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).

The Problem With Architectural “Genius”

By |2020-04-02T23:41:50-05:00September 19th, 2018|Categories: Architecture, Culture, Modernity, Roger Scruton|

The pursuit of genius in architecture is what has most contributed to the unstitching of our urban fabric, giving us those buildings in outlandish shapes and unsightly materials that take a chunk of the city and make it into somewhere else. Cooper Union New Academic Building For the truly great projects, architects are [...]

Sacred Truths in a Profane World

By |2019-05-30T11:27:31-05:00July 18th, 2018|Categories: Christianity, Culture, Homosexual Unions, Islam, Marriage, Religion, Roger Scruton, Truth|

One after another, the sacred spaces that our customs have protected are invaded and spoiled. That which has been assumed to be unquestionable, indeed protected from the questions that might profane it, is for that very reason subjected to question... In America and across Europe, the business of government has been detached from religious faith. This [...]

The Virtue of Irrelevance

By |2020-01-15T11:59:37-06:00February 24th, 2017|Categories: Culture, Education, Featured, Music, Philosophy, Roger Scruton|

If we know what music is, we have a duty to help young people to understand it, regardless of its “relevance.” We should do this as it has always been done, through encouraging our students to make music together. How many writers, educators, and opinion formers, urgently wishing to convey the thoughts and feelings [...]

Why Modern Music Should Listen to the Past

By |2020-06-23T16:39:05-05:00December 31st, 2016|Categories: Culture, Featured, Music, Philosophy, Roger Scruton|

One can be modern without being avant-garde, and by instead thinking in the old musical way, in terms of grammatical sequences that linger in the ears and the memory of the listeners. Important composers, from Schoenberg and Stravinsky to Ligeti and Stockhausen, have been premiered in this place and before this audience. Along with [...]

Will Classical Music Resist the Assaults of the Avant-Garde?

By |2020-01-13T14:45:05-06:00October 17th, 2016|Categories: Culture, Music, Roger Scruton, Tradition, Western Civilization|

Surprised by Beauty: A Listener’s Guide to the Recovery of Modern Music, by Robert R. Reilly (Ignatius Press, 2016) Robert R. Reilly was the music critic for Crisis magazine for sixteen years, and is still reviewing concerts and operas for Ionarts. He is an assiduous follower of modern music for the concert hall, and has for [...]

Conservatism Means Conservation

By |2020-01-14T10:25:40-06:00July 17th, 2016|Categories: Beauty, Conservation, Conservatism, Environmentalism, Featured, Roger Scruton, Timeless Essays|

The cause of the environment is not, in itself, a left-wing cause at all. It is not about “liberating” or empowering the victim, but about safeguarding resources. It is not about “progress” or “equality” but about conservation and equilibrium. Its following may be young and dishevelled; but that is largely because people in suits [...]

Postmodern Music: Groans Wrapped in Mathematics

By |2020-04-06T15:49:26-05:00June 16th, 2016|Categories: Culture, Jazz, Modernity, Music, Opera, Roger Scruton|

The atonal music produced in the twentieth century consists largely of random outbursts that could be described as groans wrapped in mathematics. The result makes little or no sense to the ear, and these works remain more items of curiosity than objects of love, and audiences have begun to turn their backs on them. [...]

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 [...]