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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.

BIC Classifications

  • Humanities (H)
    • History (HB)
      • History: theory & methods (HBA)
    • Philosophy (HP)
      • Ethics & moral philosophy (HPQ)
      • Social & political philosophy (HPS)
  • Society & social sciences (J)
    • Politics & government (JP)
      • Political science & theory (JPA)
  • Time period (3)
    • Modern period, c 1500 onwards (3J)
      • 20th century (3JJ)

BISAC Classifications

  • History (HIS)
    • HISTORY / General (HIS000000)
    • HISTORY / Europe / General (HIS010000)
    • HISTORY / Europe / Western (HIS010020)
    • HISTORY / Europe / France (HIS013000)
    • HISTORY / Europe / Germany (HIS014000)
  • Philosophy (PHI)
    • PHILOSOPHY / General (PHI000000)
    • PHILOSOPHY / Political (PHI019000)
  • Political Science (POL)
    • POLITICAL SCIENCE / History & Theory (POL010000)
    • POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Economy (POL023000)
    • POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / Social Policy (POL029000)

THEMA Classifications

  • Society & Social Sciences (J)
    • Politics & government (JP)
      • Political science & theory (JPA)
  • History & Archaeology (N)
    • History (NH)
      • History: theory & methods (NHA)
      • European history (NHD)
  • Philosophy & Religion (Q)
    • Philosophy (QD)
      • Topics in philosophy (QDT)
        • Ethics & moral philosophy (QDTQ)
        • Social & political philosophy (QDTS)
  • Time period qualifiers (3)
    • c 1500 onwards to present day (3M)
      • 20th century, c 1900 to c 1999 (3MP)