Educating the Soul through Art, On the Political and Aesthetical Legacy of Sir Roger Scruton’s Work

Recordings of the two lectures and a discussion are  now available from the  online conference,  Educating the Soul through Art, On the Political and Aesthetical Legacy of Sir Roger Scruton’s Work. This event was co-organised by the University of Public Service, Budapest and Buckingham University, London on 1 October 2020.  Links to the lectures can be found HERE.


Barry Smith in The World of Fine Wine

A short memorial piece by Barry Smith, published in The World of Fine Wine

While I was teaching at Birkbeck College in the early nineteen nighties, and a colleague of Roger Scruton, we would meet in passing to exchange a few words en route to give our lectures. One time I happened to have seen an exhibition with the striking title: Between discipline and desire. I mentioned it to him saying that the title seemed to encapsulate the whole of life. He looked at me puzzled and said, “But for me discipline is desire.” Roger was nothing if not interesting. I smiled and headed off to give my class wondering what on earth he meant. It was years later when reading his essay, The Golden Mean, in this magazine, that I finally understood his remark.
In that essay, he charts moderation as a way to live and be on good terms with one’s species. It avoids the excess of binging, and as he saw it the equal extreme of abstinence. It requires equilibrium, not taking the easy way, not being swept along. But that is hard won:
...if there were an easy way back to the world of moderation, we would take it. But there’s the rub: balance needs discipline, be it the discipline of the tightrope walker or that of the impartial judge. (WFW Issue 1)

In praise of Pastiche - Works in Progress, Oct 2020

One of the most powerful words in modern architectural criticism is that of ‘pastiche’. In one of its senses, a building is a pastiche if it exhibits one or more established styles in a jumbled way, either due to incompetence or to some kind of playfulness. This is a useful concept, which picks out an important feature of many buildings.

The full article by Samuel Hughes can be read online HERE.

The European Messenger

Confession of a Disgruntled Francophile - Sir Roger Scruton
A French translation by Maxime Boucknooghe. The article originally appeared in a Cambridge University Press review. 

Building Beautiful: An interview with Nicholas Boys Smith

On September 28, 2020, the Roger Scruton Legacy Foundation hosted the first interview of its new online event series Building Beautiful. The event featured Nicholas Boys Smith, Founding Director of Create Streets and the co-Chair of the Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission, in conversation with the Foundation's Senior Fellow in the Built Environment Samuel Hughes.

The full interview can be seen here on YouTube.

Scrutopia Book Club

Join us on Friday 23rd October at 2pm for the second in our series of virtual book club meetings. 


What to read: Conversations with Roger Scruton, and I am delighted to confirm that Dr Mark Dooley will be introducing. Copies are available directly from our online bookshop.

On the day:  Please note you will need to ensure you are joining in the correct time zone! We will be meeting at 2pm London time . Here is an example table for other parts of the world: 

East Coast 

Cotswold Region & London 

North America 
East Coast 
New York City 

North America 
West Coast 
Los Angeles 

11:00 pm 

2:00 pm 

9:00 am 

6:00 am 


At the end of the session, we will propose the next read and book club date. 

Register your interest with me via our new eventbrite page -

Before & After Scruton, The European Conservative - 17 Aug 20

I usually jest that my life divides into two parts: ‘Before Scruton’ and ‘After Scruton.’ My first five books were devoted to Søren Kierkegaard, Jacques Derrida, ethics, and postmodern theology. Since then, I have published three books directly on Sir Roger Scruton, and two others that owe much to his influence

Roger Scruton’s Architectural Morality, The American Conservative - 15 Aug 20

Very few of us will ever be referred to in the adjectival form. Yet Roger Scruton (1944-2020) deserves such an appellation, and as early as 1985, “Scrutonian gusto” appeared in a snide 1985 Architectural Review piece. The Oxford English Dictionary does not yet list “Scrutonian,” though it cites Sir Roger’s heroes, those who follow “Kantian” and “Hegelian” philosophy; “Burkean” is oddly absent, but his intellectual enemies, such as “Sartrian” and “Marcusian,” are also there. Had Sir Roger only been one of the leading philosophers of aesthetics of the past century, “Scrutonian” would have aptly described the spirit of his work. Still the more notable wordplay on his surname came some time later, when Sir Roger himself began referring to his farm as “Scrutopia,” an amusing but memorable neologism that would go on to become a summer school at his rural Wiltshire retreat, drawing many visitors from far beyond British shores.

Scruton’s housing vision is finally being realised - The Spectator, 10 Aug 20

The government’s white paper on planning reform makes frequent reference to Roger Scruton and his Building Beautiful Commission – on which I worked as Scruton’s research assistant. If Scruton had lived to read the white paper, he would have found much to like, especially its commitment to building the homes the country needs. But he would have insisted that the proposed reforms can only succeed if the government gets the details right in its plans to win the consent of local people. Consent based on drastically raising the aesthetic standards of new buildings and by enabling communities to share in the benefits of development. Read the full article by Samuel Hughes HERE.

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