Unsound sentiment: A critique of Kivy's 'emotive formalism'

Philosophical Papers 22 (2):135-147 (1993)
Abstract
In his book _The Corded Shell_, Peter Kivy attempts to solve the problem of the expression of emotions by music. the task he sets himself is to explain away the apparent contradiction between the following propositions, each of which seems independently plausible: Music can correctly be described in terms drawn form the human emotions and the connotations of such emotion terms preclude their application to music. Most of us would, I think, accept. Why should we accept? Kivy's argument is that in the central uses of emotion terms there is an equivalence between _being_ sand and _feeling _ sad. Music is insensate; it cannot feel anything and - therefore - cannot feel sad. But, according to the above equivalence, if it cannot feel sad it cannot be sad. And if it cannot be sad, music criticism which describes apiece in this way is, at best, confused
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