The Uses of Pessimism: and the Danger of False Hope

Author(s): Roger Scruton


In this provocative and passionately argued book, Roger Scruton proposes that the greatest harm and havoc has been wrought on the world by those who have presented themselves as optimists and idealists, whether of the left or of the right. Scruton argues that the tragedies and disasters of the history of the European continent have been the consequences of a false optimism and the fallacies that derive from it. In place of these fallacies, Scruton mounts a passionate defence of both civil society and freedom. He shows that the true legacy of European civilisation is not the false idealisms that have almost destroyed it - in the shapes of Nazism, fascism and communism - but the culture of forgiveness and irony which we must now protect from those whom it offends. The Uses of Pessimism is a passionate plea for reason and responsibility, written at a time of profound change.


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"Roger Scruton is a writer and philosopher who has written on aesthetics, politics, music and architecture. He is Research Professor at the Institute for the Psychological Sciences in Washington and Oxford and is Resident Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington. His most recent books include A Dictionary of Political Thought; England: An Elegy; Death-Devoted Heart: Sex and the Sacred in Wagner's Tristan and Isolde; News from Somewhere: On Settling A Political Philosophy; Gentle Regrets and On Hunting."

General Fields

  • : 9781848872011
  • : Atlantic Books
  • : Atlantic Books
  • : January 2012
  • : 198mm X 128mm
  • : United Kingdom
  • : March 2012
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Roger Scruton
  • : Paperback
  • : 1
  • : 149.6
  • : 240