The Fundamental Principle of Common Law

Posted on barristerblogger.com - 7.6.2013

We are used to the idea that the common law of England, which is the foundation of judicial systems in many places besides England, is a 'judge-made' system. But judges could not do their job if they thought that they were merely inventing the law.

Identity, Marriage, Family: Our Core Conservative Values have been Betrayed

The Guardian - 11.5.2013

As the Conservatives strive to heal the divisions in their party it must surely have occurred to them to wonder what the word "conservative" really means, and why it has had, for so many British people over the past 200 years, such a positive resonance.

Conservatism and the Environment

Conservative Home - March 2013

 There is no political cause more amenable to the conservative vision than that of the environment. For it touches on the three foundational ideas of our movement: trans-generational loyalty, the priority of the local and the search for home. Conservatives resonate to Burke's view of society, as a partnership between the living, the unborn and the dead; they believe in civil association between neighbours rather than intervention by the state; and they accept that the most important thing the living can do is to settle down, to make a home for themselves, and to pass that home to their children.

Postmodern Tories

Prospect Magazine - February 2013

The mid-term of a government is a time of reflection, in which the parties can revive their attachments and reformulate their message. Two recent volumes, Britannia Unchained,co-authored by a group of young Conservative MPs, and Tory Modernisation 2.0,issued by Bright Blue, an organisation that campaigns for reform within the Conservative party, give us some indication of the forces now at work in shaping Tory thinking.

The Meaning of Margaret Thatcher

The Times - 18.4.2013

For many people of conservative temperament, it looked in the late 1970s as though Britain were ready to surrender all that it stood for: its pride, its enterprise, its ideals of freedom and citizenship, even its borders and its national defence. The country seemed to be wallowing in collective guilt feelings, reinforced by a growing culture of dependency.

Baroness Thatcher

Baroness Thatcher:  piece from 1990, LA Times:

LONDON — When the Athenians sent Themistocles into exile in 470 BC, they conveniently forgot everything he had done for them. It was he who had created the Athenian navy, held the Persians at Artemisium and finally defeated them at Salamis. It was he who had fortified Athens and made it the most prosperous city of the Aegean.

Pleasure vs Happiness

A version of this paper appeared in The Spectator magazine - 28.3.2013

 You don't have to be a philosopher, given to abstruse reflection on concepts, to recognise that pleasure and happiness are not the same. There are wicked pleasures, destructive pleasures, addictive pleasures, despicable pleasures: but there is no such thing as wicked, destructive, addictive or despicable happiness.

My Intellectual Identity

I have worked in many fields, and I think it might help my readers to explain how this came about. At school I studied the natural sciences and went on a Science scholarship to Cambridge. But before arriving in Cambridge I had discovered music, art and literature, and had formed the intention to be a writer – not knowing whether I had either the talent or the opportunities to pursue such a career.

Confessions of a Sceptical Francophile

When I first became interested in philosophy, in the early 1960s, it was because I had discovered books, and books had taught me that there are mysteries concealed in human society, in consciousness, in being itself, which are the legitimate concern and inspiration of every thinking person. Reading Kafka, Rilke and T.S. Eliot, I came, as a teenager, to think that literature had no other task than to explore and decipher these mysteries, and that beautiful writing is another name for the kind of revelation that those authors promise.

Marriage: Union for the Future or Contract for the Present

ResPublica Green Paper by Roger Scruton & Phillip Blond - 3.2.2013

To coincide with the Parliamentary debate on the Government's Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill, the latest publication from ResPublica, Marriage: Union for the future or contract for the present, criticises the Bill for compromising the meaning of both traditional heterosexual marriage and homosexual partnership.

Latest Articles

'Sir Roger to the Rescue' - Stephen Presser, Law & Liberty

Those of us who read for a living read a lot, and we rarely come across a work that is, simply stated, dazzling and delightful. Even rarer is one dazzling,...

'The Burdens of Belonging: Roger Scruton's National State' American Affairs - Dec 17

From his position as the dean of English conservatism, Roger Scruton explains the ideas, habits, and traditions that made the West a civilization not only of immense learning and wealth,...

'The social media lynch-mob degrades our culture. We must resist and rebuild what is truly valuable' The Telegraph - 5 Dec 17

Suppose you woke up one day to discover that you were headline news. A leading newspaper has spread across its front page a story that you were seen entering a...

Scrutopia Summer School 2018

Now running for a second year, the Scrutopia summer school offers a ten-day immersion experience in the philosophy and outlook of Sir Roger Scruton, the British writer and philosopher who...

Recent Books

Where We Are: The State of Britain Now

Where We Are: The State of Britain Now

Bloomsbury (November 2017) Addressing one of the most politically turbulent periods in modern British history, philosopher Roger Scruton asks how, in these circumstances, we can come to define our identity,...

Conservatism: Ideas in Profile

Conservatism: Ideas in Profile

Profile Books (August 2017) Roger Scruton looks at the central ideas of conservatism over the centuries. He examines conservative thinking on civil society, the rule of law and the role...

On Human Nature

On Human Nature

Princeton University Press (February 2017) In this short book, acclaimed writer and philosopher Roger Scruton presents an original and radical defense of human uniqueness. Confronting the views of evolutionary psychologists,...

2017 Events

8-9 Dec - Morality and the Sacred, University of Antwerp

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