<!DOCTYPE html><HTML lang="en"> <head><meta charset="utf-8"> <title>An Intelligent Person's Guide to Philosophy (Scruton (Roger)) - Theo Todman's Book Collection (Book-Paper Abstracts)</title> <link href="../../../TheosStyle.css" rel="stylesheet" type="text/css"><link rel="shortcut icon" href="../../../TT_ICO.png" /> </head> <a name="Top"></a> <BODY> <div id="header"> <HR><H1>Theo Todman's Book Collection (Book-Paper Abstracts)</H1></div> <hr><CENTER><TABLE class = "Bridge" WIDTH=950><tr><td colspan =2><A HREF = "../BookSummary_596.htm">An Intelligent Person's Guide to Philosophy</A></td></tr><tr><td colspan =2><A HREF = "../../../Authors/S/Author_Scruton (Roger).htm">Scruton (Roger)</a></td></tr><tr><td colspan =2>This Page provides (where held) the <b>Abstract</b> of the above <b>Book</b> and those of all the <b>Papers</b> contained in it.</td></tr><tr><td><A HREF="#ColourConventions">Text Colour-Conventions</a></td><td><A HREF = "../BooksToNotes_596.htm">Notes Citing this Book</A></td></tr></tr></TABLE></CENTER><hr> <P ALIGN = "Justify"><FONT Size = 2 FACE="Arial"><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><B>BOOK ABSTRACT: </B><BR><BR><U>Back Cover Blurb</U><FONT COLOR = "800080"><ol type="1"><li>This is a personal view of philosophy from a renowned critic and thinker. In it, Roger Scruton focuses on the ideas and arguments which have attracted him to the subject and which have engaged his attention. In doing so, he attempts to show how philosophy is relevant not just to intellectual questions, but to life in the modern world. </li><li>Philosophy - the 'love of wisdom' - can be approached in two ways: by doing it, or by studying how it has been done. The second way is familiar to university students, who find themselves confronted by the largest body of literature ever devoted to a single subject. </li><li><em>An Intelligent Person's Guide to Philosophy</em> follows a more ancient pattern. It attempts to teach philosophy by doing it. Although the author refers to the great philosophers, and in particular to Kant and Wittgenstein, who have been the greatest influence on his thinking, he gives no reliable guide to their arguments. The book makes no attempt to give either a history or a survey of the subject. Instead, it offers itself as a guide to the reader who is prepared to make a personal venture into philosophy. Its aim is to bring philosophy to life. </li><li>Roger Scruton recently retired from the position of Professor of Aesthetics at Birkbeck College, London University. He has also been Visiting Professor at Boston University, USA. He is well-known as a critic, novelist, lecturer, book reviewer and television and radio personality. His recent books include <em>Thinkers of the New Left</em> (1986), <em>Xanthippic Dialogues</em> (1993), <em>Modern Philosophy</em> (1994) and <a name="1"></a>"<A HREF = "../../../BookSummaries/BookSummary_00/BookPaperAbstracts/BookPaperAbstracts_963.htm">Scruton (Roger) - Animal Rights and Wrongs</A>" (1996). </li></ol></FONT> <BR><U>Contents</U><FONT COLOR = "800080"><ol type="1">Preface  7<li>Why?  11 </li><li>Truth  27 </li><li>The Demon  37 </li><li>Subject and Object  43 </li><li>Persons  59 </li><li>Time  73 </li><li>God  85 </li><li>Freedom  97 </li><li>Morality  111 </li><li>Sex  127 </li><li>Music  141 </li><li>History  153 <BR>Further Reading  165 <BR>Index  167 </li></ol></FONT><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><HR><B>BOOK COMMENT: </B><BR><BR>Duckworth, London, 1997, Paperback</P> <P ALIGN = "Justify"><FONT Size = 2 FACE="Arial"><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><HR><BR>"<B><A HREF = "../../../PaperSummaries/PaperSummary_11/PaperSummary_11178.htm">Scruton (Roger) - An Intelligent Person's Guide to Philosophy</A></B>"<BR><BR><B>Source</B>: Scruton - An Intelligent Person's Guide to Philosophy<BR><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><BR><BR><U>Preface</U> (Full Text)<FONT COLOR = "800080"><ol type="1"><li>This book tries to make philosophy interesting; I have therefore focused on ideas which make philosophy interesting to me. From the academic point of view the result is far from orthodox; but my hope is that the reader will leave this book with a sense of philosophy's relevance, not just to intellectual questions, but to life in the modern world. </li><li>I refer here and there to the great philosophers, and in particular to Kant and Wittgenstein, who have been the most important influences on my thinking. But I make no attempt to give either a history or a survey of the subject. This book offers itself as a guide to the reader who is prepared to venture into philosophy, and presupposes no knowledge