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The Burden of Responsibility: Blum, Camus, Aron, and the French Twentieth Century. TJudt (2007, p. 154)

July 10, 2013

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“Aron’s preoccupation with liberty—its sources, its fragility, the threats to it and the ways in which these might be understood and thwarted—colored all his other concerns, just as his philosophical turn of thought and his sympathy for a certain style of social explanation shaped his responses to those concerns. His own sense of responsibility—and his lifelong prejudice against posing questions for which he was unqualified to offer an answer—led him to the study of a number of topics to which other French thinkers of his day paid little attention. As early as 1937 he spelled out his reasons: “It isn’t every day that a Dreyfus affair allows you to invoke truth against error. If intellectuals want to offer their opinions on a daily basis, they will need knowledge of economics, diplomacy, politics, etc. Whether it concerns deflation and inflation, Russian alliance or entente cordiale, collective contracts or wage rates, the point at issue is less about justice than about effectiveness.””

[op. cit., p. 154]

Manuel J. Matos‘s insight:

So different from the public intellectuals today, at least from the ones described by Posner (2002) in Public Intellectuals: a Study of Decline“.

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