Roger Scruton on why beauty matters. From BBC, part 1-6. Here is part 1:
12-06-2009, 02:09 AM
Thank you! I have several books by Scruton. He's a breath of (conservative) fresh air in English philosophy.
12-09-2009, 03:47 AM
Ah what an accomplishment it must be for an artist to be able to say, at the end of his life, "I helped make the world an uglier place.", as if it really needed any help. "O tempora, O mores."
I take issue with only one of Mr. Scruton's statements. He says that we are losing beauty. Alas, no, we HAVE LOST beauty. We have lost any taste for it, any desire for it, but, perhaps, deep down, we have, perhaps NOT lost the need for it. Is the rejection of beauty symptomatic of or the cause of our spiritual poverty ?
As a photographer, and later as a painter, I tried to preserve for myself and create for myself such beauty as I might within the limitations of my artistic talent. I have been told that art must have a message and an art work must make a statement.
If I want to make a statement, I sit down at my computer (formerly at my typewriter), not at my easel. Images which exist,not for their own sake, but to serve a sociopolitical agenda are not art. They are propaganda !
Except in unspoilt nature (if it can be found) there is too little beauty around me and so, I have taken to art to try to create some for myself, and to try to preserve some of the natural beauty which despite this time's hatred of it, still exists.
I am grateful to Mr. Scruton for stating the case for beauty more clearly and more coherently than I can.
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