Roger Scruton writer and philosopher

Most Recent Article

To Understand Ukraine, We Must Remember The Communist Past

It is twenty-five years since the collapse of communism in Central and Eastern Europe, and we ought to be celebrating. But a shadow has been cast over what sparse festivities were planned by the situation in Ukraine. It seems that we made a mistake in thinking it was all over, that the inscrutable Russian empire was only distracted for a few years, and that its demonic urge to control its neighbors is now fully revived. Or is there some other and more comforting explanation?


Published on Forbes online 3/3/14. To read the full article click here

 

roger scruton 16 70dpi photographer by pete helmeRoger Scruton

Welcome to my website, which is a guide to my professional life as a writer and philosopher. My CV provides detailed information concerning my career.

I recently delivered a series of talks (all of which are available to read in the Articles section of this site) for the BBC Radio 4's Point of View programme, in which I explored the nature and limits of democracy. 

I graduated from Cambridge University in 1965, spent two years abroad and then pursued an academic career in philosophy, first in Cambridge, and then in London, until 1990, when I took a year's leave of absence to work for an educational charity in Czechoslovakia. (This charity grew from the 'underground university' which colleagues and I had established in the last decade of communism.  My contacts with the countries of the old Eastern Bloc remain strong.  (See this lecture delivered in Hungary in 2013:)) I then taught part-time at Boston University Massachusetts until the end of 1994, while building up a public affairs consultancy in Eastern Europe. Since then I have been a free-lance writer and consultant, taking on short-term contracts when necessary. I currently hold three positions: visiting professor (unpaid) at Oxford University, where I am also a Fellow at Blackfriars Hall; visiting professor (part-time) in the School of Philosophical, Anthropological and Film Studies at the University of St Andrews, Scotland, where I shall be from the end of March until the beginning of May; and senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C., where I am currently pursuing projects on the need for a new urbanism and on the cultural impact of neuroscience. Since 1996 I have been married to Sophie, and we have two children, Sam, born in 1998 and Lucy, born in 2000. 

My principal activity remains what it has been for the last 30 years, which is writing, and my books and articles cover a broad range of topics in several genres (Read my novella A Dove Descending here). My serious academic research has been in the area of aesthetics, with two books – The Aesthetics of Architecture and The Aesthetics of Music – that I would like to think have made a small contribution to their respective fields. In addition I have written essays, criticism, autobiography, invocations of country life, novels and poems (I discuss my intellectual identity here). You will also find on this site some traces of my hobby as an amateur composer (My opera 'Violet' is available here).

 

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Recent Books

Notes from Underground

Notes from Underground

Published March 2014 by Beaufort Books A novel set in the twilight years of the Czechoslovak communist regime, this novel describes a doomed love affair between two young people trapped in...

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Our Church: A Personal History of the Church of England

Our Church: A Personal History of the Church of England

For most people in England today, the church is simply the empty building at the end of the road, visited for the first time, if at all, when dead. It...

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Green Philosophy

Green Philosophy

Green Philosophy Atlantic Books (January 2012) The environment has long been the undisputed territory of the political Left, which has seen the principal threats to the earth as issuing from international capitalism,...

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The Uses of Pessimism

The Uses of Pessimism

The Uses of Pessimism and the Danger of False Hope Atlantic Books (2010) The argument of this book proposes  that the tragedies and disasters of the history of the European continent...

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Beauty

Beauty

Beauty OUP (2009) Description Roger Scruton explores this timeless concept, asking what makes an object--either in art, in nature, or the human form--beautiful. This compact volume is filled with insight. Can there be...

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Understanding Music - Philosophy and Interpretation

Understanding Music - Philosophy and Interpretation

Understanding Music Philosophy and Interpretation Continuum (2009)ISBN: 9781847065063 Description: Roger Scruton first addressed this topic in his celebrated book The Aesthetics of Music (OUP) and in this new book he applies the theory...

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The Palgrave Macmillan Dictionary of Political Thought

The Palgrave Macmillan Dictionary of Political Thought

The Palgrave Macmillan Dictionary of Political Thought Macmillan Publishers Ltd (2007)ISBN-10: 1403989524 , ISBN-13: 978-1403989529 Description Roger Scruton's Dictionary of Political Thought has been widely acclaimed as a profound and incisive guide to...

