Roger Scruton - The True, the Good and the Beautiful

  • Published on Apr 13, 2017
  • Read the full transcript

    Eminent Scholar of aesthetics Roger Scruton raises important questions about the individual's relationship with morality and the arts.
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Comments • 99

  • Nathan Stoddard
    Nathan Stoddard 5 months ago +2

    Good lecture!

  • OriginalLHB
    OriginalLHB 5 months ago +1

    For once I must vigorously disagree with Sir Roger. I can see that the Tintoretto is great art but it is oriented far more toward the Last Judgement and therefore distracts one from the essential reality of The Crucifixion, which is the totality of Christ's suffering. The nature of His sacrifice is thus glossed over in the Tintoretto which I find to be a repugnant piece of art for it's Triumphalist orientation. The Grunewald is a masterpiece. Also, just because Schubert drank a little too much doesn't make him depraved. Wagner is more problematic; he was a genuine jerk.

  • Paul G
    Paul G 6 months ago

    There is a north star for navigating all things moral, social and political, Scruton!

  • Paul G
    Paul G 7 months ago +1

    Thank you so much LDS for bringing this beautiful man to us!!!

  • jimeas popoloiv
    jimeas popoloiv 7 months ago

    Im so sorry Sir Scruton, but the political correct culture Marxist modern man will not listen. They are not forced, brainwashed or enslaved, they are deeply convinced feminists, liberals, multi cultural and diversity worshipers. Everything that we consider ugly, degenerate, unnatural and decadent is freedom, happiness, love and equality for them. They made their choice, they are all grown ups. We wont win. We might found foundations, society and domains of our own. A form of autonomy . But the modern world belongs to the liberals, the white self hating ethnic masochists and political correct mass and bugman.

  • Rod Bathgate
    Rod Bathgate 7 months ago +2

    Good on the beautiful truths of the mind behind Sir Roger Scruton.

  • beatonthedonis47
    beatonthedonis47 8 months ago

    Scruton is neither true, nor good - and he's certainly not beautiful.

  • levcimac
    levcimac 8 months ago +2

    Ken Wilber does a decent job at delineating, distinguishing and integrating The Good, True & Beautiful. He also does a good job at showing how we can sometimes fall into reductionism whereby we fail to delineate, distinguish and integrate elements that make up The Good, True & Beautiful in the wider culture... which is already happening. The patterns he points out are very educational.

  • Denis Dražetič
    Denis Dražetič 8 months ago +8

    what i like about serious conservatives is that they tend to translate complicated topics into simple ones, and in doing so discern facts from bullshit, but at the same time there is the risk that they may discredit valid points wich are subtle and elegant, classic example of schopenauer and hegel.

  • Bob Marshall
    Bob Marshall 8 months ago +2

    Unfortunately Mr Scruton has stated in another video that he likes hunting. To me there can be no reason why someone who claims to be refined can condone blood "sports".

  • Zé Kielwagen
    Zé Kielwagen 9 months ago +2

    He lost me when he said "there was nobody living here back then"...

  • Alan Flood
    Alan Flood 9 months ago +1


  • Zhao Xiaoying
    Zhao Xiaoying 9 months ago +5

    A true wise man.

  • Muguetsu
    Muguetsu 10 months ago


  • Pius Hälg
    Pius Hälg 10 months ago +2

    In respect to the picture of Grünewald I would say that the picture of the crucifiction has to be related to the picture of the resurrected Christ by the same painter on the backside of the altar in order to understand the message.

  • Anthony DiMichele
    Anthony DiMichele 10 months ago

    I wonder if DW Griffith's film The Birth of a Nation can be "rescued" in the same way that Wagner's work was explained? I think the overt racism in that film was marginalized for many years, culminating in a DW Griffith award given for Hollywood films of technical excellence (Kubrick received one); but it was later withdrawn for its racist associations. The film glorifies the Ku Klux Klan and actually lead to a resurgence of membership and its attendant violence.

  • Isabella Assis
    Isabella Assis 10 months ago +8

    God, I love this man.

