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Roger Scruton - Why Beauty Matters

Beauty has been a central and enduring concept in the philosophy of art and aesthetics since its inception in ancient Greece. During the last few centuries, however, and due in large part to geopolitical, philosophical, religious, economic, and scientific revolutions, other aspects of art have come to dominate the aesthetic world.

Among the most radicaland, some might argue, the most perniciousis the postmodernist critique of objectivity in aesthetic judgments. This school of thought sees much art as an affirmation of European elitist attitudes driven by imperialistic and capitalistic motives. Unsurprisingly, a lot of postmodern conceptual art can best be understood as a reaction to the older and more traditional aesthetic norms.

Conservative philosopher Roger Scruton believes that postmodernism has gone too far, and that it has created a culture of fake originality where desecration and shock value for the sake of shock value have become the new norm. In his opinion, beauty must regain its former centrality in art because art must play a redeeming and inspiring role.

Let this be the start of a fascinating dialogue and conceptual exploration. :)

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