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The philosophy of music

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2008)

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  1. Descriptivism in Meta-Ontology of Music: A Plea for Reflective Equilibrium.Lisa Giombini - 2019 - Espes 9 (2):59-73.
    In this paper, I investigate one popular view in current methodological debate about musical ontology, namely, descriptivism. According to descriptivism, the task of musical ontology is to offer a description of the ‘structure of our thought’ about musical works, as it manifests itself in actual musical practices. In this regard, descriptivists often appeal to our pre-theoretical intuitions to ground ontological theories of musical works. This practice, however, is worrisome, as such intuitions are unstable and contradictory. For example, there is a (...)
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  • Music and Emotion: The Dispositional or Arousal Theory.Alessandra Buccella - 2012 - Rivista Italiana di Filosofia Analitica Junior 3 (1):19-36.
    One of the ways of analysing the relationship between music and emotions in through musical expressiveness. As the theory I discuss in this paper puts it, expressiveness in a particular kind of music's secondary quality or, to use the term which gives the theory its name, a _disposition_ of music to arouse a certain emotional response in listeners. The most accurate version of the dispositional theory is provided by Derek Matravers in his book _Art and Emotion_ and in other papers: (...)
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  • Rhizomatic America and Arborescent Culture: Towards a New Philosophy of Dance.Michael A. Peters - 2014 - Educational Philosophy and Theory 46 (14):1489-1495.
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  • Fictionalism About Musical Works.Anton Killin - 2018 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 48 (2):266-291.
    The debate concerning the ontological status of musical works is perhaps the most animated debate in contemporary analytic philosophy of music. In my view, progress requires a piecemeal approach. So in this article I hone in on one particular musical work concept – that of the classical Western art musical work; that is, the work concept that regulates classical art-musical practice. I defend a fictionalist analysis – a strategy recently suggested by Andrew Kania as potentially fruitful – and I develop (...)
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  • Toward Ubimus Philosophical Frameworks.Leandro Costalonga, Marcos Célio Filho, Luzilei Aliel & Damián Keller - 2021 - Open Philosophy 4 (1):353-371.
    We tackle the philosophical implications of post-2020 music practices. To situate our discussion, we address pending issues in current definitions of music-making. Our analysis indicates that post-2020 definitions of music should feature sonic information and events, framed through social interactions and through the material grounding of the musical activity. Ubiquitous music furnishes a promising playing field for the emerging aspects of creative music-thinking. New frameworks that encompass the dynamic, multimodal and situated characteristics of music while skewing an anthropocentric perspective on (...)
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  • Everyone Can Change a Musical Work.Caterina Moruzzi - forthcoming - British Journal of Aesthetics:ayab003.
    This paper explores how a new theory on the ontology of musical works, Musical Stage Theory, can address the problem of change in musical works. A natural consequence of the ontological framework of this theory is that musical works change intrinsically through a change in the sonic-structural properties of performances. From this a surprising consequence follows: everyone can change a musical work. Still, it seems that some changes matter more than others. The article offers a revisionary reply to this concern (...)
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  • Lost in Musical Translation: A Cross-Cultural Study of Musical Grammar and its Relation to Affective Expression in Two Musical Idioms Between Chennai and Geneva.Constant Bonard - 2018 - In Florian Cova & Sébastien Réhault (eds.), Advances in Experimental Philosophy of Aesthetics.
    Can music be considered a language of the emotions? The most common view today is that this is nothing but a Romantic cliché. Mainstream philosophy seems to view the claim that 'Music is the language of the emotions' as a slogan that was once vaguely defended by Rousseau, Goethe, or Kant, but that cannot be understood literally when one takes into consideration last century’s theories of language, such as Chomsky's on syntax or Tarski's on semantics (Scruton 1997: ch. 7, see (...)
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  • Debugging the Case for Creationism.Patrick Grafton-Cardwell - 2019 - Philosophical Studies:1-19.
    Repeatable artworks like musical works have presented theorists in the ontology of art with a puzzle. They seem in some respects like eternal, immutable objects and in others like created, historical objects. Creationists have embraced the latter appearances and attempted to compel Platonists to follow them. I examine in detail each argument in a cumulative case for Creationism, showing how the Platonist can respond. The conclusion is that the debate between Platonists and Creationists is a stalemate. In order for progress (...)
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  • Sound and Notation: Comparative Study on Musical Ontology.So Park - 2017 - Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 16 (3):417-430.
    Music is said to consist of melody, rhythm, and harmony. Sound is assumed to be something that automatically follows once musical structure is determined. Sound, which is what actually impinges on our eardrums, has been so long forgotten in the history of musical theory. It is ironic that we do not talk about the music which we hear every day but rather are exclusively concerned about the abstracted structure behind it. This is a legacy of ancient Greek ideas about music, (...)
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  • Musicality in Human Evolution, Archaeology and Ethnography: Iain Morley: The Prehistory of Music: Human Evolution, Archaeology, and the Origins of Musicality. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2013.Anton Killin - 2014 - Biology and Philosophy 29 (4):597-609.
    This essay reviews Iain Morley’s The Prehistory of Music, an up-to-date and authoritative overview of recent research on evolution and cognition of musicality from an interdisciplinary viewpoint. Given the diversity of the project explored, integration of evidence from multiple fields is particularly pressing, required for any novel evolutionary account to be persuasive, and for the project’s continued progress. Moreover, Morley convincingly demonstrates that there is much more to understanding musicality than is supposed by some theorists. I outline Morley’s review of (...)
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  • Debugging the Case for Creationism.Patrick Grafton-Cardwell - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (11):3509-3527.
    Repeatable artworks like musical works have presented theorists in the ontology of art with a puzzle. They seem in some respects like eternal, immutable objects and in others like created, historical objects. Creationists have embraced the latter appearances and attempted to compel Platonists to follow them. I examine in detail each argument in a cumulative case for Creationism, showing how the Platonist can respond. The conclusion is that the debate between Platonists and Creationists is a stalemate. In order for progress (...)
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  • Musical Perdurantism and the Problem of Intermittent Existence.Alexey Aliyev - 2017 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 94 (1-2):83-100.
    Recently, a number of philosophers have defended a novel, materialist view on the nature of musical works—musical perdurantism. According to this view, musical works are a peculiar kind of concreta, namely perduring mereological sums of performances and/or other concrete entities. One problem facing musical perdurantism stems from the thought that if this view is correct, then virtually no musical work can exist in a continuous, non-intermittent fashion. The aim of this paper is to expound this problem and show that it (...)
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  • Radiohead and Some Questions About Music.Edward Slowik - 2009 - In George Reisch & B. W. Forbes (eds.), Radiohead and Philosophy. Chicago, IL: Open Court: pp. 41-52.
    This essay examines the music of Radiohead as a means of introducing various elementary concepts and theories in the philosophy of music.
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  • The Menard Case and the Identity of a Literary Work of Art.Tomas Hribek - 2013 - In Tomas Koblizek, Petr Kot'átko & Martin Pokorný (eds.), Text + Work: The Menard Case. Praha, Česko: pp. 6-34.
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  • Realism and its Representational Vehicles.Steven French - 2017 - Synthese 194 (9):3311-3326.
    In this essay I shall focus on the adoption of the Semantic Approach by structural realists, including myself, who have done so on the grounds that it wears its structuralist sympathies on its sleeve. Despite this, the SA has been identified as standing in tension with the ontological commitments of the so-called ’ontic’ form of this view and so I shall explore that tension before discussing the usefulness of the SA in framing scientific representation and concluding with a discussion of (...)
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