  • dariushkananimusic
    dariushkananimusic 11 months ago +10

    This man is brilliant and utterly charming.

  • normandylander
    normandylander Year ago +7

    Beauty isn't goodness, but goodness is beautiful.

    • Craig Smith
      Craig Smith 7 months ago

      normandylander _Beauty isn't goodness, but goodness is beautiful_
      H' that statement quite balanced enough to be valid? Shouldn't it be 'Beauty isn't goodness, and goodness isn't beauty'? Put that way, it seems clearer, I think. However, I think we can say, 'Beauty is good, and good is beautiful,' depending on how one thinks 'beautiful' should be defined. I think that the Good is beautiful while the Good is not Beauty (that's why we have the different concepts), but both are desirable for a fully human life because the Beautiful is part of the Good, and the Good is crucial to our living well and rightly.

  • Wm. Thomas Sherman
    Wm. Thomas Sherman Year ago +1

    I like Roger Scruton and generally agree with what he says, but in this talk I would take exception with a few things. Satan a sympathetic figure in "Paradise Lost?" To each his own but I hardly saw him that way. And to use commercially driven Thomas Kincaid as a representative of sentimentality is grossly unfair and absurd. Try rather Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer or Doctor Dolittle. Now what says Scruton to these? I myself like them much better than Wagner or Puccini. And now that he mentions it, as far as most 19th and 20th century classical music generally, and aside perhaps for Tchaikovsky or Rachmaninoff, they are like Scruton's books of science, ordinarily good for one read, or in their case one listen, unlike say 18th century classical music, like Mozart, or the Baroque of such as Handel and Vivaldi; which we can stand hearing over and over and over again.

    • OriginalLHB
      OriginalLHB 5 months ago

      I hate to say it, but your musical aesthetic has yet to rise to the level of your literary aesthetic. Satan is of course not a sympathetic figure in Paradise Lost but he does have most of the best lines.

  • William James
    William James Year ago +7

    Sir Roger - Insightful and enriching. I am better because of his effort here. Thank you.

  • Delcio Alves
    Delcio Alves Year ago


  • Georeo deo
    Georeo deo Year ago +4

    Good is predicated upon God. The Good or God shoots forth its creative Idea as the Light of Truth which, striking the magic Mirror of matter, shines with pleasure at representing that Truth in the many forms of Beauty. The lower man projects his own horrors on that same screen and suffers accordingly. Truth is Light, Beauty is Life and both are made One in Goodness, which is Love.
    "Wisdom perfects Art; Art perfects Nature, and Nature perfected is the Wise man's Stone."

      ORRIOL BOHIGAS 5 months ago

      @Vir Quisque Vir why not ? otherwise is he gonna punish me ?

      ORRIOL BOHIGAS 5 months ago

      Good existed way before any god was invented by men. what you say makes no sense. also, in the history of mankind, the name of god has been spent more often to commit atrocities than to do any good.

    • Vir Quisque Vir
      Vir Quisque Vir 6 months ago

      Tim McGee - Don't underestimate God.

    • Tim McGee
      Tim McGee 8 months ago +1

      No - good is not predicated on god. God has nothing to do with it. Don't underestimate yourself.

  • Mark Creemore
    Mark Creemore Year ago +67

    We should count ourselves very lucky to live in the same moment in history as Sir Roger Scruton and Dr Jordan Peterson.

    • Paul G
      Paul G 7 months ago

      Hear hear!!!

    • Koko B. Kakow
      Koko B. Kakow 8 months ago

      Mike Enoch? Eric Stryker? Richard Spencer?

    • DariaRock
      DariaRock 9 months ago

      As well?

    • DariaRock
      DariaRock 9 months ago +2

      Charles Taylor ? John Lennox? Thomas Nagel ?

    • AJ James
      AJ James 10 months ago +8

      When Peterson speaks on clinical psychology he is a giant, when he strays into politics and philosophy not so much. Scruton is a true polymath.

  • wa0w w0aow
    wa0w w0aow Year ago +1

    Should have uploaded this video in mono, would have made the audio better.

