Confessions of a Heretic

Selected Essays

Author: Roger Scruton

Publisher: New York Review of Books

ISBN: 1910749362

Category: Political Science

Page: 208

View: 5954

Hard-hitting essays by acclaimed social commentator and philosopher Roger Scruton, guaranteed to provoke lively debate A wide-ranging selection that includes essays on architecture and modern art, the environment, politics, and culture. Each “confession” reveals aspects of the author’s thinking that his critics would probably have advised him to keep to himself. Roger Scruton challenges popular opinion on key aspects of our society: What can we do to protect Western values against Islamic extremism? How can we nurture real friendship in the digital age of social media and Facebook? How should we achieve a timely death against the advances of modern medicine? How should environmental policies be shaped by the government? This provocative collection seeks to answer the most pressing problems of our age.
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Gentle Regrets

Thoughts from a Life

Author: Roger Scruton

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN: 1472927850

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 256

View: 3154

Roger Scruton is Britain's best known intellectual dissident, who has defended English traditions and English identity against an official culture of denigration. Although his writings on philosophical aesthetics have shown him to be a leading authority in the field, his defence of political conservatism has marked him out in academic circles as public enemy number one. Whether it is Scruton's opinions that get up the nose of his critics, or the wit and erudition with which he expresses them, there is no doubt that their noses are vastly distended by his presence, and constantly on the verge of a collective sneeze. Contrary to orthodox opinion, however, Roger Scruton is a human being, and Gentle Regrets contains the proof of it - a quiet, witty but also serious and moving account of the ways in which life brought him to think what he thinks, and to be what he is. His moving vignettes of his childhood and later influences illuminate this book. Love him or hate him, he will engage you in an argument that is both intellectually stimulating and informed by humour.
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News from Somewhere

On Settling

Author: Roger Scruton

Publisher: A&C Black

ISBN: 9780826490919

Category: Political Science

Page: 192

View: 1353

Talks about the country dweller, who sees his or her world eroded by the wishy-washy liberal commands of Blairite do-gooders, who sit in North West London pontificating about the needs of country people. This book also deals with the devastations of the foot and mouth crisis that showed how the great divide between town and country dwellers.
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Politics of Culture Other Essays

Author: Roger Scruton

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9781587316647

Category: Art

Page: 245

View: 3663

"This work brings together Scruton's best essays from many sources, arranging them thematically. The book has four sections: Language and Art, Writers in Context, Architecture, and Culture and Anarchy. Though the essays are diverse, certain themes are developed in particular and then in general ways, and there are several important essays on writers and critics, that contribute to the reappraisal of their work - among them Dante, Andre Breton, Graham Greene, James Joyce, Sylvia Plath, Jacques Lacan,and Yukio Mishima"
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Our Church

A Personal History of the Church of England

Author: Roger Scruton

Publisher: Atlantic Books

ISBN: 1782395040

Category: Religion

Page: 200

View: 1436

For most people in England today, the church is simply the empty building at the end of the road, visited for the first time, if at all, when dead. It offers its sacraments to a population that lives without rites of passage, and which regards the National Health Service rather than the National Church as its true spiritual guardian. In Our Church, Scruton argues that the Anglican Church is the forlorn trustee of an architectural and artistic inheritance that remains one of the treasures of European civilization. He contends that it is a still point in the center of English culture and that its defining texts, the King James Bible and the Book of Common Prayer are the sources from which much of our national identity derives. At once an elegy to a vanishing world and a clarion call to recognize Anglicanism's continuing relevance, Our Church is a graceful and persuasive book.
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Against the Idols of the Age

