The Wheatley Institution

The True, the Good and the Beautiful - Roger Scruton

April 6, 2017 at 7:30 PM - 9:00 PM

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Hinckley Center Assembly Hall

The information age has made everyone with an internet connection and a social media account an artist in some form. We post poetry to Facebook walls, perform theatre on snapchat, and post creative imagery to Instagram. As artists, we all have a responsibility to think about why we create, what factors influence our processes, and what the consequences of our art are. To help answer these questions the Wheatley Institution is hosting a Distinguished Lecture in Civic Virtue and the Arts on April 6, 2017 in the Hinckley Center Assembly Hall on BYU campus featuring eminent scholar and Philosopher, Roger Scruton. His lecture, “The True, the Good, and the Beautiful” will discuss his hallmark topic, the philosophy of aesthetics and beauty.

Attendees will leave with a deeper understanding of what beauty is, why it is important, and how to cultivate it. Scruton has written prodigiously on the subject, starting with his thesis in 1974, which became the book “Art and Imagination.” He also taught aesthetics at Birkbeck College in London for 21 years, authored numerous books and essays, and even produced a BBC documentary on the subject. Not limiting himself to aesthetics of art, he has written on the role of beauty in many aspects of modern culture including music, and architecture. Scruton believes true beauty gives meaning and power to individuals. “Art and music shine a light of meaning on ordinary life, and through them we are able to confront the things that trouble us and to find consolation and peace in their presence.”

Roger Scruton’s intellectual insights and pursuits have come to epitomize entire ranges of modern philosophy and he has been called a defining mind of our era. His topics have ranged from politics and government, to human intimacy and religion. What makes Scruton’s work invaluable is its staunch defense of key institutions and their importance in society. Scruton intensely searches for the unchanging underlying structures that support human life and wellbeing and explores their ramifications.

Developing a deeper understanding of aesthetics and its role in culture is new ground for the Wheatley Institution. Dr. Richard Williams, Director of the Wheatley Institution explains why we need to pay close attention to our sense of beauty. “One of the primary modes of expression in any culture is its art, more particularly its aesthetic sensitivity more generally. It is therefore in the arts that civic virtue has its roots and perhaps its more common manifestations.”

Sir Roger Scruton received his B.A. (1965), M.A. (1967), and Ph.D. (1972) in philosophy from Cambridge University. He is married to Sophie Jeffreys and they have two children.


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