  • Sebastian Melmoth

    Milton's Satan noble? Good grief!

  • Elisabeth Arana
    Elisabeth Arana Year ago +2

    ATT: Roger Scruton
    You could never imagine how deeply moved I'm by your speech and for your excellent TV documentary “Why Beauty Matters”..
    If I may say my point of view I believe Art has been always subordinated to the service of the Status Quo until the Impressionists rebel against and refuses to paint to glorify Empire (Monarchs, Church...). Then was when the Status Quo said: "If you do not want to glorify me I will destroy you" And so they did it. And so they do it.
    If it's not too much to ask, I wish you could clicked the link here & I am highly curious regarding your honest opinion about these works. If you do it I'll feel most privileged and profoundly grateful.
    I look forward most hopefully to hearing from you,
    Thank you, very much, for your kind attention Roger

  • Stuey apStuey
    Stuey apStuey Year ago +2

    4:40 '..there was no one living in this part of the world, just then...' at least no one worth speaking of... (that we haven't since extinguished)...
    Neo-Cons of the world unite - Don't we all just love beauty and truth!

  • Plato 77
    Plato 77 Year ago


    • Proteus
      Proteus 5 months ago +1

      I see you haven't changed your mind about art Plato.


    I advise Hr.Scruton first to read Zeno, Plotinus, Origen, Kant, Hegel, Marx, Spencer etc, before speaking about art, science, religion and its interconnections. Why have proven bourgeois Anglo-Saxon philosophers to be stupid?

    • Philip Collier
      Philip Collier Year ago +9

      Imagine assuming that he hasn’t read these already... you’re not advising anything, just trying to advertise how “well read” and superior you are, compared to those other snivelling proles who might stumble across this arrogant little boast of yours.

    • Dr. Catherine C. McCall [ThePhilosophyDoctor]
      Dr. Catherine C. McCall [ThePhilosophyDoctor] Year ago +13

      Sir Roger Scruton is an expert in: Plato, Aristotle, Zeno, Kant Hegel, Marx etc. As a philosopher he has taught philosophy for 50 years. And written about 50 books. study his books before you pass judgement

  • gary schofield
    gary schofield 2 years ago +9

    The incorporating of the Aristotelian transcendentals into 13th c. Christian philosophy was the beginning of the end for beauty: the wonder of being cannot be understood simply as a joy taken in finding things to have perfection according to our thought processes. There are types of beauty that can but those types of experiences that might be called spectacular or awe inspiring, for instance, come about due to our inability to fully comprehend them e.g. a sunset. The aporia concerning the existence of beauty as a property of things or only of mind can only be solved by the belief in an higher power or a recognition of our inadequacy to fully comprehend the universe. Since the Enlightenment we have been brainwashed into disregarding the spectacular aspect of beauty as the aporia cannot be solved by secular paradigm. I believe that the solution lie not in sociological and cultural enquiry but at a fundamental level concerning the nature of being. If we desire a healthy culture we must first alter our convictions. I personally rejected the Marxist theory underpinning the Abstract Expressionism that I was being taught many years ago; it has taken a life time to recognise that my sensibilities must be governed by a solid philosophical/spiritual belief system if I am to make art that has positive instrumentality. Due to this I now consider the ornamental to be the most profound, liberating and meaningful.

    • Tom Spriggs
      Tom Spriggs 7 months ago

      @aerogun18 I still don't think this is correct, one cannot fully apprehend universals by particulars. This is why we have the saying "An exception to the rule does not disprove it" and we give less weight to personal observations than more provable evidence. Ultimately, universals are not made up of the sum of observable particulars about them. The particulars point to the universal and even accurately describe much of the universals, but those universals are not exactly like particulars and exist separately from them. A particularly beautiful sunset may be triggered by forest fires in another state that destroys the lives of tens of thousands of people. But their suffering cannot tell us anything about why we see sunsets as beautiful.

