This paper argues that alethic pluralism has not been successfully motivated. The strategy deployed to demonstrating this contention is to claim, first, that a deflationary version of alethic monism is the default position in the theory of truth – the theory that must be accepted unless it is defeated – and, second, that no pluralist arguments offered up to now have been sufficient to defeat it.
According to the discovery model in the ontology of art, the facts concerning the ontological status of artworks are mind-independent and, hence, are facts about which the folk may be substantially ignorant or in error. In recent work Amie Thomasson has claimed that the most promising solution to the ‘ qua problem’—a problem concerning how the reference of a referring-expression is fixed—requires us to give up the discovery model. I argue that this claim is false. Thomasson's solution to the qua (...) problem—a hybrid descriptive/causal theory of reference-fixing—has a superior competitor, in the form of the account of reference-fixing suggested by Gareth Evans; and Evans's theory leaves the discovery model untouched. (shrink)
This paper argues that, within the Western ‘classical’ tradition of performing works of music, there exists a performance value of authenticity that is distinct from that of complying with the instructions encoded in the work's score. This kind of authenticity—interpretive authenticity—is a matter of a performance's displaying an understanding of the performed work. In the course of explaining the nature of this norm, two further claims are defended: that the respective values of interpretive authenticity and score compliance can come into (...) conflict; and that when this happens, compromising ideal score compliance for the sake of making the performance more interpretively authentic can make for a better performance. (shrink)
Simplifying somewhat, sonicists believe that works of music are individuated purely in terms of how they sound. For them, exact sound-alikes are identical. Stephen Davies, in his ‘Musical Works and Orchestral Colour’ ( BJA 48 (2008), pp. 363–375) took me to task for defending a version of sonicism. In this paper I seek to explain why Davies's objections miss their mark. In the course of the discussion, I make some methodological remarks about the ontology of music.
Introduction: Reflections on violence -- Schmitt's challenge (Clausewitz, Schmitt) -- On violence (Arendt, Sartre) -- On the line (Junger, Heidegger) -- Violence and responsibility (Patoka) -- Conclusion: Six problems of violence.
A work of music is repeatable in the following sense: it can be multiply performed or played in different places at the same time, and each such datable, locatable performance or playing is an occurrence of it: an item in which the work itself is somehow present, and which thereby makes the work manifest to an audience. As I see it, the central challenge in the ontology of musical works is to come up with an ontological proposal (i.e. an account (...) of what sort of thing a work of music is) which enables us to explain what such repeatability consists in, whilst doing maximal justice to the way in which we conceive of musical works in our reflective critical and appreciative practice. To this end, many have found it tempting to defend some version or other of the type-token theory : the thesis that a work is a type and its occurrences are its tokens. Much of the early debate prompted by the publication of Jerrold Levinson's seminal 'What a Musical Work Is' in 1980 has taken the type-token theory for granted, choosing to focus on how musical works, qua types, are individuated. (A key question here has been whether we should hold, with the sonicist , that works are identical just in case they sound exactly alike; or whether we should agree with Levinson's contextualist thesis that exact sound-alikes are distinct, if composed in distinct musico-historical contexts.) More recently, however, the type-token theory itself has been put under pressure, and alternatives have been suggested. So, e.g. Gregory Currie and David Davies have held versions of the thesis that musical works (and artworks generally) are acts of composition, whilst Guy Rohrbaugh has recommended that we think more innovatively about our metaphysical categories, and treat musical works (along with all repeatable artworks) as historical individuals . Historical individuals, like particular substances, come into and go out of existence, could have been somewhat different than they are, and can change through time; but such items, unlike particular substances, are nonetheless capable of having occurrences. In the last few years, ontologists of music have also stepped back to consider the very nature of their enterprise. In particular, a debate has ensued concerning the cogency of ontological proposals (such as those of Nelson Goodman, Nicholas Wolterstorff and Julian Dodd) that are substantially revisionary of our folk concept of a work of music. Amie Thomasson, David Davies and Andrew Kania occupy, to a greater or lesser degree, the descriptivist standpoint, according to which such revisionary ontologies are misconceived. The debate between revisionists and descriptivists in the ontology of music – if prosecuted against the backdrop of an awareness of developments in meta-ontology more generally – is a particularly fertile area in the philosophy of music at present. Author Recommends Wollheim, Richard. Art and its Objects . 2nd ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1980. This seminal study nicely introduces and motivates the type-token theory, and in the course of doing so, helpfully, although perhaps contentiously, distinguishes types from both sets and properties. Wollheim's treatment was to a large part responsible for stimulating the subsequent debate as to the ontological nature of musical works. Levinson, Jerrold. 