Why Beauty Matters (BBC documentary)

Take an hour out of your day and watch Roger Scruton explain the value of art, beginning with an engrossing display of 20th century art as rebellion against form:

For more on Scruton’s work on aesthetics:

Beauty: A Very Short Introduction

The Aesthetics of Architecture

Understanding Music: Philosophy and Interpretation

Sexual Desire: A Philosophical Investigation

His latest book is the publication of the Gifford Lectures from 2010 at St. Andrews.



  1. I would argue that Roger betrays himself by the company he keeps, in particular the American Enterprise Institute which is effectively a propaganda factory for the military-industrial-complex and its now world-wide “culture” of death.
    Not much beauty to be found there.
    Although there was a darkly grotesque “beauty” which lit up the night sky, in the shock-and-awe bombardment of Baghdad and other parts of Iraq.

    • Yes, the temptation of conservatism is the preservation of institutions by all means (war, oppression, slavery), but I would rather Scruton defend any sort of associations he may have (like with the AEI). The AEI has a vast range of projects, some of which Scruton may find acceptable and necessary, some which he may not.

      The topic at hand is his treatment of aesthetics, which I found highly commendable on the whole. His Platonism/Kantianism does have its limits, as seen with his wholly inadequate description of Mantegna’s Crucifixion.

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