On Human Nature

OnHumanNature

Princeton University Press (February 2017)

In this short book, acclaimed writer and philosopher Roger Scruton presents an original and radical defense of human uniqueness. Confronting the views of evolutionary psychologists, utilitarian moralists, and philosophical materialists such as Richard Dawkins and Daniel Dennett, Scruton argues that human beings cannot be understood simply as biological objects. 

We are not only human animals; we are also persons, in essential relation with other persons, and bound to them by obligations and rights. Our world is a shared world, exhibiting freedom, value, and accountability, and to understand it we must address other people face to face and I to I. Scruton develops and defends his account of human nature by ranging widely across intellectual history, from Plato and Averroës to Darwin and Wittgenstein. The book begins with Kant's suggestion that we are distinguished by our ability to say "I"—by our sense of ourselves as the centers of self-conscious reflection. This fact is manifested in our emotions, interests, and relations. It is the foundation of the moral sense, as well as of the aesthetic and religious conceptions through which we shape the human world and endow it with meaning. And it lies outside the scope of modern materialist philosophy, even though it is a natural and not a supernatural fact. Ultimately, Scruton offers a new way of understanding how self-consciousness affects the question of how we should live.

The result is a rich view of human nature that challenges some of today's most fashionable ideas about our species.

Read more and Buy at Princeton University Press.

 

Latest Articles

Roger Scruton gets his job back - The Spectator, 23rd July 19

Roger Scruton has been reappointed as head of a government housing body after he was sacked in April following a magazine interview in which his views were misrepresented. The letter...

The Telegraph - 20th July 19

The failure to stand up for conservative thinking is leading us into a new cultural dark age. The intellectual scene always used to have room for great minds from the...

Letter from the Secretary of State 9/7/19

This is to report the good news that, in addition to the published apology from the New Statesman, Roger has now received an apology from the Secretary of State, James...

Press Statement from Sir Roger Scruton in response to the apology from The New Statesman 8 Jul 2019

Press Statement from Sir Roger Scruton in response to the apology from The New Statesman 8 July 2019 Statement, Sir Roger Scruton: “I am pleased to have resolved my complaint against...

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2019 Events

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

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

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

Thurs 3rd Oct - University of Buckingham London Programmes - Masters in Philosophy