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News from Somewhere: On Settling

News from Somewhere: On Settling

News from Somewhere: On Settling Continuum (2004)ISBN: 9780826476289 192 pages, paperback Description For a number of years Roger Scruton has contributed a weekly article to the Financial Times on country matters. Always beautifully...

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A Political Philosophy: Arguments for Conservatism

A Political Philosophy: Arguments for Conservatism

A Political Philosophy Arguments for Conservatism Continuum (2006)ISBN-10: 0826496156, ISBN-13: 978-0826496157 Description What principles should govern our relations to the nation-state, to the environment, to other species, to other cultures and to other ways...

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England: An Elegy

England: An Elegy

England: An Elegy Continuum (2001) ISBN: 9780826480750288 Pages, paperback Description In this poignant and personal tribute Roger Scruton gives an account of England which is both an illuminating analysis of its institutions and...

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Culture Counts: Faith and Feeling in a World Besieged

Culture Counts: Faith and Feeling in a World Besieged

Culture Counts Faith and Feeling in a World Besieged Encounter Books (2008)Hardcover 136 pages ISBN: 1594031940 Description What is culture? Why should we preserve it, and how? In this book, the renowned philosopher Roger...

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Death-Devoted Heart: Sex and the Sacred in Wagner's Tristan and Isolde

Death-Devoted Heart: Sex and the Sacred in Wagner's Tristan and Isolde

Death-Devoted Heart Sex and the Sacred in Wagner's Tristan and Isolde OUP (2004)246 pages, 978-0-19-516691-0 | Hardback Description A tale of forbidden love and inevitable death, the medieval legend of Tristan and Isolde recounts...

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The Classical Vernacular: Architectural Principles in an Age of Nihilism

The Classical Vernacular: Architectural Principles in an Age of Nihilism

The Classical Vernacular Architectural Principles in an Age of Nihilism Carcanet Press (1995)ISBN-10: 1 857540 54 9, ISBN-13: 978 1 857540 54 3, 1st Format: Hardback, 176pp Description Roger Scruton is never less than...

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Animal Rights and Wrongs

Animal Rights and Wrongs

Animal Rights and Wrongs Continuum (1996, 1998, 3rd ed 2000)ISBN: 9780826494047 Description A revised and improved edition of a book in continuing demand. Do animals have rights? If not, do we have duties towards...

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An Intelligent Person's Guide to Philosophy

An Intelligent Person's Guide to Philosophy

An Intelligent Person's Guide to Philosophy Penguin Books (1996)ISBN-10: 0140275169, ISBN-13: 978-0140275162. Paperback: 176 pages Description "Philosophy's the 'love of wisdom', can be approached in two ways: by doing it, or by studying...

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An Intelligent Person’s Guide to Modern Culture

An Intelligent Person’s Guide to Modern Culture

An Intelligent Person's Guide to Modern Culture St. Augustine’s Press (1998. new ed. 2000)ISBN: 978-1-890318-47-5, 186 pages Description Received by the British press with equal acclaim and indignation, this book sets out to...

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The Aesthetics of Architecture

The Aesthetics of Architecture

The Aesthetics of Architecture PUP (1980)ISBN13: 978-0-691-00322-1 Scruton takes his readers on a journey through aesthetic theory and tries in every sense to apply them directly to architecture. By using theories from...

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Aesthetics of Music

Aesthetics of Music

Aesthetics of Music OUP (1999)ISBN13: 9780198167273 ISBN10: 019816727X Paperback, 552 pages Description: What is music, what is its value, and what does it mean? In this stimulating volume, Roger Scruton offers a comprehensive...

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Spinoza: The Great Philosophers

Spinoza: The Great Philosophers

Spinoza The Great Philosophers Routledge (1999)SBN-13: 9780415923903ISBN: 0415923905 Description Philosophy is one of the most intimidating and difficult of disciplines, as any of its students can attest. This book is an important entry in...

