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The Roger Scruton Reader Hardcover – November 27, 2009
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Author article in Irish Daily Mail
'This is a book brimming with observations and arguments, some surprising, many provocative, all engaging.'- Chandran Kukathas, The American Conservative
'An excellent introduction to [Scruton's] range of interests' - Kenneth Minogue, Times Literary Supplement
"Dooley compiles 16 selected essays by English philosopher Roger Scruton on topics ranging from conservative politics to sex, culture, the environment, wine, and hunting, which were written between 1986 and 2008 (most after 2000). He aims to present a companion to his volume Roger Scruton: The Philosopher on Dover Beach and a text for those wishing to teach Scruton's philosophy or become acquainted with his work. The first group of essays relate to Scruton's political conservatism, followed by sections on his theory of the nation and his ideas about sex and marriage, religion, knowledge, and the role of architecture in human life." -Eithne O'Leyne, BOOK NEWS, Inc.
About the Author
Mark Dooley has held lectureships at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth, and at University College Dublin where he was John Henry Newman Scholar of Theology. From 2003-2006, he wrote a controversial column on foreign affairs for the Sunday Independent. Since 2006, he has written for the Irish Daily Mail. Dooley is also a regular broadcaster on Irish radio and television, and has served as a political speech writer. He is author of The Politics of Exodus: Kierkegaard's Ethics of Responsibility (2001), The Philosophy of Derrida (2007), and Roger Scruton: The Philosopher on Dover Beach (2009). He is editor of Questioning Ethics (1999), Questioning God (2001), A Passion for the Impossible (2003), and The Roger Scruton Reader (2009).
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Top customer reviews
I am delighted to see this anthology and look forward to reading it, too, just to get a broader overview of Scruton's writing quickly.
I can recommend both Scruton and Dooley most highly.
Mr. Scruton is a good deal more sound when it comes to questions of culture. He goes too far not in his defense of High Culture but in his trashing of Low Culture. Still, he's more right than wrong here.
The sections on Sex and Marriage are the best in the book, spot on.
I've never liked Scruton's arguments about religion. He seems to advocate Christianity not because he believes it to be true but because he thinks it makes for a more civilized and orderly society. This is, at best, an incomplete view of Christianity (Jesus, as you may recall, was known to upset applecarts, throw over tables, kick money-changers out of temples, etc.; he was really quite hard on the social order of his day). It's also theologically untenable. Either you believe Christianity to be true and you throw yourself headlong into trying to achieve salvation or you choose some other belief system to follow. Trying to be a Christian merely because you think it will make people behave better in public just doesn't wash and is yet another example of Scruton's Toryism, his belief that preserving order trumps all. Most Americans, Left and Right, accept that our systems of government and politics will put our society in a nearly constant state of flux and we live, most of us happily, with the resultant disorder. We accept no class or caste system; poor people get rich, rich people get poor, Christians and others will follow the dictates of their consciences regardless of the effect on order. It's not always an easy system under which to live but it's our system and few of us would trade it for Mr Scruton's gulag of order and civility.
So, as I wrote at the outset, American readers, particularly conservatives, will find some things to like here, but they will also find some things that grate.
Mr Scruton's prose will engender this same dichotomy of feelings: he can go from elegant to turgid in an instant and, once he goes turgid, he tends to stay turgid for quite a while.