More Roger Scruton. Here’s an excerpt from Modern Philosophy, in which Scruton is talking of the sterile landscape left by scientistic reductionism:

The meaning of the world is enshrined in conceptions that science does not endorse: conceptions like beauty, goodness and the soul which grow in the thin top-soil of human discourse. This top-soil is quickly eroded when the flora are cleared from it, and nothing ever grows thereafter. You can see the process at work in the matter of sex. Human sexuality has usually been understood through ideas of love and belonging. An enchanted grove of literary ideas and images protected those conceptions, and man and woman lived within it happily – or at any rate, with an unhappiness that they could manage and control. The sexologist clears all this tangled undergrowth away, to reveal the scientific truth of things: the animal organs, the unmoralised impulses, and the tingling sensations that figure in those grim reports on the behavior of American humanoids. The meaning of the experience plays no part in the scientific description. Since science has absolute sovereignty over what is true, the meaning comes to be viewed as a fiction. People briefly try to reinvent it, sometimes even hoping to do a better job. Failing, however, they lapse into a state of cynical hedonism, scoffing at the fogeys who believe there is more to sex than biology.

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