Raymond Aron

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Aron, Raymond


Born Mar. 14, 1905, in Paris. French sociologist, ideologist for the right wing of the liberal bourgeoisie. Participant in the resistance movement. Political editor and reviewer for the newspaper Figaro since 1947. Director of the department of sociology at the Sorbonne since 1956. Member of the Académie des Sciences Morales et Politiques since 1963.

In his works on philosophy, history, and sociology, Aron has preached extreme historical relativism and presentism; in later works these trends have been combined, in a somewhat milder form, with comparative-historical analysis and economic determinism. He is one of the founders of the theory of a so-called single industrial society. He believes that a single technological and economic base does not exclude serious differences in the social and political structures of countries. In a number of works he has sought to provide a theoretical justification for anticommunism; he has attempted to prove the obsolescence of Marxism under the present conditions and to deny the liberating role of the working class. He is an advocate of a strengthened North Atlantic alliance. In recent years he has favored peaceful coexistence between the two social systems.


Introduction a la philosophie de I’histoire, new ed. [Paris, 1967.]
L’opium des intellectuels. [Paris,] 1968.
Dimensions de la conscience historique. Paris, [1961].
Dix-huit teçons sur la société industrielle. Paris, 1962.
La lutte des classes. Paris, 1964.
Essai sur les libertés. Paris, 1966.
Trois essais sur l’âge industriel. Paris, 1966.
Les étapes de la pensée sociologique. Paris, 1967.
Les désillusions du progrés. Paris, 1969.


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His realism can be compared to that of Raymond Aron, Reinhold Niebuhr, and Hans Morgentau, the twentieth-century classic realists who, although sensible to the demands of power and national interest, would not deny that political actors on the international scene come under moral judgment.
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