    • aerogun18
      aerogun18 9 months ago +1

      Aristotelian influence in christianity has existed since the beginning, mainly through Plotinus. Even Augustine believed that we can only apprehend universals by the particulars. I don't think you know anything about Aristotle.

    • Karan Jagtap
      Karan Jagtap Year ago

      Are you an orthodox christian?

    • hervor33
      hervor33 Year ago

      Wonderful insight, and I mean that. Wonder and the medieval connection between all things as something to be discovered, not a mere reflection of our perception is needed now more than ever. Reading Lewis’s Discarded Image currently.

    • Raphael Reichmann Rolim
      Raphael Reichmann Rolim Year ago +3

      Hi, Gary. Could you elaborate on "ornamental"?

  • Modern Witchery
    Modern Witchery 2 years ago +54

    That man is a real Jedi.

  • ailblentyn
    ailblentyn 2 years ago +7

    4:50 "Of course ther was noone living in this part of the world then".
    Says it all. Or at least a lot.

    • Emilio Diaz
      Emilio Diaz Year ago +1

      Thanks for the insight anime girl

    • Chessiah
      Chessiah Year ago +5

      Actually as far as I can tell it doesn't really seem to say a lot. All that's needed is a factual correction, the error itself doesn't have any consequential bearing on his subject matter.

    • Einsatzgruppen Commander
      Einsatzgruppen Commander Year ago +1

      I suppose is unlikely that the Utes shared Sir Roger's aesthetic sensibilities.

  • D U
    D U 2 years ago +15

    Incredible lecture. So elucidating and poignant. Enthralled from as soon as I heard the introduction. It is always about questions, always. The beauty is to find the right questions to ask and the meaning to a meaningful life is the ability to be able to ask enough questions to find it.

  • Maria Callous
    Maria Callous 2 years ago +2

    Art acting on the soul. That happens. Heavy metal produces a different soul and Beethoven produces another type of soul

  • Rob Sinclaire
    Rob Sinclaire 2 years ago

    When I was a Kid a product came out called "Scratch 'an Sniff" and that's all this is, smelling Farts!

    • Dave Wilson
      Dave Wilson 2 years ago +6

      I see you support recycling. We have common ground after all.

    • Rob Sinclaire
      Rob Sinclaire 2 years ago

      And you, Sir, are the very Fountain of Wit

    • Dave Wilson
      Dave Wilson 2 years ago +6

      Rob Sinclaire you are a model of profundity.

  • Julian Stafford
    Julian Stafford 2 years ago +10

    I have noted that left-wing thinkers are often vain, and exhibit this in a variety of ways, including eccentric "attention seeking" whiskers and/or hair that is self-consciously groomed (like narcissistic teenagers, forever looking in the mirror). Sir Roger certainly cannot be accused of this. If you will forgive me, the great man looks as though he has just fallen out of bed and slung on whatever happens to be in the wardrobe, which I find reassuring. I don't know why I have written this. I got a bit squiffy last night. Toodle pip! By the way, apparently hairdressers are (apparently) the "happiest" members of our community, and dentists the "unhappiest" (forever throwing themselves off cliffs or sticking their heads in gas ovens etc...). Perhaps this is because they are always down-in-the-mouth -- ha! ha!

    • CortezHoratio
      CortezHoratio Year ago

      Wow your first observation is bizarre to me. Is the opposite not asserted much more often? Is it not a more traditional or conservative value base that would associate personal appearance with sophistication and intelligence? Perhaps I have just made the opposite generalisation based on my experiences or, dare I say, political bias.
      I also find his apparent lack of vanity reassuring though! I don't often see things as Scruton does, but in my opinion he is always interesting and undeniably classy.

    • John Martin
      John Martin 2 years ago

      Actually on this occasion he is relatively well-dressed. I mean he is even wearing a tie!

  • Val Lamon
    Val Lamon 2 years ago

    right off the bat - the typical academic line that we are forever questioning while never having the answer and that's just the way it should be - johnny depp, the film don juan demarco, the four questions scene - there's your answer

    • Annabelle Rankin
      Annabelle Rankin 2 years ago

      Yes, forever questioning because art opens your heart to possibility...

