marxismes imaginaires. Paris: Gallimard, 1969.

Aron, Raymond. De Gaulle, Israël et les juifs. Paris: Plon, 1968.

Aron, Raymond. De Giscard à Mitterrand 1977–1983. With preface by Jean-Claude Casanova. Paris: Editions de Fallois, 2005.

Aron, Raymond. De l’armistice à l’insurrection nationale. Paris: Gallimard, 1945. New edition in Chroniques de guerre : La France libre, 1940–1945. Paris: Gallimard, 1990.

Aron, Raymond. De la condition historique du sociologue. Paris: Gallimard, 1971. Reprinted in Les sociétés modernes. Paris: Quadrige, 2006.

Aron, Raymond. Démocratie et totalitarisme. Paris: Gallimard, 1965. Reprinted in Penser la liberté, penser la démocratie. Paris: Gallimard, 2005.

Aron, Raymond. Dimensions de la conscience historique. Paris: Plon, 1961. New edition with preface by Perrine Simon-Nahum. Paris: Les Belles Lettres, 2011.

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