The uncomfortable truths about Roger Scruton’s conservatism

Kenan Malik in The Guardian:

I first met Roger Scruton almost 20 years ago at a symposium in Sweden. I admired the eloquence with which he could talk about Kant and the elegance of his writing on beauty. I learned from his conservatism, even as I disagreed with what he said. But although I got to know him quite well over the years, our relationship was always fraught. For there was another Roger Scruton, not the philosopher but the polemicist. For all his warmth and generosity, and for all the poise of his writing, his views were often ugly. “Whatever its defects,” Scruton wrote in his memoir Gentle Regrets, “my life has enabled me to find comfort in uncomfortable truths.” His death last week seems an appropriate moment to reflect on the “uncomfortable truths” of Scruton’s conservatism, and on the relationship between the philosopher and the polemicist.

More here.