Roger Scruton writer and philosopher

Curriculum Vitae

Roger Scruton is a fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington and a contributing editor to The New Atlantis.

In 2010 he gave the Gifford Lectures in St Andrews under the title of 'The Face of God'. The lectures have been collected and published under the title The Face of God (Continuum, 2012),

In 2011 he gave the Stanton Lectures in the Divinity School at the University of Cambridge. The eight lectures can be viewed here.

Roger  is a writer, philosopher and public commentator. He has specialised in aesthetics with particular attention to music and architecture. He engages in contemporary political and cultural debates from the standpoint of a conservative thinker and is well known as a powerful polemicist.  He has written widely in the press on political and cultural issues. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and a fellow of the British Academy.

Among his other most recent books are Our Church: A Personal History of the Church of England (Atlantic, 2012), Beauty: A Very Short Introduction (OUP, 2009); The Uses of Pessimism (Atlantic Books, 2010), and Green Philosophy (Atlantic, 2012; published in the United States as How to Think Seriously About the Planet).

Roger Scruton's prolific writing has led to the publication of many books in the last decade or so including England: An Elegy (Continuum, Books, 2000), an attempt to give identity to the idea of England and a tribute to its values and institutions; Death-Devoted Heart: Sex and the Sacred in Wagner's 'Tristan and Isolde' (OUP, 2003), an analysis of the musical and spiritual meaning of Wagner's work; News from Somewhere: On Settling (Continuum, 2003), an evocative account of the author's attempt to put down roots in rural Wiltshire; A Political Philosophy (Continuum, 2006), a thoughtful response to the development and decline of western civilization, The West and the Rest (ISI, 2001), an analysis of the values held by the 'West' and how they are distinct from those held by other cultures. Gentle Regrets (Continuum, 2006) and On Hunting (Random House, 1998) are two autobiographical works. A third edition of A Dictionary of Political Thought was published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2007; it provides a concise and comprehensive collection of definitions for political thought and processes.

Education:

  • High Wycombe Royal Grammar School, 1954-1961
  • Jesus College Cambridge: 1962-65 and 1967-1969
  • Inner Temple, London: 1974-76.

Degrees and diplomas:

  • B.A. Cambridge 1965 in Moral Sciences (=Philosophy), double first.
  • M.A. Cambridge 1967.
  • Ph. D. Cambridge, in philosophy, with thesis on aesthetics, 1972.
  • Bar Part 1, Inns of Court, London, 1975 (Struben Prize, Profumo Prize, second in order of merit).
  • Bar Part 2, Inns of Court, London 1976 (called to the Bar 1978).

Honorary Degrees:

  • Honorary Doctorate, Adelphi University, New York, 1995
  • Honorary Doctorate, Masaryk University, Brno, 1997

Other Honours:

  • Academic Medal, University of Helsinki, 1989
  • Fellow, European Academy of Arts and Sciences, 1995
  • lst June Prize, City of Plzen, 1996
  • Medal for Merit, First Class, Czech Republic, 1998
  • Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, 2003.
  • Ingersoll-Weaver Prize for Scholarly Letters, 2004.

Academic Career:

  • Research Fellow, Peterhouse, Cambridge, 1969-71.
  • Lecturer, subsequently Reader and Professor of Aesthetics, Dept. of Philosophy, Birkbeck College, London, 1971-1992
  • Professor of Philosophy and University Professor, Boston University, 1992-95.
  • Research Professor, Institute for the Psychological Sciences (2005 - 2008)
  • Visiting Professor, James Madison Program, Princeton Univeristy (2006)
  • Visiting Professor, Department of Philosophy and Fellow of Blackfriars Hall Oxford (2009 - )
  • Visiting Professor, School of Philosophical, Anthropological and Film Studies at the University of St Andrews (2011 - )

I have held visiting positions at Princeton, Stanford, Louvain, Guelph (Ontario), Witwatersrand (S. Africa), Waterloo (Ontario), Oslo, Bordeaux, Cambridge and elsewhere, and have been invited to give lectures in many universities in Europe, America, Canada and Australia.

Business career:

  • Founder and Director of Claridge Press Ltd., 1987 - 2004.
  • Co-founder and director of Central European Consulting Ltd, 1989 - 2004. (Small firm of Government Relations consultants, with offices in Warsaw, Prague, Bratislava, Budapest, Bucharest and Kiev.)
  • Co-founder of, and consultant for, Horsell's Farm Enterprises, public affairs consultancy and diversified farm 1999 - present.

Journalism

  • Freelance writer and journalist, starting in 1974 or thereabouts.
  • Editor of The Salisbury Review, 1982-2001.

Voluntary Work:

  • Co-founder and trustee of The Jan Hus Educational Foundation, working now in the Czech Republic and Slovakia (1980–present).
  • Co-founder and trustee of the Jagiellonian Trust, working in Poland and Hungary (1982–89, now defunct, since no longer needed).
  • Founder and trustee of the Anglo-Lebanese Cultural Association, working for reconciliation between the Lebanese sects (1987–95, now defunct, on account of Syrian & Hizbullah occupation).
  • Board member of the Civic Institute in Prague. (1990-present).