Author: David Stove

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1351533371

Category: Philosophy

Page: 347

View: 8107

Little known outside his native Australia, David Stove was one of the most illuminating and brilliant philo-sophical essayists of the postwar era. A fearless at-tacker of intellectual and cultural orthodoxies, Stove left powerful critiques of scientific irrationalism, Dar-winian theories of human behavior, and philosophi-cal idealism. He was also an occasional essayist of considerable charm and polemical snap. Stove's writ-ing is both rigorous and immensely readable. It is, in the words of Roger Kimball, "an invigorating blend of analytic lucidity, mordant humor, and an amount of common sense too great to be called 'common.'" Against the Idols of the Age brings together a repre-sentative selection of Stove's writing and is an ideal introduction to his work.The book opens with some of Stove's most impor-tant attacks on irrationalism in the philosophy of sci-ence. He exposes the roots of this fashionable attitude, tracing it through writers like Paul Feyerabend andThomas Kuhn to Karl Popper. Stove was a born controversialist, so it is not surpris-ing that when he turned his attention to contemporary affairs he said things that are politically incorrect. The topical essays that make up the second part of the book show Stove at his most withering and combative. Whether the subject is race, femi-nism, the Enlightenment, or the demand for "non-coercive philosophy," Stove is on the mark with a battery of impressive arguments expressed in sharp, uncompromis-ing prose. Against the Idols of the Age concludes with a generous sampling of his blistering attacks on Darwinism.David Stove's writings are an undiscovered treasure. Although readers may dis-agree with some of his opinions, they will find it difficult to dismiss his razor-sharp arguments. Against the Idols of the Age is the first book to make the full range of this important thinker available to the general reader.
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Moral Matters

A Philosophy of Homecoming

Author: Mark Dooley

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN: 1472523407

Category: Philosophy

Page: 208

View: 1534

Moral Matters: A Philosophy of Homecoming is Mark Dooley's attempt to offer an alternative to 'Cyberia'. It is a book about home, memory and identity. At a time when people are rapidly disengaging from those forms of life which once bound them together, it can be argued that our happiness depends on saving and conserving them. We cannot flourish in isolation or by detaching from the social sphere which surrounds us. We cannot truly prosper or progress if we choose to forget where we came from or if we dismiss our inherited moral wisdom. And yet, in opting for loss, separation and homelessness, it seems we have done just that. We have opted for a rootless existence where alienation and amnesia are the norm. This powerful and passionate book shows how the alienated, 'postmodern' self can become re-rooted to time and place and restored to full humanity and happiness whilst moving in a virtual, hyperconnected world. In caring for creation, conserving culture and saving the sacred we can once again make our home in the world and experience the consolation of moving from loss to love.
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Confession of a Murderer: Told in One Night

Author: Joseph Roth

Publisher: The Overlook Press

ISBN: 1590209346

Category: Fiction

Page: 223

View: 9923

Confession of a Murderer details the interior life of a man consumed by jealousy and hatred. In a Russian restaurant on Paris's Left Bank, Russian exile Golubchik alternately fascinates and horrifies a rapt audience with a wild story of collaboration, deception, and murder in the days leading up to the Russian Revolution. “Worthy to sit beside Conrad and Dostoevsky’s excursions into the twisted world of secret agents. Joseph Roth is one of the great writers in German of this century; and this novel is a fine introduction to this view of intrigue, necessity, and moral doubt.” The London Times
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The Uses of Pessimism

And the Danger of False Hope

Author: Roger Scruton

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780199798995

Category: Philosophy

Page: 240

View: 4341

Ranging widely over human history and culture, from ancient Greece to the current global economic downturn, Scruton makes a counterintuitive yet persuasive case that optimists and idealists -- with their ignorance about the truths of human nature and human society, and their naive hopes about what can be changed -- have wrought havoc for centuries. Scruton's argument is nuanced, however, and his preference for pessimism is not a dark view of human nature; rather his is a 'hopeful pessimism' which urges that instead of utopian efforts to reform human society or human nature, we focus on the only reform that we can truly master -- the improvement of ourselves through the cultivation of our better instincts. Written in Scruton's trademark style-- erudite, sweeping in scope across centuries and cultures, and unafraid to offend-- this book is sure to intrigue and provoke readers concerned with the state of Western culture, the nature of human beings, and the question of whether social progress is truly possible.
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The Soul of the World

