Roger Scruton is currently visiting professor in the School of Philosophical, Anthropological and Film Studies at the University of St Andrews where he teaches every spring term. He is also visiting professor in Philosophy at the University of Oxford, leading a graduate seminar during the autumn term. He is also a senior 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.
- 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 Doctorate, Adelphi University, New York, 1995
- Honorary Doctorate, Masaryk University, Brno, 1997
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Freelance writer and journalist, starting in 1974 or thereabouts.
- Editor of The Salisbury Review, 1982-2001.
- 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).
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)
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.
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.
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
Roger Scruton's agent is:
Caroline Michel, William Morris Agency, 52-53 Poland Street, LONODN W1F 7LX
Tel: +44 (0)20 7534 6800
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...Read more
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,...Read more
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...Read more
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...Read more
Philosophy and Interpretation
Continuum (2009)ISBN: 9781847065063
Roger Scruton first addressed this topic in his celebrated book The Aesthetics of Music (OUP) and in this new book he applies the theory...Read more
The Palgrave Macmillan Dictionary of Political Thought
Macmillan Publishers Ltd (2007)ISBN-10: 1403989524 , ISBN-13: 978-1403989529
Roger Scruton's Dictionary of Political Thought has been widely acclaimed as a profound and incisive guide to...Read more
News from Somewhere: On Settling
Continuum (2004)ISBN: 9780826476289 192 pages, paperback
For a number of years Roger Scruton has contributed a weekly article to the Financial Times on country matters. Always beautifully...Read more
A Political Philosophy
Arguments for Conservatism
Continuum (2006)ISBN-10: 0826496156, ISBN-13: 978-0826496157
What principles should govern our relations to the nation-state, to the environment, to other species, to other cultures and to other ways...Read more
England: An Elegy
Continuum (2001) ISBN: 9780826480750288 Pages, paperback
In this poignant and personal tribute Roger Scruton gives an account of England which is both an illuminating analysis of its institutions and...Read more
Faith and Feeling in a World Besieged
Encounter Books (2008)Hardcover 136 pages ISBN: 1594031940
What is culture? Why should we preserve it, and how? In this book, the renowned philosopher Roger...Read more
Sex and the Sacred in Wagner's Tristan and Isolde
OUP (2004)246 pages, 978-0-19-516691-0 | Hardback
A tale of forbidden love and inevitable death, the medieval legend of Tristan and Isolde recounts...Read more
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
Roger Scruton is never less than...Read more
Animal Rights and Wrongs
Continuum (1996, 1998, 3rd ed 2000)ISBN: 9780826494047
A revised and improved edition of a book in continuing demand.
Do animals have rights? If not, do we have duties towards...Read more
An Intelligent Person's Guide to Philosophy
Penguin Books (1996)ISBN-10: 0140275169, ISBN-13: 978-0140275162. Paperback: 176 pages
"Philosophy's the 'love of wisdom', can be approached in two ways: by doing it, or by studying...Read more
An Intelligent Person's Guide to Modern Culture
St. Augustine’s Press (1998. new ed. 2000)ISBN: 978-1-890318-47-5, 186 pages
Received by the British press with equal acclaim and indignation, this book sets out to...Read more
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...Read more
Aesthetics of Music
OUP (1999)ISBN13: 9780198167273 ISBN10: 019816727X Paperback, 552 pages
What is music, what is its value, and what does it mean? In this stimulating volume, Roger Scruton offers a comprehensive...Read more
The Great Philosophers
Routledge (1999)SBN-13: 9780415923903ISBN: 0415923905
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...Read more
A Short History of Modern Philosophy
Routledge (1982, 1995, 3rd ed, 2001)Isbn10: 0415130352
In this classic introductory work, Scruton takes us on us on a fascinating tour of the subject, from founding...Read more
Continuum (1986, 2006)ISBN: 9780826480385, 448 Pages, paperback
When John desires Mary or Mary desires John, what does either of them want? What is meant by innocence, passion, love and arousal,...Read more
The Politics of Culture and Other Essays
St. Augustine's Press (1981)245 pages, ISBN-10: 1890318612, ISBN-13: 978-1890318611
Brings together Scruton's best essays from many sources, arranging them thematically. The book has four sections:...Read more
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...Read more
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...Read more
Perictione in Colophon
Reflections on the Aesthetic
Way of Life
St. Augustine's Press (2000)263 pages, ISBN: 978-1-890318-59-8
This, the sequel to the same author's much-acclaimed Xanthippic Dialogues, is a multi-faceted commentary on the...Read more
St. Augustine's Press (1998)173 pages, ISBN: 978-1-58731-600-5
Modern people are as given to loving, fearing, fleeing, and pursuing other species as were their hunter-gatherer forebears. And in fox hunting, they...Read more
An introduction and survey
Penguin Books, (1994)Paperback | 624 pages | ISBN 9780140249071
Philosopher Roger Scruton offers a wide-ranging perspective on philosophy, from logic to aesthetics, written in a lively and...Read more
The Meaning of Conservatism
St. Augustine's Press (1980, 1984, 3rd ed. 2000)220 pages, ISBN: 978-1-890318-40-6
This is a major contribution to political thought from conservatism's greatest contemporary proponent. Originally published in Britain...Read more
A Very Short Introduction
OUP (1993, new ed. 2001)160 pages |978-0-19-280199-9 | Paperback
Kant is arguably the most influential modern philosopher, but also one of the most difficult. Roger Scruton tackles his...Read more
I Drink Therefore I am
Continuum (2009)ISBN-10: 1441170677, ISBN-13: 978-1441170675
The ancients had a solution to the alcohol problem, which was to wrap the drink in religious rituals, to treat it...Read more
Continuum (2006)ISBN: 9780826480330 256 Pages, paperback
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...Read more
Carcanet Press (1981)ISBN-10: 0 856353 76 0
ISBN-13: 978 0 856353 76 5Edition:1st
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A Very Short Introduction
OUP (2002)144 pages, 978-0-19-280316-0
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...Read more