David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 65 (4):391–400 (2007)
We describe music in terms of emotion. How should we understand this? Some say that emotion descriptions should be understood literally. Let us call those views “literalist.” By contrast “nonliteralists” deny this and say that such descriptions are typically metaphorical.1 This issue about the linguistic description of music is connected with a central issue about the na- ture of music. That issue is whether there is any essential connection between music and emotion. According to what we can call “emotion theories,” it is essential to music to be somehow related to real emotion. Prominent examples of such theories are these: it is the main function of all or most music to express emotions, to arouse emotions, or to represent emotions. 2 In my view, such theories have little plausibility, and they face a battery of powerful objections. In particular, these theories are objectionable on the grounds that essential features of emotion preclude such essential relations between music and emotion. 3 Yet to argue against various specific emotion theories of music, of which there is a large variety, does not address the reasons that draw people to emotion theories. I think that there are two main reasons. The first is that the most obvious explanation of why we describe music in emotion terms is that emotions, or relations to emotions, are part of what music is. The second reason is introspective, or phenomenological—that much music moves us when we listen to it, so it seems that music generates emotions in us, which we project onto the music when we describe it in emotion terms. In this article, my negative purpose is to dissolve these two reasons. My positive purpose is to argue for a particular nonliteralist view of linguistic descriptions of music in terms of emotion, a..
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Warren A. Shibles (1995). Emotion in Aesthetics. Kluwer Academic Publishers.
Leo Apostel, Herman Sabbe & Fernand J. Vandamme (eds.) (1986). Reason, Emotion, and Music: Towards a Common Structure for Arts, Sciences, and Philosophies, Based on a Conceptual Framework for the Description of Music. Communication & Cognition.
Malcolm Budd (1985). Music and the Emotions: The Philosophical Theories. Routledge & Kegan Paul.
Björn Vickhoff & Helge Malmgren, Why Does Music Move Us? Philosophical Communications.
Leonard B. Meyer (1956). Emotion and Meaning in Music. [Chicago]University of Chicago Press.
Joel J. Kupperman (1995). An Anti-Essentialist View of the Emotions. Philosophical Psychology 8 (4):341-351.
Geoffrey Madell (2002). Philosophy, Music and Emotion. Edinburgh University Press.
Nick Zangwill (2004). Against Emotion: Hanslick Was Right About Music. British Journal of Aesthetics 44 (1):29-43.
Nick Zangwill (2009). Appropriate Musical Metaphors. Nordic Journal of Aesthetics 20 (38).
Nick Zangwill (2007). Music, Emotion and Metaphor. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 65 (4):391-400.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads44 ( #55,136 of 1,696,808 )
Recent downloads (6 months)17 ( #34,968 of 1,696,808 )
How can I increase my downloads?