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Oh, tell me the truth about beauty

Roger Scruton may be one of our most important public philosophers, says Jonathan Rée, but he's also a dab hand at popular journalism—and a little too fond of the art of the public rant

By Jonathan Rée   March 2009

Beauty By Roger Scruton (Oxford University Press, £10.99)

The fire in the cast-iron grate, the winter roses outside the window, the crumbly brick wall and the snow-covered meadow beyond: they may not be in the same league as Salisbury Cathedral or the Mona Lisa, but in their way they strike me as equally perfect, equally beautiful. Aesthetic value is not, after all, a matter of scarcity; and—whether you’re an atheist or a creationist or something in between—you can hardly help wondering at the extravagant loveliness of untamed nature, or feeling grateful for episodes of unexpected grace or flair in everyday…

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