Soul Music

How we describe pop music proves that we find moral significance in music. How do we tell what music we should and should not encourage?

“The ways of poetry and music are not changed anywhere without change in the most important laws of the city.” So wrote Plato in The Republic (4.424c). And Plato is famous for having given what is perhaps the first theory of character in music, proposing to allow some modes and to forbid others according to the character which can be heard in them. Plato deployed the concept of mimesis, or imitation, to explain why bad character in music encourages bad character in its devotees. The context suggests that he had singing, dancing, and marching in mind rather than the silent listening that we know from the concert hall. But, however we fill out the details, there is no doubt that music, for Plato, was something that could be judged in the same moral terms we judge one another, and that the terms in question denoted virtues and vices like nobility, dignity, temperance, and chastity on the one hand, and sensuality, belligerence, and indiscipline on the other.

To read the full article visit American Enterprise Insitute 

Latest Articles

The Architecture of Social Isolation- Berggruen Institute, 11 Sept 19

The Architecture of Social Isolation The evidence is overwhelming that ugly and impersonal environments lead to a sense of depression and anxiety. If you ask why concepts like community, place...

BBBBC Interim Report

Here’s a link to UK Gov’s BBBBC commission & to a response survey. If you can, please do read & respond - https://www.gov.uk/government/groups/building-better-building-beautiful-commission

The 2019 Scrutopia Summer School

As August draws to a close, we are able to share with you a wonderful film with our 2019 Scrutopians. We would love to see you next year so please...

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...

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 

Thurs 10th Oct - University of Buckingham London Programmes - Masters in Philosophy