Author: Roger Scruton

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 1400850002

Category: Philosophy

Page: 216

View: 3982

In The Soul of the World, renowned philosopher Roger Scruton defends the experience of the sacred against today's fashionable forms of atheism. He argues that our personal relationships, moral intuitions, and aesthetic judgments hint at a transcendent dimension that cannot be understood through the lens of science alone. To be fully alive—and to understand what we are—is to acknowledge the reality of sacred things. Rather than an argument for the existence of God, or a defense of the truth of religion, the book is an extended reflection on why a sense of the sacred is essential to human life—and what the final loss of the sacred would mean. In short, the book addresses the most important question of modernity: what is left of our aspirations after science has delivered its verdict about what we are? Drawing on art, architecture, music, and literature, Scruton suggests that the highest forms of human experience and expression tell the story of our religious need, and of our quest for the being who might answer it, and that this search for the sacred endows the world with a soul. Evolution cannot explain our conception of the sacred; neuroscience is irrelevant to our interpersonal relationships, which provide a model for our posture toward God; and scientific understanding has nothing to say about the experience of beauty, which provides a God’s-eye perspective on reality. Ultimately, a world without the sacred would be a completely different world—one in which we humans are not truly at home. Yet despite the shrinking place for the sacred in today’s world, Scruton says, the paths to transcendence remain open.
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Confessions of a Born-Again Pagan

Author: Anthony T. Kronman

Publisher: Yale University Press

ISBN: 0300224915

Category: Religion

Page: 1176

View: 493

In this passionate and searching book, Anthony Kronman offers a third way—beyond atheism and religion—to the God of the modern world We live in an age of disenchantment. The number of self-professed “atheists” continues to grow. Yet many still feel an intense spiritual longing for a connection to what Aristotle called the “eternal and divine.” For those who do, but demand a God that is compatible with their modern ideals, a new theology is required. This is what Anthony Kronman offers here, in a book that leads its readers away from the inscrutable Creator of the Abrahamic religions toward a God whose inexhaustible and everlasting presence is that of the world itself. Kronman defends an ancient conception of God, deepened and transformed by Christian belief—the born-again paganism on which modern science, art, and politics all vitally depend. Brilliantly surveying centuries of Western thought—from Plato to Augustine, Aquinas, and Kant, from Spinoza to Nietzsche, Darwin, and Freud—Kronman recovers and reclaims the God we need today.
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Liberty and Civilization

The Western Heritage

Author: Roger Scruton

Publisher: ReadHowYouWant.com

ISBN: 145871618X

Category: Civilization, Western

Page: 252

View: 8093

An essential volume of essays commissioned by the American Spectator and edited by the philosopher Roger Scruton, Liberty and Civilization examines the intellectual and spiritual traditions of our belief in individual liberty, from its Judeo Christian origins on through Enlightenment philosophy. As we are confronted by belligerent atheism at home and jihadist Islam abroad, Liberty and Civilization is an invaluable tool for understanding why it is critical that we defend the cultural, religious, and intellectual institutions that have made our civilization great.As one would expect from the American Spectator, the responses are both fiery and edifying, representing a broad swath of American conservative thought. The essayists include Paul Johnson, Anne Applebaum, Robert Bork, Robert P. George, Christina Hoff Sommers, and Roger Scruton.
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Francesca

Author: Roger Scruton

Publisher: A&C Black

ISBN: 1448211204

Category: Fiction

Page: 224

View: 1643

Set in the early 1960s, Francesca tells the story of Colin Ferguson, an aspiring writer whose life is blighted by love. The object of his love lies always out of reach, and never more so than when he holds her in his arms. Through Francesca he is offered a vision of modern England that frightens and enthrals him: whether escaping from hers or returning, he always sees something new and unsurprising in this haunted universe. And, as the tragic story unfolds, the reader enters into a world of guilt and hesitation which, for all its strangeness, has an air of uncanny truth. The kaleidoscope of characters Â? Colin's father, the embittered schoolmaster, Sarah, the lesbian poetess, Harold Plumptre, the prostitute and healer Â? constantly shifts and reassembles, drawing the ring of fate ever tighter until the novel reaches its surprising but inevitable climax. An atmospheric work, with passages of great descriptive power, Francesca is as a remarkable novel. Its intriguing characters and breathtaking pace grip the reader from the beginning, and its narrative expresses not only the drama of the characters, but also an urgent and compelling vision of the society from which they spring, and of the destiny of any man in the condition of modernity.
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Heretic

