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Ideas of Roger Scruton, by Text

[British, b.1944, Born High Wycombe; Royal Grammar School there. Birkbeck, London and University of Boston. Retired to write. Noted conservative controversialist.]

1976 Representation in Music
p.63-4 p.63 If music refers to love, it contains no predication, so it is expression, not language
p.71 p.71 Reference without predication is the characteristic of expression
p.74 p.74 Music is not representational, since thoughts about a subject are never essential to it
1980 Recent Aesthetics in England and America
p.13 p.13 Aesthetic experience informs the world with the values of the observer
p.3 p.3 Kant gave form and status to aesthetics, and Hegel gave it content
p.3 p.3 Aesthetics has risen and fallen with Romanticism
1981 The Nature of Musical Expression
p.49 p.49 Expressing melancholy is a good thing, but arousing it is a bad thing
p.54 p.54 Romantics say music expresses ideas, or the Will, or intuitions, or feelings
1981 Short History of Modern Philosophy
Bibliog p.291 Allegiance is prior to the recognition of individual rights
Ch.14 p.199 A right is a power which is enforced in the name of justice
Ch.4 p.44 Cartesian 'ideas' confuse concepts and propositions
Ch.4 p.45 Nowadays logic is seen as the science of extensions, not intensions
1982 A Dictionary of Political Thought
'abortion' p.1 The issue of abortion seems insoluble, because there is nothing with which to compare it
'allegiance' p.12 Allegiance is fundamental to the conservative view of society
'altruism' p.14 Altruism is either emotional (where your interests are mine) or moral (where they are reasons for me)
'consequentialism' p.89 Consequentialism emphasises value rather than obligation in morality
'Kant' p.246 Kant completed Grotius's project of a non-religious basis for natural law
'law' p.259 For positivists law is a matter of form, for naturalists it is a matter of content
'liberalism' p.269 Liberals focus on universal human freedom, natural rights, and tolerance
'paradox of democracy' p.341 Democrats are committed to a belief and to its opposite, if the majority prefer the latter
'rights' p.409 The idea of a right seems fairly basic; justice may be the disposition to accord rights to people
1982 Laughter
1 p.152 Since only men laugh, it seems to be an attribute of reason
12 p.165 Only rational beings are attentive without motive or concern
5 p.156 Amusement rests on superiority, or relief, or incongruity
7 p.159 Objects of amusement do not have to be real
9 p.163 The central object of amusement is the human
1982 Public Text and Common Reader
p.15 p.15 Without intentions we can't perceive sculpture, but that is not the whole story
p.18 p.18 In aesthetic interest, even what is true is treated as thought it were not
p.24 p.24 We can be objective about conventions, but love of art is needed to understand its traditions
p.25 p.25 In literature, word replacement changes literary meaning
p.27 p.27 Literary meaning emerges in comparisons, and tradition shows which comparisons are relevant
1993 Upon Nothing: Swansea lecture
p.9 The benefits of social freedom outweigh the loneliness, doubt and alienation it brings
p.2 p.2 On the surface of deconstructive writing, technicalities float and then drift away
p.29 p.29 Deconstruction is the last spasm of romanticism, now become hopeless and destructive
p.7 p.6 Two marxist ideas have dominated in France: base and superstructure, and ideology
p.9 p.9 So-called 'liberation' is the enemy of freedom, destroying the very structures that are needed
1994 Modern Philosophy:introduction and survey
1.1 p.6 Why should you believe someone who says there are no truths?
1.2 p.7 Philosophy aims to provide a theory of everything
3.2 p.25 Logical positivism avoids scepticism, by closing the gap between evidence and conclusion
4 p.41 In the Cogito argument consciousness develops into self-consciousness
5.3 p.54 Wittgenstein makes it impossible to build foundations from something that is totally private
9.1 p.99 A true proposition is consistent with every other true proposition
9.4 p.106 The pragmatist does not really have a theory of truth
10.1 p.114 We only conceive of primary qualities as attached to secondary qualities
11.2 p.127 Membership is the greatest source of obligation
13.2 p.162 Maybe our knowledge of truth and causation is synthetic a priori
13.5 p.168 Hume assumes that necessity can only be de dicto, not de re
14 p.173 'Cause' used to just mean any valid explanation
15.7 p.194 If p entails q, then p is sufficient for q, and q is necessary for p
17.1 p.228 Every event having a cause, and every event being determined by its cause, are not the same
20.1 p.273 We may define 'good' correctly, but then ask whether the application of the definition is good
20.6 p.290 The categorical imperative is not just individual, but can be used for negotiations between strangers
20.6 p.291 Any social theory of morality has the problem of the 'free rider', who only pretends to join in
22 p.317 Epistemology is about the justification of belief, not the definition of knowledge
22.4 p.322 My belief that it will rain tomorrow can't be caused by its raining tomorrow
23.3 p.334 The representational theory says perceptual states are intentional states
24 p.341 Touch only seems to reveal primary qualities
25 p.355 The conceivable can't be a test of the possible, if there are things which are possible but inconceivable
25.3 p.360 Measuring space requires no movement while I do it
26.2 p.386 'Existence' is not a predicate of 'man', but of the concept of man, saying it has at least one instance
26.4 p.392 If possible worlds are needed to define properties, maybe we should abandon properties
26.6 p.394 Could you be intellectually acquainted with numbers, but unable to count objects?
