• NOS4A2
    6.5k
    British philosopher Roger Scruton recently passed away. He’s probably most known for his conservative philosophy and controversies, so I assume this would turn off many at the outset. But even so his arguments deserve a fair hearing for those who love political philosophy. He was also a great writer and defender of beauty. Books like “I drink therefore I am” have me return to him every so often.

    Is anyone familiar with his work?
  • BitconnectCarlos
    1.5k
    Yes, he was brilliant! I believe he was a student of Anscombe who is one of my personal favorites.

    Scruton was an absolute force to be reckoned with though and I remember in college reading his "Kant: A Very Short Introduction" which was very well-written and clear. I'd highly recommend the "A Very Short Introduction" series to anyone looking for a quick but decent introduction into a topic.

    Now that I'm browsing amazon he seems to have written "On Human Nature" in 2018 which caught my eye. Anyone read it? I would definitely be down to read more Scruton if his writing remains clear.
  • Virgo Avalytikh
    178
    As much as I disagreed with him, I am appreciative of his work and his legacy. Rest in peace.
  • Maw
    2.7k
    "Consider the woman who plays with her clitoris during the act of coition. Such a person affronts her lover with the obscene display of her body, and, in perceiving her thus, the lover perceives his own irrelevance. She becomes disgusting to him, and his desire may be extinguished. The woman’s desire is satisfied at the expense of her lover’s, and no real union can be achieved between them"

    Damn RIP a true conservative intellectual.
  • petrichor
    286
    Sad! I love the guy! In his devotion to the high ideals, he makes me want to be a conservative! Quite unlike the sheer ugliness of much of contemporary American "conservatism" (that goes for a lot of "progressivism" as well)!

    When I saw the news, I looked him up on YouTube and came across this, which I had forgotten about:

    https://youtu.be/bHw4MMEnmpc

    Very much worth watching! He tempts me to believe once more that life has value, that there is something worth reaching for! I agree to a large extent with what he presents in that film.

    I've read his short intro to Kant and The Soul of the World. Both are worth reading.

    He turned me onto this, which is one of the most moving pieces of music I have ever heard (possibly not its greatest performance of all time, but good enough for me!):

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BBeXF_lnj_M

    RIP, Sir Roger Scruton!
  • NOS4A2
    6.5k


    Yes, his art criticism and defense of beauty were very important to me. I’m not a religious man but he showed me that I need not be spiritually impoverished because of it, that I need not vanquish the sacred and the beautiful because I do not believe in gods. He reminded me that with beauty life can be worth living.
  • ssu
    6.7k
    Sorry to hear that, too bad he passed away.

    Conservatism needs intellectuals like Scruton, not simpletons.
  • 180 Proof
    11k
    Conservatism needs intellectuals like Scruton, not simpletons.ssu
    Well, he wasn't my cup of tea - 'occasionally reactionary Toryist (yet reluctant Thatcherite) and rigorous, anti-modernist, aesthetician' - or drop of dram; but you're right about him. A Scruton contemporary John Gray comes to mind - more often than not I can stomach his flavor of intellectual (iconclastic) illiberty ...
  • Baden
    14.1k


    :up: :up:

    Read one of his books once. He was good on Kant. Not so much on contemporary philosophy. And irritating politically. On his death, however, seeing as new conservatism has embraced vulgarity and ugliness and is currently pissing all over decency and, dare I say it, "traditional values", there is reason for some reflection among the left at the loss of those like him.
  • Maw
    2.7k
    yeah RIP a guy who characterized Syrian refugees in Hungary as a "sudden invasion of huge tribes of Muslims from the middle east", truly a great loss for decency
  • Maw
    2.7k
    Roger Scruton once said that it was an "impossible proposition" to think that a Muslim "from the hinterlands of Asia" could produce a child loyal to a secular European state. The guy was a rabid islamophobic, anti-semite (I've cover this in another thread), sexist, and homophobe. Ah, but he wrote so elegantly!!!
  • NOS4A2
    6.5k


    Roger Scruton once said that it was an "impossible proposition" to think that a Muslim "from the hinterlands of Asia" could produce a child loyal to a secular European state. The guy was a rabid islamophobic, anti-semite (I've cover this in another thread), sexist, and homophobe. Ah, but he wrote so elegantly!!!

