Roger Scruton

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Philosopher of civilisation

“Taken by itself, freedom means the emancipation from constraints, including those constraints which might be needed if a civilisation is to endure. If all that Western civilisation offers is freedom, then it is a civilisation bent on its own destruction.”

~ Roger Scruton

1944-2020

Roger Scruton was the foremost conservative philosopher to bridge the 20th with 21st century. Author of over 50 books on subjects ranging from aesthetics, music, art, philosophy, architecture, history, literature, religion, ecology, the countryside, hunting and conservatism. He was a lecturer and Professor at Birkbeck College, visiting Professor at University of St Andrews, and a Fellow of Blackfriars Hall at Oxford University.

In 1968 he witnessed the radical student protests in Paris that brought down the French government at which point he adopted traditionalist conservativism. He was Editor of The Salisbury Review, a conservative political journal, between 1982 and 2001. Throughout the 1980s he supported the anti-communist democratic underground in Soviet dominated Eastern Europe for which he was later honoured. In 1998 President Vaclav Havel awarded him  the Czech Republic’s Medal of Merit (First Class); in 2019 the Polish President awarded him the Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland for supporting the democratic transformation of Poland. He was also awarded the Order of Merit of Hungary, Middle Cross by the Hungarian President.

He was Knighted for services to philosophy, teaching and public education. He became a Fellow of the British Academy, an Honourary Bencher of the Inner Temple, and taught an influential MA course in philosophy at the University of Buckingham.

Most importantly he was the husband of Sophie Scruton, and father of their two children.