The Philosopher on Dover Beach : Essays by Roger Scruton
New York : St. Martin's Press, 1990. First American Edition. Stated. Hardcover. 344 pages ; 23 cm. In the original dust jacket with clean and unmarked pages. Binding is firm.
The Philosopher on Dover Beach is a series of meditations and essays on the state of modern culture and the condition of man in a world of declining spiritual values.
The title essay, with its bold reference to Matthew Arnold's great poem about the receding tides of faith, is one of Roger Scruton's most passionate pieces, defining the radical impoverishment of the modern philosopher and proposing new ways forward. The book includes assessments of important modern thinkers - Spengler, Gierke, Hegel, Bloch and others - and discussions of aesthetics and the nature of art. Scruton also proffers suggestions towards a vision that escapes the nihilism and frenzy of modern secular world views.
Over the last two decades Roger Scruton has emerged as one of the most penetrating, sceptical and catholic of the new philosopher-critics. Clive James, choosing one of Scruton's earlier essay collections as his Observer book of the year, wrote: 'he argues rigorously and reads adventurously - a rare combination at a time of increasing provincialism'; and Alan Ryan in The Listener declared: 'Scruton shares with Wittgenstein and Leavis something like disgust for the banalities of current taste, for the good-natured commonplaces of liberalism and for the creed of laissez-faire in matters of culture.'
Roger Scruton is Professor of Aesthetics at Birkbeck College, London, a barrister, and editor of the Salisbury Review. His reviews and articles appear widely, and his Times column was a focus for controversy and dissent. He is also a contributor to Grove. Scruton has appeared regularly on television discussion programmes about philosophy, politics and architecture.
Carcanet published his first novel, Fortnight's Anger, and two previous collections of his essays, The Politics of Culture and The Aesthetic Understanding. His many other books include The Meaning of Conservatism, Art and Imagination, The Aesthetics of Architecture, Sexual Desire, Untimely Tracts (a collection of his Times columns) and A Land Held Hostage (about the Lebanon).
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