Publications:

I have published more than 30 books nearly all of which are in print and many have been translated.

  • Art and Imagination (1974)
  • The Aesthetics of Architecture (1979)
  • The Meaning of Conservatism (1980, second edition 1984, 3rd edn. 2000)
  • The Politics of Culture and Other Essays (1981)
  • Fortnight's Anger (a novel) (1981)
  • A Short History of Modern Philosophy (1982, second edition 1995, 3rd edn. 2001)
  • A Dictionary of Political Thought (1982, second edition 1996, third edition   2007)
  • The Aesthetic Understanding (1983, new edition 1997)
  • Kant (1983, new edn., 2001)
  • Untimely Tracts (1985)
  • Thinkers of the New Left (1986)
  • Sexual Desire (1986)
  • Spinoza (1987, new edn. 2002)
  • A Land Held Hostage (Lebanon and the West) (1987)
  • The Philosopher on Dover Beach and other essays (1989)
  • Francesca (a novel) (1991)
  • A Dove Descending and other stories (1991)
  • Xanthippic Dialogues (1993)
  • Modern Philosophy (1994)
  • The Classical Vernacular: architectural principles in an age of nihilism            (1995)
  • Animal Rights and Wrongs (1996, third edn. 2000)
  • An Intelligent Person's Guide to Philosophy (1996)
  • The Aesthetics of Music (1997)
  • On Hunting (1998)
  • An Intelligent Person's Guide to Modern Culture (1998, new edn. 2000)
  • Spinoza (1998)
  • Perictione in Colophon (2000)
  • England: an Elegy (2001)
  • The West and the Rest (2002)
  • Death-Devoted Heart: Sex and the Sacred in Wagner's Tristan und Isolde (2004)
  • News from Somewhere: On Settling (2004).
  • Gentle Regrets (2005).
  • A Political Philosophy (2006)
  • Culture Counts: Faith and Feeling in a World Besieged (2007)
  • Understanding Music (2009)
  • I Drink Therefore I am (2009)
  • Beauty (2010)
  • The Uses of Pessimism (2010)
  • Green Philosophy (2012)
  • The Face of God (2012)
  • Our Church: A Personal History of the Church of England (2012)
  • The Soul of the World (2014)
  • Notes from Underground (2014)
  • How to be a Conservative (2014)

I have also published many articles, both refereed for academic journals and commissioned for non-academic journals. Some of these have been anthologized.

Other literary and creative work:

Poems, stories and pamphlets have been published here and there. I have also written three libretti, two of which I have set to music, the first having secured several performances (a one-act chamber opera called The Minister). The second, a two-act opera called Violet, based on the life of Violet Gordon-Woodhouse, was performed at the Guildhall School of Music on Nov. 30th and Dec 1st 2005.

Television documentary for BBC 2 Why Beauty Matters. View.

I have edited or co-edited several collections of papers.

Editorial Positions:

I am a contributing editor to The New Atlantis, and also serve on the editorial boards of the British Journal of Aesthetics, The Salisbury Review, Arka (Kraków), and openDemocracy

 

Research Interests:

I have always worked between disciplines, while at the same time attempting to develop my particular philosophical stance. Currently I am very interested in the philosophy of music, and have just written a book on Wagner's Tristan, published by OUP, in which I try to bring philosophical and musical analysis together in deciphering the meaning of that extraordinary work. I am so frequently called upon to write about political and social matters that I have been writing about political philosophy too.

I write a regular column on wine for The New Statesman in Britain, and a regular column on cultural matters for The American Spectator. I am well known in American academic circles, and have recently appeared in print in The American Spectator, The Wall Street Journal, Harpers, and National Review.

"There are few more valuable thinkers in Britain – or indeed, the world – today. His vilification and rejection by the academic establishment is disgraceful. In comparison with him, most of his critics are intellectual pygmies. Both left and right should be grateful to have such a man to sharpen and define the issues. And philosophers should be grateful that he has placed their subject at the very centre of current affairs. Perhaps Scruton's greatest contribution is his living demonstration of the truth that without philosophy we are nothing." Bryan Appleyard, The Sunday Times

Agent:

Roger Scruton's agent is:
Caroline Michel, Peters Fraser Dunlop
Contact: Drury House | 34-43 Russell Street | London WC2B 5HA | Tel: 0207 344 1084| Fax: 020 7836 9539 | This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it | www.petersfraserdunlop.com |

 

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Recent Books

How to be a Conservative

How to be a Conservative

What does it mean to be a conservative in an age so sceptical of conservatism? How can we live in the presence of our 'canonized forefathers' at a time when...

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Soul of the World

Soul of the World

The Sould of the World is a defence of the sacred against today's fashionable forms of atheism. Our personal relationships, moral intuitions, and aesthetic judgments hint at a transcendent dimension...

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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 Yellow Jersey 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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A Land Held Hostage: Lebanon and the West

A Land Held Hostage: Lebanon and the West

A Land Held Hostage: Lebanon and the West Published by  The Claridge Press, London (1987) ISBN 1-870626-00-1 Format: Paperback   Description In this book, published in 1987 during the course of Lebanon's civil wars, Roger Scruton...

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