Sir Roger Scruton

Sir Roger Scruton

About Sir Roger Scruton

Sir Roger Scruton (1944-2020) was one of the world’s leading conservative thinkers. In his nearly fifty books, he explored the philosophical depths of human nature, politics, and culture. He was Visiting Professor of Philosophy at the University of Oxford, Senior Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, and Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Future Symphony Institute. He was also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and a Fellow of the British Academy. In 2016 Queen Elizabeth II knighted Sir Roger for his services to “philosophy, teaching, and public education.” Sir Roger's books include Conservatism: An Invitation to the Great Tradition (2018), Green Philosophy: How to Think Seriously About the Planet (2012), Political Philosophy: Arguments for Conservatism (2007) and Culture Counts: Faith and Feeling in a World Besieged (2007).

How Bad Philosophy Destroyed Good Music

By |2020-01-17T15:43:45-06:00February 2nd, 2016|Categories: Culture, Featured, Music, Philosophy, Roger Scruton|

True artists are not the antagonists of tradition but its latest advocates. They belong to the future because they are guardians of the past. In the past, our musical culture had secure foundations in the church, in the concert hall, and in the home. The common practice of tonal harmony united composers, performers, and listeners [...]

The Plague of Multiculturalism: Russell Kirk’s “America’s British Culture”

By |2020-01-14T16:35:29-06:00October 25th, 2015|Categories: Culture, England, Featured, Roger Scruton, Russell Kirk|Tags: |

There is so much pertinent history and so much wisdom in Russell Kirk’s “America’s British Culture” that his book would serve as a useful summary of America and its culture for the busy student—even for one who is hard pressed by the demands of a multicultural curriculum. America’s British Culture, by Russell Kirk (New [...]

Redeeming Film Music from the Avant-Garde

By |2020-01-13T14:46:59-06:00October 7th, 2015|Categories: Featured, Film, Music, Roger Scruton|

There is a kind of listener who first becomes acquainted with the symphony orchestra through film music. And many such listeners want to hear the music again—willingly attending concerts devoted to scores whose original function was to compensate for absent dialogue, and which were heard in fragmented versions that faded in and out of [...]

The Assault on Opera

By |2020-01-22T15:24:01-06:00June 2nd, 2015|Categories: Art, Culture, Imagination, Music, Roger Scruton|

Hardly an opera producer now, confronted with a masterpiece that might otherwise delight and console an audience, can control the desire to desecrate. The more exalted the music, the more demeaning the production. What modern producers seem to forget is that audiences are gifted with the faculty of imagination. The disappearance of the bourgeoisie has [...]

Renewing and Rejecting: Comparing Architecture and Music

By |2020-01-13T14:50:39-06:00April 17th, 2015|Categories: Architecture, Faith, Featured, Music, Roger Scruton, Tradition, Western Civilization|

It has been widely accepted for a hundred years, and in any case since Oswald Spengler’s Decline of the West, that ‘the West’ denotes a comprehensive form of human life, that this form was once flourishing and expanding, and that it is now declining into sterility and self-doubt. The sense of living at the end [...]

Music and the Transcendental

By |2020-01-22T15:34:17-06:00February 8th, 2015|Categories: Audio/Video, Featured, Music, Roger Scruton|

I am greatly encouraged by this initiative of actually bringing into public awareness just what matters about the symphony and what its place in modern cities should be, what its place in the surrounding way of life and the culture generally should be, and how we can support and give meaning to it. What I [...]

Liberty and Democracy in Western Civilization

By |2019-11-14T15:06:12-06:00August 13th, 2014|Categories: Audio/Video, Christianity, Conservatism, Liberty, Roger Scruton, Western Civilization|

Conservative philosopher Roger Scruton delivers the keynote address at the Institute of Public Affairs' 2014 Foundations of Western Civilization Symposium. He discusses the topics of freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, and the pursuit of truth. Books on the topic of this essay may be found in The Imaginative Conservative Bookstore.  We hope you will join us in [...]

How to Be a Non-Liberal, Anti-Socialist Conservative

By |2016-07-26T15:28:11-06:00December 22nd, 2012|Categories: Conservatism, Roger Scruton|Tags: |

Post-war intellectuals have inherited two major systems of political thought with which to satisfy their lust for doctrine: liberalism and socialism. It is testimony to the persistence of the dichotomizing frame of mind that, even in Eastern Europe, the “world conflict” that endured for seventy years was frequently seen in terms of the opposition [...]

Conservatism Means Conservation

By |2018-11-09T12:49:16-06:00November 19th, 2012|Categories: Books, Conservation, Conservatism, Environmentalism, Roger Scruton|Tags: |

Roger Scruton Environmentalism has all the hallmarks of a left-wing cause: a class of victims (future generations), an enlightened vanguard who fights for them (the eco-warriors), powerful philistines who exploit them (the capitalists), and endless opportunities to express resentment against the successful, the wealthy and the West. The style too is leftist: [...]

Beauty in Exile

By |2014-02-03T09:59:49-06:00June 19th, 2012|Categories: Beauty, Books, Roger Scruton|Tags: |

In 1900, Henry Adams "haunted" Paris's Exposition Universelle, "aching to absorb knowledge, and helpless to find it." He came to realize that the new idols of the modern world exuded power but not beauty; that the new world would not be defined by animate spirit but rather impersonal motion; that the useful would be more admired [...]