26.7 p.395 If maths contains unprovable truths, then maths cannot be reduced to a set of proofs
Ch.10 n p.524 If primary and secondary qualities are distinct, what has the secondary qualities?
Ch.16 n p.539 The very concept of a substance denies the possibility of mutual interaction and dependence
1996 Animal Rights and Wrongs
p.104 p.104 We favour our own animals over foreign ones because we see them as fellow citizens
p.107 p.107 Brutal animal sports are banned because they harm the personality of the watcher
p.13 p.13 Many of the stranger forms of life (e.g. worms) interest us only as a species, not as individuals
p.14 p.14 Perception (which involves an assessment) is a higher state than sensation
p.15 p.15 If an animal has beliefs, that implies not only that it can make mistakes, but that it can learn from them
p.15 p.15 Having beliefs involves recognition, expectation and surprise
p.16 p.16 Animals command our sympathy and moral concern initially because of their intentionality
p.16 p.16 Conditioning may change behaviour without changing the mind
p.17 p.17 An emotion is a motive which is also a feeling
p.19 p.19 Do we use reason to distinguish people from animals, or use that difference to define reason?
p.23 p.23 There is consciousness whenever behaviour must be explained in terms of mental activity
p.28 p.28 Our concept of a person is derived from Roman law
p.30 p.30 Kant's Moral Law is the rules rational beings would accept when trying to live by agreement
p.33 p.33 The modern virtues are courage, prudence, wisdom, temperance, justice, charity and loyalty
p.39 p.39 An animal has individuality if it is nameable, and advanced animals can respond to their name
p.41 p.41 I may avoid stepping on a spider or flower, but fellow-feeling makes me protect a rabbit
p.43 p.43 Lucky animals are eaten by large predators, the less lucky starve, and worst is death by small predators
p.44 p.44 We can easily remove the risk of suffering from an animal's life, but we shouldn't do it
p.50 p.50 Utilitarianism is wrong precisely because it can't distinguish animals from people
p.52 p.52 Utilitarianism says we can't blame Stalin yet, but such a theory is a sick joke
p.52 p.52 Morality is not a sort of calculation, it is what sets the limits to when calculation is appropriate
p.54 p.54 Sympathy can undermine the moral order just as much as crime does
p.56 p.56 All moral life depends ultimately on piety, which is our recognition of our own dependence
p.59 p.59 As soon as we drop self-interest and judge impartially, we find ourselves agreeing about conflicts
p.61 p.61 Only just people will drop their own self-interests when faced with an impartial verdict
p.63 p.63 Utilitarianism merely guides us (by means of sympathy) when the moral law is silent
p.75 p.75 Many breeds of animals have needs which our own ancestors planted in them
p.81 p.81 Sheep and cattle live comfortable lives, and die an enviably easy death
p.86 p.86 That which can only be done by a callous person, ought not to be done
p.87 p.87 Concern for one animal may harm the species, if the individual is part of a bigger problem
p.87 p.87 Letting your dog kill wild rats, and keeping rats for your dog to kill, are very different
p.91 p.91 Introducing a natural means of controlling animal population may not be very compassionate
p.97 p.97 Animals are outside the community of rights, but we still have duties towards them
2011 Beauty: a very short introduction
1 p.3 Beauty (unlike truth and goodness) is questionable as an ultimate value
1 p.4 Defining truth presupposes that there can be a true definition
1 p.7 Do aesthetic reasons count as reasons, if they are rejectable without contradiction?
1 p.11 Maybe 'beauty' is too loaded, and we should talk of fittingness or harmony
1 p.26 The pleasure taken in beauty also aims at understanding and valuing
2 p.55 Natural beauty reassures us that the world is where we belong
5 p.90 Art gives us imaginary worlds which we can view impartially
5 p.105 Croce says art makes inarticulate intuitions conscious; rival views say the audience is the main concern
7 p.123 Beauty shows us what we should want in order to achieve human fulfilment
7 p.137 Prostitution is wrong because it hardens the soul, since soul and body are one
9 p.163 Beauty is rationally founded, inviting meaning, comparison and self-reflection