The Public Interest

Public space and the classical vernacular

Roger Scruton

Winter 1984

The public is to be contrasted with the private. In the private sphere a man is his own master, within the limits prescribed for him by morality and law. At the same time, and paradoxically, he is closely constrained by domestic circumstances. His projects, rhythm, time, and companionship reflect the immediate demands of intimacy and the obligations of family life. In public he may breathe more freely, but in private the needs of his spouse, parents, and children tie him by an overriding law.

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