Fools, Frauds and Firebrands

Thinkers of the New Left

Author: Roger Scruton

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN: 1408187345

Category: Political Science

Page: 304

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The thinkers who have been most influential on the attitudes of the New Left are examined in this study by one of the leading critics of leftist orientations in modern Western civilization. Scruton begins with a ruthless analysis of New Leftism and concludes with a critique of the key strands in its thinking. He conducts a reappraisal of such major left-wing thinkers as: E. P. Thompson, Ronald Dworkin, R. D. Laing, Jurgen Habermas, Gyorgy Lukacs, Jean-Paul Sartre, Jacques Derrida, Slavoj Zizek, Ralph Milliband and Eric Hobsbawm. In addition to assessments of these thinkers' philosophical and political contributions, the book contains a biographical and bibliographical section summarizing their careers and most important writings. In Thinkers of the New Left Scruton asks, what does the Left look like today and as it has evolved since 1989? He charts the transfer of grievances from the working class to women, gays and immigrants, asks what can we put in the place of radical egalitarianism, and what explains the continued dominance of antinomian attitudes in the intellectual world? Can there be any foundation for resistance to the leftist agenda without religious faith? Scruton's exploration of these important issues is written with skill, perception and at all times with pellucid clarity. The result is a devastating critique of modern left-wing thinking.
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Conversations with Roger Scruton

Author: Mark Dooley,Roger Scruton

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN: 1472917111

Category: Philosophy

Page: 224

View: 7066

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This book reveals what life was like for Roger Scruton growing up in High Wycombe, how he survived Cambridge and how he came to hold his conservative outlook. It tells of Scruton's rise to prominence while writing for The Times and sheds light on his campaign on behalf of underground dissidents in Eastern Europe. Ranging across topics as diverse as the current state of British philosophy, music, religion, and illuminating what lay behind Scruton's abandonment of academia for his new life on a Wiltshire farm, Conversations with Roger Scruton is an intimate portrait of a writer who has felt philosophy as a vocation and whose defence of unfashionable causes has brought him a wide readership in Britain and around the world.
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The Shipwreck Sea

Love Poems and Essays in a Classical Mode

Author: Jeffrey M. Duban

Publisher: CLAIRVIEW BOOKS

ISBN: 1912992019

Category: Poetry

Page: 380

View: 8189

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Sappho, in the words of poet Algernon Charles Swinburne (1837–1909), was “simply nothing less – as she is certainly nothing more – than the greatest poet who ever was at all.” Born over 2,600 years ago on the Greek island of Lesbos, Sappho, the namesake lesbian, wrote amorously of men and women alike, exhibiting both masculine and feminine tendencies in her poetry and life. What’s left of her writing, and what we know of her, is fragmentary, and thus ever subject to speculation and study. The Shipwreck Sea highlights the love poetry of the soulful Sappho, the impassioned Ibycus, and the playful Anacreon, among other Greek lyric poets of the age (7th to 5th centuries BC), with verse translations into English by author Jeffrey Duban. The book also features selected Latin poets who wrote on erotic themes – Catullus, Lucretius, Horace, and Petronius – and poems by Charles Baudelaire, with his milestone rejoinder to lesbian love (“Lesbos”) and, in the same stanzaic meter, a turn to the consoling power of memory in love’s more frequently tormented recall (“Le Balcon”). Duban also translates selected Carmina Burana of Carl Orff, the poems frequently Anacreontic in spirit. The book’s essays include a comprehensive analysis with a new translation of Horace’s famed Odes 1.5 (“To Pyrrha”), in which the theme of (love’s) shipwreck predominates, and an opening treatise-length argument – exploring painting, sculpture, literature, and other Western art forms – on the irrelevance of gender to artistic creation. (No, Homer was not a woman, and it would make no difference if she were.) Twenty full-color artwork reproductions, masterpieces in their own right, illustrate and bring Duban’s argument to life. Finally, Duban presents a selection of his own love poems, imitations and pastiches written over a lifetime – these composed in the “classical mode”, which is the leitmotif of this volume. The Shipwreck Sea is a delightful and continually thought-provoking companion to The Lesbian Lyre, both books vividly demonstrating that classicism yet thrives in our time, despite the modernism marshaled against it.
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On Human Nature

Author: Roger Scruton

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 1400884667

Category: Philosophy

Page: 160

View: 580

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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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Confessions of a Heretic

Selected Essays

Author: Roger Scruton

Publisher: New York Review of Books

ISBN: 1910749362

Category: Political Science

Page: 208

View: 8178

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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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