Scruton's philosophy of culture : elitism, populism, and classic art

Andrew Hamilton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Scruton is a self-confessed elitist for whom culture is ‘the creation and creator of elites’, though its meaning ‘lies in emotions and aspirations that are common to all’. This article argues that one can uphold his humane conception of the value of high culture without endorsing elitism. It develops a surprisingly unelitist strand in Scruton's thinking into a meritocratic middle way between elitism and populism, in order to explain why art is in some sense an elite product, but with communal resonance. This aim is furthered by interpreting high culture in terms of the less elitist concept of the classic.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)389-404
JournalBritish Journal of Aesthetics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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