    You merchants of offence are quite predictable. I get to watch you smear the dead because of your thin skin while you pretend to know what decency is.
  • Baden
    14.1k


    If he's "rabid", we've run out of adjectives to describe the alt-right, Trump and so on. I didn't like the guy but he was hardly more than a typical reactionary conservative my book. Anyway, maybe you should link to the discussion, so we don't have to repeat it again here.
  • Baden
    14.1k
    Oh, I remember now something about him shilling for big tobacco. That was what I objected to most about him and I came down strong on it. What I meant about "decency" was that today the left should occupy that space openly abandoned by the right and previously occupied (even if only in appearance) by those like Scruton.
  • ssu
    6.7k
    If he's "rabid", we've run out of adjectives to describe the alt-right, Trump and so on.Baden
    Leave it to Maw and NOS4A2 to fight about it.
  • Baden
    14.1k


    :naughty:
  • Wayfarer
    16.8k
    I have a couple of his books - Face of God, and one other whose name escapes me (might be Soul of the World.) I liked him OK - not one of my favourites, as a bit dry, but I must admit I'm probably nearer to his views on many philosophical issues than those of his antagonists. Probably because I'm a grandfather now. :blush:
  • Maw
    2.7k
    You can choose whatever adjective you like, it's not important. My point is that he was all those things I listed, and given that précis it's curious who we continue to sanction as a "decent person" this far into the 21st century.

    Scruton's career provided gravitas to hate speech and dehumanization via a veneer of elegant writing and highfalutin rhetoric in order to frame and legitimate Islamophobia, misogyny, homophobia, etc. as profound intellectual positions. They are not.
  • NOS4A2
    6.5k
    Scruton got his job back after the New Statesman apologized for misrepresenting his views, the same misrepresentations haters are making in this very thread.

    https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2019/jul/23/roger-scruton-gets-job-back-after-regrettable-sacking

    The thought police are not a decent crowd, just opportunists. If you cannot refute his arguments you must resort to character assassination.
  • unenlightened
    7.3k
    Scruton's career provided gravitas to hate speech and dehumanization via a veneer of elegant writing and highfalutin rhetoric in order to frame and legitimate Islamophobia, misogyny, homophobia, etc. as profound intellectual positions. They are not.Maw

    And I'll stand over his grave 'til I'm sure that he's dead. Let's also remember his sterling work defending the right of the tobacco industry to peddle their lethal drugs unimpeded by the truth about their products.
  • NOS4A2
    6.5k
    “ People in the grip of political correctness are in search of the one who has sown the hatred and rejection that they sense all around. They are experts in taking offence, regardless of whether offence has been given. They refrain from addressing the arguments of the one whom they accuse, and when they are offended by a remark they do not hesitate to take it entirely out of context, so as to dress it up as a crime. As judge, prosecutor and jury they are the voice of an unquestionable righteousness. Their goal is to intimidate their opponents, by exposing them to public humiliation. Like the Nazis and communists whose methods they copy, they impose their worldview through fear.”

    - Scruton
  • 180 Proof
    11k
    Like you're doing with this post. Ad hominems @ Scruton's critics. :shade:
  • Umbra
    15
    The man's politics were definitely irritating, and he seemed to revel a bit too much in being willfully controversial. Arguably, however, this did sometimes lead to good results. For example, his essay "Photography and Representation"--in which he makes the rather unpalatable claim that photography and film cannot be considered "art"--led to a host of brilliant responses and rebuttals that definitely furthered overall discourse in the philosophy of film.

    As a side note, I've spoken briefly with Scruton over the phone while working at a small publishing company (we published his novel Notes from Underground), and although I find his views rather distasteful, he was at least pleasant enough to speak with (which, believe me, cannot be said for many authors).
bold
italic
underline
strike
code
quote
ulist
image
url
mention
reveal
youtube
tweet
Add a Comment

Welcome to The Philosophy Forum!

Get involved in philosophical discussions about knowledge, truth, language, consciousness, science, politics, religion, logic and mathematics, art, history, and lots more. No ads, no clutter, and very little agreement — just fascinating conversations.