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171. Book Review | The Meaning of Conservatism by Roger Scruton

Roger Scruton is one of the leading conservative philosophers of the last century, and potentially of all time. His book, The Meaning of Conservatism, was instrumental in developing how I think about politics. So, I want to share this book with you. Honestly, I think anyone – whether conservative or not – would learn a lot from this book. Interested? Check out the podcast here:

“All conservatism is based upon the idea that if you leave things alone you leave them as they are. But you do not. If you leave a thing alone you leave it to a torrent of change.”

-G.K. Chesterton

Grab your copy here.

What is the Meaning of Conservatism?

Well, that is the big question, right? Conservatism is a way of approaching problems that is different. Instead of discarding the old, conservatives seek to understand why those who came before them found things valuable. They don’t just let things remain, but actively seek to preserve them. Furthermore, they aren’t just reactionaries as Roger Scruton explains:

“A reactionary is fixed on the past and wanting to return to it; a conservative wishes to adapt what is best in the past to the changing circumstances of the present.”

-Roger Scruton

Conservatism v.s. Liberalism

There’s a healthy tension between conservatism and liberalism. Scruton explains in The Meaning of Conservatism how the debate over whether or not something is worth preserving is a constant question. By seeking to preserve what is time-tested, the conservative argues in favor of tradition. Liberals, on the other hand, will push for change and novelty, challenging the status quo. When both the conservative and liberal can discuss issues, they will be able to decide together how to move society forward by changing and preserving the right things. This debate is essential, and the conservative is an essential part of it. Without him, it would simply be a lecture – not a discussion. And for more great books, you can check out my Library.

236. Materialism & The Human Person | The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly Conversation of Our Generation

According to Wikepedia, "Materialism is a form of philosophical monism that holds that matter is the fundamental substance in nature, and that all things, including mental states and consciousness, are results of material interactions. According to philosophical materialism, mind and consciousness are by-products or epiphenomena of material processes (such as the biochemistry of the human brain and nervous system), without which they cannot exist. This concept directly contrasts with idealism, where mind and consciousness are first-order realities to which matter is subject and material interactions are secondary." Valid Concerns and Good Points At first, it seems to make sense. Much of what we encounter is material. Our food, light, furniture, etc. is all material. It would be easy at first glance to think everything boils down to what is material. But, does that really comport with what we experience and know? Errors of Materialism Materialism leaves out a large chunk of the human experience. First, it fails, like naturalism, to fully account for the supernatural and the spiritual. And, in doing so, it denies free will and many other parts of our experience that are products of the spirit. Also, materialism doesn't allow for the abstract truths we know to be. Moral truths, natural laws, beauty, and even some mathematical truths can't exist if everything is material. So, materialism fails to explain all that we know about the world. Corrections There is more to the world than just the material. It doesn't fit with our understanding of the world. We experience more than just the material in art and music, as well as abstract concepts. We also experience the phenomenon of free will, which is impossible in a materialist world. In order to fully comport with reality, we need to take into account more than material things. In order to fully experience the world, we have to take account for the non-material parts of our lives. Related Episodes in this Series What is Objective Reality? What is Subjective Reality? Unity of Subject and Object The Golden Mean for Understanding Objective and Subjective Reality Naturalism & The Human Person | The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly — Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/conofourgen/message Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/conofourgen/support
  1. 236. Materialism & The Human Person | The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly
  2. 235. Naturalism & The Human Person | The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly
  3. 234. The Golden Mean for Understanding Objective and Subjective Reality
  4. 233. Is Patriotism Good? | Reflections on the 4th of July
  5. 232. Unity of Subject and Object

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