Years ago, I posted Roger Scruton’s documentary for BBC Scotland on “Why Beauty Matters.” It has been a while since viewing it, but I assume it still holds up well. It’s classic Scruton.
Perhaps even more engrossing is the video embedded below. It is the second episode in a Dutch series called, “Of Beauty and Consolation.” The series is hosted by Wim Kayzer, and episodes include Martha Nussbaum and Edward Witten among others.
Here is the episode featuring Scruton:
The setting is a fox hunt, with Kayzer narrating and conducting the interview segments. The discussion becomes more and more interesting along the way.
For students of theology, you will notice Scruton’s indebtedness to modern philosophy and philosophical theology, as you would know from reading his Gifford Lectures. He cites Spinoza approvingly a few times. He came to his beliefs through an intense, often restless search, which continues. He embodies almost every culminating movement in later modern philosophy — at once idealist, romantic, and existentialist — which is perhaps not what you would expect from someone best known as a conservative. Since modernity is his philosophical home, he is able to perceive its losses, its blindness with greater acuity than those who occupy an anti-modern, blame-it-on-the-Enlightenment standpoint.