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Raymond-Claude-Ferdinand Aron (14 March 1905 – 17 October 1983) was a French philosopher, sociologist, journalist, and political scientist.
- The optimism of the Left was created and maintained by a strong feeling: admiration for the power of reason, certainty that the application of science to industry would revolutionise the order of human society and the condition of its individual members. The ancestral aspiration towards human brotherhood was united with faith in practical science in order to inspire either nationalism or socialism or both.
- The Opium of Intellectuals (1955), Conclusion: The End of the Ideological Age?
Quotes about Aron
- In short, Raymond Aron was a perfect bourgeois. I use the term invented by liberal democracy's critics and enemies to describe the kind of man typical of it. He was reasonable, immune to the great romantic longings in the light of which the present is denigrated and sensible calculation about the future is made to appear small-minded. Such a man is a reflective rather than a passionate patriot, a good husband and father whose attachment to the smaller community attaches him more securely to the larger one, and, above all, he believes in the liberating power of education.
- Allan Bloom, "Raymond Aron: last of the liberals", The New Criterion (September 1985)
- Like the Owl of Minerva, Aron brought wisdom to the French intellectual community in its twilight years; but the belated appreciation of his work and his long isolation have obscured the heroic scale of his contribution to French public life. Aron was no moralist. But his whole career constituted a bet on Reason against History, and to the extent that he has won he will in time be recognized as the greatest intellectual dissenter of his age and the man who laid the foundations for a fresh departure in French public debate.
- Tony Judt, The Burden of Responsibility: Blum, Camus, Aron, and the French Twentieth Century (1998), "The Peripheral Insider: Raymond Aron and The Wages of Reason"