How does one begin to classify the prodigious activities of Roger Scruton? He publishes a couple of books a year, one as good as the next. He is a philosopher (in the classical as well as the academic sense of the term), a man of letters, an astute political thinker, and a student of high culture in all its diverse manifestations. He has written successful operas as well as fine novels. “Public intellectual” doesn’t begin to describe the breadth and depth of his activities and reflection. He is the opposite of the “specialists without spirit” lamented by Max Weber in his famous 1919 essay “Science as a Vocation.” The academy has trouble finding a place for someone who wishes to think and speak authoritatively about the human world and its relationship to the whole of things. It is not surprising then that Scruton left the academic world in 1993 (after twenty years at...


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