To define Roger Scruton merely as a foxhunter is like defining Winston Churchill as a cigar smoker. True enough, but hardly a comprehensive description. Last month, Roger Scruton was created a Knight Bachelor by Queen Elizabeth II in the Birthday Honours list published on the Queen's ninetieth birthday.
Scruton is one of Britain’s leading philosophers, a spokesman for conservatism, and foxhunting is one of his passions. His excellent and highly readable book, On Hunting (1998), brings the author’s philosophical best to his love for the sport and all it entails from terror to ecstasy. As expressed by one reviewer, “He begins with hunting but he ends with a moving romance with nature itself. In this regard, hunting is but a window into his soul and the limits of human nature. I have read all of his books and this one ranks among the best.”
Scruton’s passion for foxhunting notwithstanding, he has managed to turn his mind to the writing of more than thirty books on other subjects, including Art and Imagination (1974), The Meaning of Conservatism (1980), Sexual Desire (1986), The Philosopher on Dover Beach (1990), The Aesthetics of Music (1997), Beauty (2009), How to Think Seriously About the Planet: The Case for an Environmental Conservatism (2012), Our Church (2012), and How to Be a Conservative (2014).
He has also written novels, textbooks on philosophy and culture, and has composed two operas. Scruton is an aesthete with much to say about many subjects that reside at our deepest core and make us human.
Scruton has been a lecturer and college professor for more than twenty years. In 1982, he helped found The Salisbury Review, a conservative political journal, which he edited for eighteen years. He is a member of the editorial board of the British Journal of Aesthetics, and is a Senior Fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center.
During the Cold War, Scruton was involved in the establishment of underground universities and academic networks in Soviet-controlled Central Europe and received numerous awards for those activities. He has been called "the man who, more than any other, has defined what conservatism is" by British MEP Daniel Hannan and "England’s most accomplished conservative since Edmund Burke" by The Weekly Standard.
Congratulations, Sir Roger, from your foxhunting friends.
Posted July 6, 2016