British philosopher Roger Scruton is the author of over 30 books, including The Soul of the World, An Intelligent Person’s Guide to Modern Culture, and The Uses of Pessimism and the Dangers of False Hope.

He is also the author of a number of lines pregnant with meaning, nine of which appear below:

1. “A writer who says that there are no truths, or that all truth is ‘merely relative,’ is asking you not to believe him. So don’t.”

2. “The accumulated evidence of human nature tells us that the only improvement that lies within our control is the improvement of ourselves.”

3. “The important thing is to acquire intellectual discipline, to learn how to distinguish genuine questions from spurious phantoms.”

4. “Without tradition, originality cannot exist: for it is only against a tradition that it becomes perceivable.”

5. “It is not enough to be nice; you have to be good. We are attracted by nice people; but only on the assumption that their niceness is a sign of goodness.” 

6. “It is easier to destroy good things in the name of an ideal than to maintain them as a reality.”

7. “The revolutionary consciousness lives by abstract ideas, and regards people as material upon which to conduct its intellectual experiments.”

8. “Tenured professors enjoy all the privileges of the academy in return for relentless debunking of the civilization that made this possible.”

9. “For this is how the suicide of nations begins, when sentimentality prevails over sense.”