In this second volume of Main Currents in Sociological Thought, Raymond Aron continues the analysis, begun in the first volume, of the "great doctrines of historical sociology." Aron explores the work of three figures who profoundly shaped sociology as it entered the twentieth century: Emile Durkheim, the great French theorist of consensus, who continued Auguste Comte's quest for a science of society and a scientific validation of morality, Vilfredo Pareto, the Italian "neo-Machiavellian" who mocked traditional morality and humanitarian pretensions and emphasized the oligarchic or elitist character of all socities; and the German sociologist Max Weber, who reflected continuously on the relationship between science and action, filled with deep foreboding about the prospects for human freedom in an age marked by bureaucratization and rationalization.

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