other than that which an intelligent person is likely to possess already. </li><li>Such a person will want to know, nevertheless, how the book relates to other productions in the field, and whether it belongs to a school of thought that is larger than itself - to some 'ology' or 'ism' which would serve to file it away in the ever-growing archive of the great unread. Suffice it to say that I came to philosophy as an undergraduate, being dissatisfied with a scientific education, and suspecting that there might be deep and serious questions to which science has no answer. But I encountered, in the academic subject of philosophy, reams of pseudo-science against which my conscience rebelled. Consequently I set out in search of a <em>literary</em> philosophy - not an ism but a prism, through which intellectual light would shine in many colours. </li><li>Philosophy is not the only subject that has been 'scientized' by the modern university: literature has been shrunk to 'literary theory', music has been colonized by set theory, Schenkerian analysis, and generative linguistics, and architecture has been all but abolished by engineering. Pretended science has driven honest speculation from the intellectual economy, just as bad money drives out good. This Gresham's law of the intellect operates wherever university teachers in the humanities exchange knowledge and imagination for the chimera of scientific 'research'. A philosopher should certainly make room for scholarship: but scholarship has no 'results', no explanatory 'theories', no methods of experimentation. It is, at best, a spiritual discipline, and what will emerge from scholarship depends intimately on the soul of the person who engages in it. When academic philosophers disguise their writings as scientific reports, and cultivate the fiction of step by step advances to a theory, we can be sure that something has gone wrong with their conception of the subject. The result is tedious to the student, partly because it is born of tedium - the tedium that comes when our world is surrendered to science. If this book has a message, it is that scientific truth has human illusion as its regular by-product, and that philosophy is our surest weapon in the attempt to rescue truth from this predicament. </li><li>We should not expect philosophy to be easy; nor can it be free from technicalities. For philosophical questions arise at the periphery of ordinary thinking, when words fail, and we address the unknown with an invented discourse. For this very reason the reader of philosophy must beware of frauds, who exploit the known difficulty of the subject in order to disguise unexamined premises as hard-won conclusions. One such fraud - Michel Foucault - features in what follows; but my intention is not to create a <em>sottiserie</em> for our times, however much this might be needed. It is to mount a philosophical argument, which will show philosophy to be a natural extension of our interest in truth, and a therapy for our modern confusions. </li><li>I am grateful to Robin Baird-Smith, who encouraged me to write this book, and to <A HREF = "../../../Authors/W/Author_Wiggins (David).htm">David Wiggins</A>, whose painstaking attempt to dissuade me from errors of logic and style absolves him from all responsibility for the many that remain. I am also grateful to <A HREF = "../../../Authors/E/Author_Ellis (Fiona).htm">Fiona Ellis</A> and Sophie Jeffreys, the two intelligent women upon whom the book was first tried out, and who suggested vital improvements. </li></ol></FONT></P> <a name="ColourConventions"></a><hr><br><B><U>Text Colour Conventions</U> (see <A HREF="../../../Notes/Notes_10/Notes_1025.htm">disclaimer</a>)</B><OL TYPE="1"><LI><FONT COLOR = "0000FF">Blue</FONT>: Text by me; &copy; Theo Todman, 2018</li><LI><FONT COLOR = "800080">Mauve</FONT>: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); &copy; the author(s)</li></OL> </center> <BR><HR><BR><center> <TABLE class = "Bridge" WIDTH=950> <TR><TD WIDTH="30%">&copy; Theo Todman, June 2007 - August 2018.</TD> <TD WIDTH="40%">Please address any comments on this page to <A HREF="mailto:theo@theotodman.com">theo@theotodman.com</A>.</TD> <TD WIDTH="30%">File output: <time datetime="2018-08-02T02:34" pubdate>02/08/2018 02:34:52</time> <br><A HREF="../../../Notes/Notes_10/Notes_1010.htm">Website Maintenance Dashboard</A> </TD></TR><TD WIDTH="30%"><A HREF="#Top">Return to Top of this Page</A></TD> <TD WIDTH="40%"><A HREF="../../../Notes/Notes_11/Notes_1140.htm">Return to Theo Todman's Philosophy Page</A></TD> <TD WIDTH="30%"><A HREF="../../../index.htm">Return to Theo Todman's Home Page</A></TD> </TR></TABLE></CENTER><HR> </BODY> </HTML>