The Uses Of Pessimism and the Danger of False Hope by Roger Scruton

Roger Caldwell scrutinizes Scruton.

Roger Scruton has presented himself in many guises: as the proponent of a Conservative political philosophy, as an aesthetician concerned with architecture and music, and latterly as an elegist of old England and a celebrator of rural life, foxhunting and wine. In his latest book Scruton again presents himself as a political philosopher. In this guise in former days he drew opprobrium to himself as a Thatcherite. There is a certain irony in this, in that drawing on a tradition of conservative political philosophy which embraced Burke, Hegel and Oakeshott, Scruton owed little or nothing to Thatcher, and she in turn owed little or nothing to him.

Scruton earlier offered a re-vamped account of his conservatism in A Political Philosophy (2006), and his most recent book, The Uses of Pessimism and the Danger of False Hope builds and develops on this account, not without some re-packaging of familiar Scrutonian themes.

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