måndag 11 januari 2010

Roger Scruton: Religiös frihet, ateism och islam.

Roger Scrutons resonemang är här mest av intresse för att fundera över kopplingen mellan kristendom och samhällssystemets grundantaganden. Vad han säger om islam har jag ingen möjlighet att verifiera eller motbevisa.

Hela föreläsningen finns här.

Roger Scruton: Why beauty matters?

Roger Scruton i hans BBC program om betydelsen av skönhet. Detta är iofs. detsamma som en theologia gloriae (eller en kvalitativt defferentierad hedonism) men saknar inte betydelse vid förståelsen av den kristna trons förhållande till den naturliga uppenbarelsen. Det saknar inte heller betydelse i vår förståelse av hur kyrkans liv kan och bör gestaltas.

Förståelsen av hur den allmänna och särskilda uppenbarelsen hänger samman är svår för många att förstå särskilt i dessa tider då det oftast framstår som eftersträvansvärt att ha ett , förenklat, trossystem som grundvalen för alla sina relationer till och i världen. Förståelsen av det Linneanska Gudsskådandet i naturens skönhet blir antingen förhärskande över Skriftens auktoritet eller så bli Skriftens auktoritet ett undergrävande av den naturliga uppenbarelsens existens. Det innebär att vi evangeliska kristna tvingas in i en felaktig diskurs präglad av dikotomin mellan ateistiska vetenskap eller teokratisk calvinism.

Hela programmet finns här.

Roger Scruton

Här publiseras den nuvarande engelska wikipediaartikeln om Roger Scruton. Ovan kommer jag publisera några intressanta youtubeklipp där Scruton framlägger vissa av sina tankar.


Scruton was educated at Royal Grammar School, High Wycombe (1954-1961) and Jesus College, Cambridge (1962-1969). He received a Bachelor of Arts in Moral Sciences (the Cambridge name for philosophy) in 1965, incepted as Master of Arts in 1967, and became a Doctor of Philosophy in 1972 with a thesis on aesthetics. He was called to the Bar in 1978. From 1969 to 1971 he was Research Fellow at Peterhouse, Cambridge. From 1971 to 1992 he was Lecturer, and, subsequently Professor of Aesthetics at Birkbeck College, London. From 1992 to 1995 he was Professor of Philosophy at Boston University.

From 1982 to 2001 he was founding editor of The Salisbury Review. He also founded the Claridge Press, which in early 2004 he sold to Continuum International Publishing Group. He remains on The Salisbury Review's editorial board, as well as those of the British Journal of Aesthetics[2] and[3]

In the early 1990s he moved from the city to the countryside and discovered a passion for fox hunting with hounds. When in England, he lives with his family on his farm in Brinkworth, Wiltshire.

Contributions to philosophy and the arts

His first publication - Art and Imagination - was an exploration of aesthetics. Since then, he has written on almost every topic in philosophy. In Thinkers of the New Left (1985) he expresses doubts about the philosophical value of thinkers such as Michel Foucault and Louis Althusser, and the Frankfurt School.

Scruton has written two books which survey modern philosophy. The first, A Short History Of Modern Philosophy starts with Descartes and ends with Ludwig Wittgenstein and the logical positivist school. His subsequent Modern Philosophy is a more detailed, topic-based survey of the same material. Scruton holds the philosopher Immanuel Kant in particularly high regard.

Scruton has attempted to base a conservative sexual ethic on the Hegelian proposition that "the final end of every rational being is the building of the self." In Scruton's view, sexual desire directed toward the opposite gender elicits its complement, but homosexuality is a perversion, because it does not involve the fundamental experience of otherness across gender. Scruton's sexual philosophy has been criticised for being "timid, conservative, and deeply ignorant."[4]

Scruton has published novels and short stories, and has written two operas, for which he provided both the libretto and music. His first opera, The Minister, was performed in Quenington in 1994 and in Oxford in 1998. His second opera, Violet, based on the life of the harpsichordist Violet Gordon-Woodhouse, was performed twice in London in 2005.

Since 2001, Scruton has also written a wine column for the New Statesman, and made contributions to The World of Fine Wine and the 2007 publication Questions of Taste: The Philosophy of Wine with his essay "The Philosophy of Wine". I Drink Therefore I am: A Philosopher's Guide to Wine followed in 2009.

Contributions to politics and culture

This section is written like a personal reflection or essay and may require cleanup. Please help improve it by rewriting it in an encyclopedic style. (February 2009)

Scruton holds Burkean political views. In his The Meaning of Conservatism he seeks to shift the emphasis of the right away from economics towards moral issues such as sex education and censorship laws. He argues that the transference in state planned economies of local knowledge and tradition into the hands of bureaucrats, "government from elsewhere" fosters incompetence, ignorance and corruption and, therefore, bad policy. His alternative is to defend "autonomous institution" (organisations outside of state/government control), citing the legal and medical professions, the City, army, church, Monarchy and business enterprise generally as examples.

Although regarded as a traditionalist, in England: An Elegy he describes himself as a bohemian, interested in French and German high culture.[5] He says that he is bemused by his generation, who "mock the traditions and institutions that might have been theirs". In March 2009, at the Royal Geographical Society, seconding the historian David Starkey, he proposed the motion: "Britain has become indifferent to beauty" by holding an image of Botticelli's The Birth of Venus next to an image of the British supermodel Kate Moss, to demonstrate how British perceptions of beauty had declined to the "level of our crudest appetites and our basest needs".[6]


From 1979, Scruton was an active supporter of dissidents in Czechoslovakia when the country was under the rule of the Communist Party. Inspired by Kathy Wilkes, whom he eulogised in England: An Elegy, he participated in the "underground university" (an informal educational organisation set up by the dissidents) with discussions about philosophy. In 1980 in Oxford, he co-founded the Jan Hus Educational Foundation,[7] which continues to work in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, and served as trustee. Since 1990 he has been a board member of the Civic Institute in Prague. For his services to the Czech people, he received the 1st June Prize of the City of Plzeň in 1996 and the Medal for Merit, First Class of the Czech Republic in 2000. Scruton was also co-founder and trustee of the Jagiellonian Trust, working in Poland and Hungary from 1982 until the return of democracy in 1989, and founder and trustee of the Anglo-Lebanese Cultural Association, working for reconciliation between the Lebanese sects from 1987 until it was disbanded in 1995, after the occupation of Lebanon by Syria in alliance with Hezbollah.

In December 2008 Scruton signed his name to a full-page ad that ran in The New York Times as "No Mob Veto" that declared the group's differing views on California's Proposition 8, but was united in its opposition to "violence and intimidation being directed against the LDS or the 'Mormon' church, and other religious organizations - and even against individual believers - simply because they supported Proposition 8", and announcing their commitment to "exposing and publicly shaming anyone who resorts to the rhetoric of anti-religious bigotry - against any faith, on any side of any cause, for any reason."[8]

Scruton is known for his opposition to the ban on fox hunting. In his book Animal Rights and Wrongs, he argues that hunting and meat-eating are not immoral, but that factory farming should be opposed. He also believes that it is, at present, wrong for a Briton to eat cod, haddock, skate or turbot, as factory fishing is threatening the continued existence of these species and damaging the oceans.[9]

Public debates

Scruton debated with Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, and A. C. Grayling in London in March 2007 on the topic "Are We Better Off Without Religion?"[10] Scruton argues that religion is both helpful and necessary, although he admits that it is very difficult to prove the truth of religious statements.[11] Scruton also debated Irish Marxist theorist Sean Matgamna in 1991 on the question "has socialism a future?"[12]