The Corner

Roger Scruton & Me

Stanley: I take your point, and agree with it in a sort of guilty-delinquent spirit. I know I should try to take in more philosophy, but my temperament is all against it. Case in point: Roger Scruton. Now, I have met Roger a couple of times and like him immensely. (I’ll be meeting him again June 3rd, when The New Criterion has a dinner for him.) I regard Roger as a hero of our time: he has kept the guttering flame of conservative thought alight in England at considerable personal sacrifice to himself, both professional and financial. I have dutifully bought several of his books, starting with Sexual Desire, which I was hoping might give me some insight into why I dislike homosexuality so much. It didn’t. In fact, I didn’t finish it, nor any of the others. I think I did best with The Philosopher on Dover Beach, which contains, amongst much else, Roger’s idea that “endarkenment” ought to be an essential component of a modern education (to counteract the malign effect of the Enlightenment, see?) Roger has a deep, interesting and agile mind, and a great stock of knowledge. Why can’t I finish any of his books? Because I can’t digest philosophy, that’s why. In the true spirit of the age, I am going to declare that this is NOT MY FAULT. I was born this way. Like being lactose-intolerant….

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