Wagner and German Idealism

*This article was aired on BBC Radio 3 as part of the series 'Wagner's Philosophers' - 20.5.2013

The German universities of Wagner's youth were in a state of intellectual ferment, the main cause of which was the proliferation of philosophical systems in the wake of Immanuel Kant, widely recognized today as the greatest philosopher of modern times.

The Need for Nations

*This is a lecture I recently delivered in Hungary.  An English translation follows the Hungarian.

Európai értékek és a nemzetállamok

Az európai integráció terve, amelyet a II. világháború nyomán a legyőzött nemzetek elitje és poltikusai karoltak fel, arra a hitre épült, hogy elsősorban a nemzeti lét és akarat okozta az Európát romba döntő háborúkat.

The Fundamental Principle of Common Law

Posted on barristerblogger.com - 7.6.2013

We are used to the idea that the common law of England, which is the foundation of judicial systems in many places besides England, is a 'judge-made' system. But judges could not do their job if they thought that they were merely inventing the law.

Identity, Marriage, Family: Our Core Conservative Values have been Betrayed

The Guardian - 11.5.2013

As the Conservatives strive to heal the divisions in their party it must surely have occurred to them to wonder what the word "conservative" really means, and why it has had, for so many British people over the past 200 years, such a positive resonance.

Conservatism and the Environment

Conservative Home - March 2013

 There is no political cause more amenable to the conservative vision than that of the environment. For it touches on the three foundational ideas of our movement: trans-generational loyalty, the priority of the local and the search for home. Conservatives resonate to Burke's view of society, as a partnership between the living, the unborn and the dead; they believe in civil association between neighbours rather than intervention by the state; and they accept that the most important thing the living can do is to settle down, to make a home for themselves, and to pass that home to their children.

Postmodern Tories

Prospect Magazine - February 2013

The mid-term of a government is a time of reflection, in which the parties can revive their attachments and reformulate their message. Two recent volumes, Britannia Unchained,co-authored by a group of young Conservative MPs, and Tory Modernisation 2.0,issued by Bright Blue, an organisation that campaigns for reform within the Conservative party, give us some indication of the forces now at work in shaping Tory thinking.

The Meaning of Margaret Thatcher

The Times - 18.4.2013

For many people of conservative temperament, it looked in the late 1970s as though Britain were ready to surrender all that it stood for: its pride, its enterprise, its ideals of freedom and citizenship, even its borders and its national defence. The country seemed to be wallowing in collective guilt feelings, reinforced by a growing culture of dependency.

Baroness Thatcher

Baroness Thatcher:  piece from 1990, LA Times:

LONDON — When the Athenians sent Themistocles into exile in 470 BC, they conveniently forgot everything he had done for them. It was he who had created the Athenian navy, held the Persians at Artemisium and finally defeated them at Salamis. It was he who had fortified Athens and made it the most prosperous city of the Aegean.

Pleasure vs Happiness

A version of this paper appeared in The Spectator magazine - 28.3.2013

 You don't have to be a philosopher, given to abstruse reflection on concepts, to recognise that pleasure and happiness are not the same. There are wicked pleasures, destructive pleasures, addictive pleasures, despicable pleasures: but there is no such thing as wicked, destructive, addictive or despicable happiness.

My Intellectual Identity

I have worked in many fields, and I think it might help my readers to explain how this came about. At school I studied the natural sciences and went on a Science scholarship to Cambridge. But before arriving in Cambridge I had discovered music, art and literature, and had formed the intention to be a writer – not knowing whether I had either the talent or the opportunities to pursue such a career.

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2020 Events

Scrutopia Summer School Wed 29 July - Fri 7 August 2020

Scrutopia Alumni Thurs 27 August – Sun 30 August 2020