I began my career as an academic philosopher, and am often asked what philosophers do. ‘Philosophy’ means ‘the love of wisdom’, but what is wisdom? Does the person with wisdom turn things to advantage when the one with mere knowledge is stumped? In my own case philosophy has involved accepting little or nothing at face value, and wanting to pursue each question to the end. But what use has that been, either to myself or to anyone else? Is it not one cause of the storms of hostility that I encounter and one reason why, earlier this year, I was judged by some not to be an acceptable choice for a public appointment? Should I not practise the art that the Druze and the ‘Alawites call taqiyya, and hide behind a veil of ludicrous orthodoxies, while inwardly scorning the people who repeat them?
How many writers, educators, and opinion formers, urgently wishing to convey the thoughts and feelings that inspire them, have found themselves confronted with the cry “that’s not relevant?” In the world of mass communication today, when people are marshaled into flocks by social media, intrusions of the unusual, the unsanctioned, and the merely meaningful are increasingly resented if they come from outside the group. And this group mentality has invaded the world of education in ways that threaten the young.
'Apprehending the Transcendent'
A conversation between Dr Jordan Peterson and Sir Roger Scruton, moderated by Dr Stephen Blackwood, introduced by Professor Douglas Hedley, presented by The Cambridge Centre for the Study of Platonism and Ralston College, held on November 2nd, 2018 in Cambridge, England.
Sir Roger Scruton & Ben Weingarten discuss political unrest in the West & its historical context, the puritanical nature of progressivism & attempts by its adherents to stifle dissent, the imperative to defend free speech & more.
Watch the interview here.
"Conservatism can transmit the legacy of freedom, freedom that could be too much liberalism to be challenged by other ideologies." Roger Scruton
The witch-hunt culture.
Three years ago the distinguished biochemist Sir Tim Hunt, recipient of the Nobel Prize, Fellow of the Royal Society and one of the jewels in the crown of British science, made a casual remark, during a speech at a conference of science journalists, which seemed to imply that women and men might not be equally suited to a scientific career. The remark was tweeted, and the mob got to work on it. Very soon Sir Tim found himself forced out of his position as honorary Professor at University College London, reprimanded by the Royal Society, hounded in the press, and subjected to a hate campaign on social media. Eventually he and his wife (a scientist of the same rank as himself) left the country to work in Japan.
This deplorable episode is one of many, in which a person’s character, career and livelihood have been attacked in punishment for a thought-crime. Social media make matters worse, of course. But it would be wrong to put the blame wholly on the ease with which malice and ignorance can now extend their reach across the Internet. We must also take account of political correctness, which both promotes hatred and also excuses it.
The aim is to assemble a group of around 25 committed people, with a shared interest in culture and in all that is involved in passing it on. Each day will begin with a talk from Sir Roger followed by a discussion and the evenings will involve concerts, readings, or further discussion over wine. Provisional topics include the nature of philosophy, why beauty matters, the art of writing, figurative painting, the Western inheritance, the meaning of conservatism, musical order, real environmentalism, understanding wine and the life of friendship.
Opportunities to walk, ride and ponder in the beautiful local countryside will be many, and events will take place at the Scruton residence as well as at Cirencester.
The fee for the course will be £2,500 to cover board and lodging and all other costs, apart from travel to and from the event, which will be the responsibility of each participant. We will close the list of participants when we have twenty firm commitments, who have paid the deposit of £250 necessary to secure a place on the course.
- Sin Bin
- The Inaugural Colin Amery Memorial lecture, Policy Exchange - 14 Nov 18
- The Loss of Home - Policy Exchange - 1st November
- Links to Support
- News from Scrutopia - 9 Nov 18
- YouTube launch
- The Law of the Land - The Temple Church Sermon. 3 Oct 18
- Professor David Watkin Eulogy - 24th September 2018, Kings Lynn Norfolk.
- Summer School Testimonials
- 'The Pompidou Centre, Paris's great blemish' Spectator Life - Sept 18