  • Simon Harris
    Simon Harris 2 years ago +11

    I disagree that art isn't a purely sensory pleasure. In the case of music and some painting it often is. Both can also be analysed intellectually but speaking personally, I often allow the feelings and emotions that works of art provoke before attempting to extract meaning!

    • Sebastian Guzman
      Sebastian Guzman Year ago

      You've said it yourself: "PURELY"!

    • Ursa Maior
      Ursa Maior Year ago +2


    • Maria Callous
      Maria Callous 2 years ago

      what would a dog scratching its fleas mean intellectually?

    • John Martin
      John Martin 2 years ago +7

      Of course you do! Otherwise the intellect has nothing to work on. - But then you experience the work again. And your experience should be enriched by the intellectual work you have done. And the first experience of a genuine work of art never counts for very much. In this sense works of art are like people. It takes time before you learn to love them in any profound way.

  • Borislav Markov
    Borislav Markov 2 years ago +36

    "Truth is tricky, goodness - even trickier, but beauty is easy to discern." I love that quote, but am unsure of its truthfulness.

    • Nathan Stoddard
      Nathan Stoddard 5 months ago +2

      "beauty is easy to discern."
      It really *is... drop the pretense of "intellectual" superiority (or one's fear of being found wanting), and then that which touches your soul (not the religious soul, but the core of your emotional center); that is beauty. It's when you feel some emotional connection (on a personal level) that's deeper then a superficial passing curiosity.
      It just "grabs you" sometimes subtly, sometimes powerfully.

    • Maria Callous
      Maria Callous 2 years ago

      That's about as smart as-I know pornography when I see it.

    • John Martin
      John Martin 2 years ago

      At least it's beautiful and even good. And truth without beauty and goodness is merely a desire to shock. So maybe it's true as well. (All three have to endure the test of time before we can finally tell.)

    • John Martin
      John Martin 2 years ago +2

      At least it's beautiful and even good. And truth without beauty and goodness is merely a desire to shock. So maybe it's true as well. (All three have to endure the test of time before we can finally tell.)

  • _____
    _____ 2 years ago +1

    all the anglosaxon thought is based in aristocratic degeneracy which wants to have absolute power over the rest of the humanity.
    There are many degenerates all over the world who stick with that sick.
    And that is the story of the Mother of all Frauds.

    • Cris S
      Cris S 2 years ago +10

      __ ___ you do not understand at all the Western world. look at the quality of ideas and their universality. grow up!

  • Delivered Icebath
    Delivered Icebath 2 years ago +2

    a bit dull...

  • Caio Cavalcanti
    Caio Cavalcanti 2 years ago +4

    58:49 Great question.

  • Charles peterson
    Charles peterson 2 years ago +4

    Beethovan and heeeveymuddle, two puds in a pee.

  • Matt Gilbert
    Matt Gilbert 2 years ago +74

    I like Beethoven and Heavy Metal.

    • Music Lover No.5
      Music Lover No.5 Year ago

      I like Shostakovich and post-punk.

    • Art Curious
      Art Curious Year ago

      people listen to music for different reasons. It could be cultural tradition. Or a song could be terrible but it has a good memory attached to it. Or it could be great but you don’t understand it so you turn it off. Age, gender, life experience, and music education all play a factor.
      A lot of pop music is produced by some guy in a back room you never heard of, it’s strictly about making money. The challenge of living inside the US is trying to fight your way out of the pop culture smog that surrounds everyone and find art, music, and literature that points us toward higher ideals. Jazz music has almost been completely drowned out by rock and hip hop and classical still feels elitist.

    • Pixie & Dixie
      Pixie & Dixie Year ago

      Matt Gilbert Bach , Beethoven and Brahms and yeaaah! heavy Metal, brother!

    • Tom Meakin
      Tom Meakin Year ago +3

      Many of the classical greats would be metalheads if they were born today ;)

    • otto family
      otto family Year ago

      Mozart × Marshall = Metallica