The questions that have no answers

NewStatesman - 23.9.2013

If I ask myself what makes us human, one answer jumps out at me straight away – it is not the only answer but it is the one suggested by the question. What makes us human is that we ask questions. All the animals have interests, instincts and conceptions. All the animals frame for themselves an idea of the world in which they live. But we alone question our surroundings. We alone refuse to be defined by the world in which we live but instead try to define our nature for ourselves.

Democracy and Islamic Law

BBC Magazine - 23.8.2013

To understand what is happening in the Middle East today we must look back to the end of World War I. The Austro-Hungarian Empire had been destroyed, and from the ruins emerged a collection of nation states.

Should countries be more like families?

BBC Magazine - 30.8.2013

Many writers have warned against the tyranny of the majority. Majority opinion may be wrong. Majority desires may be wicked. Majority strength may be dangerous. There is someone more important than the crowd, which is the person who disagrees with it. We must protect that person, for he's the one who can raise the question that no crowd wants to listen to, which is the question whether it is in the right.

Why it can be good to give in to your enemies

BBC Magazine - 16.8.2013

A Point of View: Why it can be good to give in to your enemies
In a democracy, leaders and the opposition must accept each other's legitimacy, says Roger Scruton.
Last week I examined some of the institutions that form part of democracy as we in the West understand it. But I have yet to consider the fundamental point, which is that in a democracy we consent to be governed by people we dislike.

No mere academic

Kenneth Minogue - In Memoriam

The American Spectator - September 2013

READERS OF THIS magazine will know that conservatism has been going through a dark time in Britain. Since the premiereship of Margaret Thatcher, the state has expanded relentlessly to take control of just about every aspect of civil life.

Is Democracy Overrated?

BBC News Magazine - August 2013

For some time the leading Western nations have acted upon the assumption that democracy is the solution to political conflict, and that the ultimate goal of foreign policy must be to encourage the emergence of democracy in countries which have not yet enjoyed its benefits. And they continue to adhere to this assumption, even when considering events in the Middle East today.

Wagner and German Idealism

*This article was aired on BBC Radio 3 as part of the series 'Wagner's Philosophers' - 20.5.2013

The German universities of Wagner's youth were in a state of intellectual ferment, the main cause of which was the proliferation of philosophical systems in the wake of Immanuel Kant, widely recognized today as the greatest philosopher of modern times.

The Need for Nations

*This is a lecture I recently delivered in Hungary.  An English translation follows the Hungarian.

Európai értékek és a nemzetállamok

Az európai integráció terve, amelyet a II. világháború nyomán a legyőzött nemzetek elitje és poltikusai karoltak fel, arra a hitre épült, hogy elsősorban a nemzeti lét és akarat okozta az Európát romba döntő háborúkat.

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.

Latest Articles

An Apology for thinking - 11 April 19 - The Spectator

This article was originally published on The Spectator’s UK website. I recently gave an interview to the New Statesman, on the assumption that, as the magazine’s former wine critic I would...

Roger Scruton on why conservatism is better for the environment, FT - March 19

 An interview with Jane Owen in advance of the FT Oxford Literary Festival, the full article can be read online here.  https://www.ft.com/content/43e6ef1e-464b-11e9-a965-23d669740bfb  

Le Figaro - March 19

Earlier this month, Roger spoke with Eugenie Bastie for Le Figaro - Click here to read the article.

BBC Radio 4 Any Questions? 22 Feb 19

Jonathan Dimbleby chairs political debate from Tewkesbury in Gloucestershire, with a panel consisting of Robert Buckland MP, Baroness Smith, Chuka Umunna MP and Sir Roger Scruton. Listen back to the...

Recent Books

Souls in the Twilight

Beaufort Books  (October 2018) As the lights that have guided us go out, people begin to wander in the twilight, seeking their place of belonging. In these stories, set in...

Music as an Art

Bloomsbury  (August 2018) Music as an Art begins by examining music through a philosophical lens, engaging in discussions about tonality, music and the moral life, music and cognitive science and German...

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,...

2019 Events

Wed 31st Jul - Fri 9th Aug - 2019 Scrutopia Summer School

Thur 29th Aug - Sun 1st Sept - Scrutopia Alumni Meeting 

Fri 26 - Sat 27th April - CRASSH conference, Cambridge

Sat 15th June - Philosophy Day

Thurs 19th Sept - ISI Gala for Western Civilization, Philadelphia

May - Academic Freedom under Threat: What's to be Done? Oxford Conference