Roger Scruton — Roger Vernon Scruton 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.
His first publication – Art and Imagination – was an exploration of aesthetics. Since then, he has written on almost every topic in philosophy, generally in an accessible prose. Scruton has also published novels and short stories, and has written two operas, for which he provided the libretto and music. The popular impression of Scruton is as the reactionary provocateur, the man who can be depended upon to come up with vitriolic denunciations of all that characterises Britain today. He’s the foxhunting philosopher who would like to be imprisoned as a martyr to the cause of field sports.
Scruton challenges those who would regard themselves as conservatives, and also their opponents. Conservatism, he argues, has little in common with liberalism, and is only tenuously related to the market economy, free enterprise or capitalism. It involves neither hostility towards the state, nor the desire to limit the state’s obligation towards the citizen. But it is also opposed to the ethic of social justice, to equality of station, opportunity, income and achievement, and to the attempt to bring major educational institutions of society such as schools and universities under government control.