If We Are Not Just Animals, What Are We? New York Times March 17

Philosophers and theologians in the Christian tradition have regarded human beings as distinguished from the other animals by the presence within them of a divine spark. This inner source of illumination, the soul, can never be grasped from outside, and is in some way detached from the natural order, maybe taking wing for some supernatural place when the body collapses and dies.

Recent advances in genetics, neuroscience and evolutionary psychology have all but killed off that idea. But they have raised the question of what to put in its place. For quite clearly, although we are animals, bound in the web of causality that joins us to the zoosphere, we are not just animals.

Settling down and Marking Time. CUSP essay series on the Ethics of Sustainable Prosperity

Can we create communities that are both prosperous and sustainable? And can we do this while retaining democratic procedures? These are huge questions and, like others who have addressed them, Roger Scruton is by no means convinced that he has a persuasive answer. But an answer is more likely to be found, he argues, in the legacy of conservative thinking, than by adopting the standpoint of the top-down plan.

Is High Culture a Luxury or a Necessity? Country & Townhouse Magazine Dec 2016

Among the abundant luxuries available in our cities today, none is more richly pleasing to the addict or more cheaply obtained than culture. Take London. In the National Gallery you can stand – without paying a penny – before some of the most beautiful works of art ever created. In the Albert Hall, for a few pounds and a bit of queuing, you can listen during the season of Promenade concerts to the greatest orchestras from all over the world. At Covent Garden and the English National Opera you can attend, for a fraction of the real cost, the most extravagant productions of the operatic masterpieces, emerging with your senses so saturated that the champagne supper afterwards tastes of nothing.

To read the full article, please visit The Country & Townhouse website. 

Environmentalism starts with loving our own - The Conservative Online, Jan 2017

Environmentalism has all the hallmarks of a Left-wing cause: a class of victims (future generations), an enlightened vanguard which 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: the environmentalist is young, dishevelled, socially disreputable, his mind focused on higher things; the opponent is dull, middle aged, smartly dressed and usually American. The cause is designed to recruit the intellectuals, with facts and theories carelessly bandied about, and activism encouraged. Environmentalism is something you join, and for many young people it has the quasi-redemptive and identity-bestowing character of the 20th-century revolutions.

The Virtue of Irrelevance - Future Symphony Institute Jan 2017

HOW MANY WRITERS, EDUCATORS, AND OPINION FORMERS, urgently wishing to convey the thoughts and feelings that inspire them, have found themselves confronted with the cry “that’s not relevant?” In the world of mass communication today, when people are marshaled into flocks by social media, intrusions of the unusual, the unsanctioned, and the merely meaningful are increasingly resented if they come from outside the group. And this group mentality has invaded the world of education in ways that threaten the young.

Books of the Year 2016

Fools Frauds and Firebrands and The Ring of Truth have both been selected in The Guardian Best Books of 2016.  In late November, in part one, John Banville chose Fools Frauds and Firebrands as one of his three favourites this year. More recently in part two, Salley Vickers calls The Ring of Truth a terrific book. 

You can read parts one and two here. 

What's the point of education? - Spectator Life Nov 16

Why does the state take an interest in education? The prevailing view, at least since the end of the last war, has been that the state takes an interest in education because it is the right of every child to receive it. Hence the state becomes the universal provider, and as such must treat all its dependents equally, and make no special favours on grounds of wealth, talent or social status.

'The Trump Card' BBC Radio 4 13 Nov 16

Roger Scruton assesses some of the reasons behind Donald Trump's victory.

Listen back to the Point of View via the BBC iPlayer.

 

National borders are the only sure guardians of democracy. The EU ignores them at its peril. The Telegraph - Nov 16

European civilisation has been steadily replacing religion with territory as the source of political unity. The process began in the 17th century, as the call for popular sovereignty and national unity began to be heard above the noise of religious conflict.Following the French Revolution and Napoleon’s failed attempt at a pan-European Empire, Europe emerged as a collection of nation states.

Full article here

Free Speech and Universities

At the beginning of September Roger addressed a conference on the Future of Higher Education at Buckingham University, his topic being Free Speech and the Universities. The text of this talk can be found here.

Latest Articles

Planning for the future

Secretary of State for Housing, Communities & Local Government Robert Jenrick has opened the Planning for the future consultation proposing reform to the planning system to streamline and modernise the planning...

News from Scrutopia - 6th August 2020

Read the latest from Scrutopia here:  https://mailchi.mp/3fe95cac3469/4dxue1xf97-3768233

Green Philosophy Day 6 Sept 20

We are excited to be able to share with you the first in our open philosophy day series, the Green Philosophy Programme. Please join us on Sunday 6th September at Sundey...

Scrutopia weekend on Roger Scruton’s Aesthetics

We are delighted to share with you the wonderful programme which has been thoughtfully curated with Roger’s interests at heart for this year’s Alumni meeting.We recognise that many of you...

Recent Books

Roger Scruton: Philosopher on Dover Beach

Roger Scruton: Philosopher on Dover Beach

Bloomsbury (2009) Roger Scruton is one of the outstanding British philosophers of the post-war years. Why then is he at best ignored and at worst reviled? Part of the reason...

Wagner's Parsifal: The Music of Redemption

‘Wagner’s Parsifal – The Music of Redemption’  This short but penetrating book, by a writer who was uniquely both a leading philosopher and musicologist, shows us how Wagner achieves this...

Souls in the Twilight

Beaufort Books  (October 2018) As the lights that have guided us go out, people begin to wander in the twilight, seeking their place of belonging. In these stories, set in...

2020 Events

Postponed - Scrutopia Summer School

Virtual Book Club - Wed 29 July 20

Virtual Book Club - Fri 23 Oct 2020

Philosophy Day - Sat 25 July 20

Scrutopia weekend: Thurs 27 August – Sun 30 August 2020

Green Philosophy Day - 6 Sept 2020