The world lost one of its greatest champions of the beautiful this week.
The philosopher Roger Scruton worked to restore a sense of beauty that was lost in the 20th century’s love of the brutal and the shocking, the flat and the banal.
The real-world results of abandoning beauty are utterly dehumanizing. In his classic BBC documentary “Why Beauty Matters,” Scruton spoke about architecture’s responsibility for urban decay: “This building is boarded up because no one has a use for it. Nobody has a use for it because nobody wants to be in it. Nobody wants to be in it because the thing is so…ugly.” Ironically, the result of a utilitarian ideal in architecture is block after block of abandoned buildings.