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Devant l’histoire en crise: Raymond Aron et Leo Strauss

Devant l’histoire en crise-communiqué

What can we learn from history? Is it true that historical reflection inhibits our ability to judge or to act? Or is history just a bric-à-brac assortment of facts and alibis? What relationship can political philosophy have with the past? These are the essential questions at the heart of Raymond Aron (1905-1983) and Leo Strauss’ (1899-1973) discussions of history, which take Max Weber’s reflections on the limits of historicism and polytheism of values as their point of departure. Following complementary and at times opposing lines of thought, Aron and Strauss build a foundation for a philosophy of political judgement born out of the crisis of the 1930s, the Second World War, and its subsequent ideological confrontations.

At the intersection of epistemology of history and political theory, Sophie Marcotte Chénard reconstructs the dialogue between two major thinkers of the twentieth century and demonstrates the lessons we can still draw from their experience of facing history in crisis.

View description of the book (in French) and an introductory video

Sophie Marcotte Chénard holds a doctorate from EHESS (Paris). She is an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at Carleton University. Her research focuses on historicism, the history of concepts, and their resonance in contemporary political theory.