Confessions of an Ex-Catholic Rebel

Author: Jerome Tuccille

Publisher: iUniverse

ISBN: 0595384293

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 237

View: 4578

Religious fanaticism and intolerance are perhaps the greatest evils afflicting the human race. Most of the violence in the world today and throughout history has been caused by major religions trying to exterminate those who don't share the same beliefs. In this eye-opening memoir, author Jerome Tuccille shares the story of his intensely personal struggle with the Roman Catholic Church. After turning in an essay on the Virgin Birth that claimed the Catholic Church dehumanized women, Tuccille is denounced as a heretic by the dean of a Catholic college. As a result, he abandons the religion of his youth and embarks on a global odyssey through Australia, Singapore, India, Europe, and the United States. Tuccille's adventures lead to a life of decadence and transcendental discovery. HERETIC dramatizes a tug-of-war between the sensual and the divine, revealing the constant struggle with spiritual questions that have stirred the minds and hearts of thoughtful people since time began.
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On Human Nature

Author: Roger Scruton

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 1400884667

Category: Philosophy

Page: 160

View: 9562

A brief, radical defense of human uniqueness from acclaimed philosopher Roger Scruton In this short book, acclaimed writer and philosopher Roger Scruton presents an original and radical defense of human uniqueness. Confronting the views of evolutionary psychologists, utilitarian moralists, and philosophical materialists such as Richard Dawkins and Daniel Dennett, Scruton argues that human beings cannot be understood simply as biological objects. We are not only human animals; we are also persons, in essential relation with other persons, and bound to them by obligations and rights. Our world is a shared world, exhibiting freedom, value, and accountability, and to understand it we must address other people face to face and I to I. Scruton develops and defends his account of human nature by ranging widely across intellectual history, from Plato and Averroës to Darwin and Wittgenstein. The book begins with Kant's suggestion that we are distinguished by our ability to say "I"—by our sense of ourselves as the centers of self-conscious reflection. This fact is manifested in our emotions, interests, and relations. It is the foundation of the moral sense, as well as of the aesthetic and religious conceptions through which we shape the human world and endow it with meaning. And it lies outside the scope of modern materialist philosophy, even though it is a natural and not a supernatural fact. Ultimately, Scruton offers a new way of understanding how self-consciousness affects the question of how we should live. The result is a rich view of human nature that challenges some of today's most fashionable ideas about our species.
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Beautiful and Impossible Things

Author: Oscar Wilde

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9781910749067

Category: English essays

Page: 201

View: 4732

Famous for his witticisms, aestheticism, and flamboyant sense of dress, Oscar Wilde had a humanity and deep sense of justice that have often been obscured. This selection showcases the breadth and depth of his thinking and includes essays on interior design, prison reform, Shakespeare, the dramatic dialogue "The Decay of Lying," and the seminal "Soul of Man." These essays show that beneath the trademark wit and love of paradox, Wilde was far ahead of his time, as challenging and surprising today as he was in the late 1800s.
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Where We Are

The State of Britain Now

Author: Roger Scruton

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN: 147294786X

Category: Philosophy

Page: 256

View: 9853

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, and what in the coming years will hold us together. To what are our duties owed and why? How do we respond to the pull of globalisation and mass migration, to the rise of Islam and to the decline of Christian belief? Do we accept these as inevitable or do we resist them? If we resist them on what basis do we build? This book sets out to answer these questions, and to understand the volatile moment in which we live. Roger Scruton slices characteristically through the fog of debate with this sensible and profound account of our collective identity; essential reading for anyone interested in what it means to be British, what that might come to mean in future, and who wonders how we can define our place in a rapidly changing world.
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Confession of a Catholic

Author: Michael Novak

Publisher: University Press of America

ISBN: 9780819150233

Category: Religion

Page: 221

View: 6526

Eighteen years after Vatican II, this preeminent Catholic author called to account the values and policy of the Catholic church, reevaluating some of the changes that he helped to effect and the impact of these changes on American Catholic life. He concluded, 'The world and its church looks far different now in 1983 from its reality in 1965.... All is not well.' Originally published by Harper & Row in 1983.
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