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A Short History of Modern Philosophy

A Short History of Modern Philosophy

A Short History of Modern Philosophy Routledge (1982, 1995, 3rd ed, 2001)Isbn10: 0415130352 Description In this classic introductory work, Scruton takes us on us on a fascinating tour of the subject, from founding...

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Sexual Desire

Sexual Desire

Sexual Desire Continuum (1986, 2006)ISBN: 9780826480385, 448 Pages, paperback Description When John desires Mary or Mary desires John, what does either of them want? What is meant by innocence, passion, love and arousal,...

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The Politics of Culture and Other Essays

The Politics of Culture and Other Essays

The Politics of Culture and Other Essays St. Augustine's Press (1981)245 pages, ISBN-10: 1890318612, ISBN-13: 978-1890318611 Description Brings together Scruton's best essays from many sources, arranging them thematically. The book has four sections:...

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The Aesthetic Understanding

The Aesthetic Understanding

The Aesthetic Understanding St. Augustine's Press (1983, new ed. 1997)ISBN: 978-1-890318-02-4 Brings together essays on the philosophy of art in which a philosophical theory of aesthetic judgment is tested and developed through...

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Philosopher on Dover Beach

Philosopher on Dover Beach

Philosopher on Dover Beach St. Augustine's Press (1989)350 pages, ISBN: 978-1-890318-60-4 In this collection of previously published essays, Scruton casts his philosophically conservative mind over a variety of subjects from Hegel to...

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Perictione in Colophon: Reflections on the Aesthetic
 Way of Life

Perictione in Colophon: Reflections on the Aesthetic
 Way of Life

Perictione in Colophon Reflections on the Aesthetic 
Way of Life St. Augustine's Press (2000)263 pages, ISBN: 978-1-890318-59-8 Description This, the sequel to the same author's much-acclaimed Xanthippic Dialogues, is a multi-faceted commentary on the...

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On Hunting

On Hunting

On Hunting St. Augustine's Press (1998)173 pages, ISBN: 978-1-58731-600-5 Description Modern people are as given to loving, fearing, fleeing, and pursuing other species as were their hunter-gatherer forebears. And in fox hunting, they...

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Modern Philosophy: An introduction and survey

Modern Philosophy: An introduction and survey

Modern Philosophy An introduction and survey Penguin Books, (1994)Paperback | 624 pages | ISBN 9780140249071 Description Philosopher Roger Scruton offers a wide-ranging perspective on philosophy, from logic to aesthetics, written in a lively and...

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The Meaning of Conservatism

The Meaning of Conservatism

The Meaning of Conservatism St. Augustine's Press (1980, 1984, 3rd ed. 2000)220 pages, ISBN: 978-1-890318-40-6 Description This is a major contribution to political thought from conservatism's greatest contemporary proponent. Originally published in Britain...

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Kant: A Very Short Introduction

Kant: A Very Short Introduction

Kant: A Very Short Introduction OUP (1993, new ed. 2001)160 pages |978-0-19-280199-9 | Paperback Description Kant is arguably the most influential modern philosopher, but also one of the most difficult. Roger Scruton tackles his...

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I Drink Therefore I am

I Drink Therefore I am

I Drink Therefore I am Continuum (2009)ISBN-10: 1441170677, ISBN-13: 978-1441170675 Description The ancients had a solution to the alcohol problem, which was to wrap the drink in religious rituals, to treat it...

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Gentle Regrets

Gentle Regrets

Gentle Regrets Continuum (2006)ISBN: 9780826480330 256 Pages, paperback Description Roger Scruton is Britain's best known intellectual dissident, who has defended English traditions and English identity against an official culture of denigration. Although his...

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Fortnight's Anger

Fortnight's Anger

Fortnight's Anger Carcanet Press (1981)ISBN-10: 0 856353 76 0
ISBN-13: 978 0 856353 76 5Edition:1st
 Format: Hardback Description TBC Buy from Amazon

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Spinoza: A Very Short Introduction

Spinoza: A Very Short Introduction

Spinoza: A Very Short Introduction OUP (2002)144 pages, 978-0-19-280316-0 Description Benedict de Spinoza (1632-77) was at once the father of the Enlightenment and the last sad guardian of the medieval world. In his brilliant...

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