Roger Scruton delivers his talk 'The Person and the Parson' for the 2013 Humane Philosophy Project Conference 'Being a Human, Being a Person'.
Roger Scruton is visiting pr ofessor at the Faculty of Philososphy, University of Oxford, Senior Research Fellow at Blackfriars Hall, a Fellow of the British Academy. and Professorial Fellow in Moral Philosophy at the University of St Andrews. He is the author of more than 30 books th at have been widely translated, including Art and Imagination ( Methuen, 1974), The Aesthetics of Architecture ( Methuen, 1979), Sexual Desire ( Continuum, 1986), Modern Philosophy ( Penguin, 1994) and The Aesthetics of Music ( Clarendon, 1997).
The Person and the Parson – The concept of the person is fundamental to legal and moral thinking and is inseparable from that of accountability. All the arguments about the Other, beginning from Fichte and Hegel and leading to much French philosophy today, are really about this aspect of personhood. In recent analytical philosophy, however, a more individualistic concept of the person has gained ascendancy, according to which individual rights are the fundamental factor in distinguishing persons. I explore the tensions that result from this.