'What a Musical Work Is.' Journal of Philosophy 77 (1980); reprinted in his Music, Art and Metaphysics , 63–88. This paper has, perhaps, been the most influential account of the nature of musical works, post-Wollheim. Presuming the type-token theory to be correct, Levinson elaborates it by claiming musical works to be, not sound structures (i.e. structured patterns of sound-types), but a species of types he calls indicated structures . According to Levinson, a work of music is not to be identified with its sound structure, S ; it is, in fact, a compound of S and a performance-means structure, PM , as indicated (typically, via a score) by its composer on a certain occasion : something that we can represent as S/PM -as-indicated-by- X -at- t . Such indicated structures, Levinson argues, fit the bill for being what works of music are, because they come into being with their indication (i.e. their composition), are individuated in terms of the musico-historical context in which they were composed, and have their specified performance-means (i.e. their instrumentation) essentially. Wolterstorff, Nicholas. Works and Worlds of Art . Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1980. Part I of this book sees Wolterstorff defend a Platonistic version of the type-token theory (although Wolterstorff calls them 'kinds' rather than 'types'). According to Wolterstorff, considerations about the existence conditions of types commit us to the thesis that works of music, qua types, are entities that cannot come into or go out of existence. Kivy, Peter. 'Platonism in Music: A Kind of Defence.' Grazer Philosophische Studien 19 (1983): 109–29. In this article, Kivy ingeniously (and wittily) defends a variety of Platonism about works of music against the animadversions of Levinson. Currie, Gregory. An Ontology of Art . New York: St, Martin's Press, 1989. Here Currie introduces and defends the thesis that works of music (and, indeed, all artworks) are compositional action-types. The book also contains some well-aimed criticisms of Levinson's account. Dodd, Julian. Works of Music: An Essay in Ontology . Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007. In this book, Dodd defends the type-token theory, but argues that no version of it can escape the Platonisic consequence that musical works exist at all times (and hence, are discovered, rather than created, by their composers). Dodd also defends another controversial thesis, this time concerning musical works' individuation. According to Dodd, and pace Levinson and others, sonicism is correct: works that sound exactly alike are identical. Rohrbaugh, Guy. 'Artworks as Historical Individuals.' European Journal of Philosophy 11 (2003): 177–205. In this essay, Rohrbaugh makes some pointed criticisms of the type-token theory of repeatable artworks in the course of arguing that such works should be viewed, not as types, but as historical individuals (see above). Rohrbaugh suggests that treating musical works as historical individuals best captures our intuitions about such works' temporal and modal characteristics, and, in the course of elaborating his position, he makes some meta-ontological claims that see him endorsing a non-revisionary, descriptivist approach to the ontology of art. As Rohrbaugh sees it, ontologies of art are 'beholden to our artistic practices' (179), and 'aesthetics should not be beholden to the metaphysics on offer, but rather should drive new work in metaphysics' (197). Ridley, Aaron. 'Against Musical Ontology,' Journal of Philosophy 100 (2003): 203–220. This paper sees Ridley outlining a sceptical attitude towards the project of formulating ontological proposals. In his view, a 'serious philosophical engagement with music is orthogonal to, and may well in fact be impeded by, the pursuit of ontological issues' (203). Thomasson, Amie. 'The Ontology of Art and Knowledge in Aesthetics.' JAAC 63 (2005:221–9). Thomasson defends descriptivism in the ontology of art by arguing that such a position is a consequence of the only defensible solution to a problem in the theory of reference: the so-called 'qua' problem concerning how the reference of a term can be fixed. Davies, David. Art as Performance . Oxford: Blackwell, 2004. Davies' position is characterised by two theses: one methodological, the other ontological. The methodological claim is that the ontology of art faces a pragmatic constraint : roughly speaking, the ontology of art is answerable to the epistemology of art. The ontological claim is that the rigorous enforcement of the pragmatic constraint commits us to the thesis that all artworks are compositional action-tokens. Online Materials http://www.blackwell-compass.com/subject/philosophy/article_view?article_id=phco_articles_bpL173 Dodd, Julian. 'Musical Works: Ontology and Meta-Ontology.' Philosophy Compass 3/6 (2008): 1113–34. doi: [DOI link] http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/118557784/abstract Thomasson, Amie. 'Debates about the Ontology of Art: What are We Doing Here?' Philosophy Compass 1/3 (2006): 245–55. doi: [DOI link] http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/122517227/abstract Davies, David. 'Works and Performances in the Performing Arts.' forthcoming in Philosophy Compass . doi: [DOI link] http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/music/ Kania, Andrew. 'The Philosophy of Music.' Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy . Sample Mini-Syllabus Week 1: The Type/Token Theory Introduced Wollheim, Richard. Art and its Objects , §§4–8, 21–3, 35–7. Kivy, Peter. Introduction to a Philosophy of Music , chapter 11. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2002. Dodd, Julian. Works of Music: An Essay in Ontology , chapter 1. Wolterstorff, Nicholas. Works and Worlds of Art , chapter 2. Week 2: The Type/Token Theory and Platonism in Music Wolterstorff, Nicholas. Works and Worlds of Art , chapter 2. Levinson, Jerrold. 'What a Musical Work Is'. Dodd, Julian. Works of Music: An Essay in Ontology , chapters 2–5. Kivy, Peter. 'Platonism in Music: A Kind of Defence.' Grazer Philosophische Studien 19 (1983): 109–29. Kivy, Peter. 'Platonism in Music: Another Kind of Defence.' American Philosophical Quarterly 24 (1987): 245–52. Predelli, Stefano. 'Against Musical Platonism.' British Journal of Aesthetics 35 (1995): 338–50. Caplan, Ben and Carl Matheson. 'Can a Musical Work be Created?' British Journal of Aesthetics 44 (2004): 113–34. Week 3: Musical Works as Indicated Structures Levinson, Jerrold. 'What a Musical Work Is'. Levinson, Jerrold. 'What a Musical Work Is, Again', in his Music, Art and Metaphysics . Ithaca, NY: Cornell UP, 1990. 215–63. Dodd, Julian. 'Musical Works as Eternal Types.' British Journal of Aesthetics 40 (2000). Davies, Stephen. Musical Works and Performances: A Philosophical Account , chapter 2. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000. Howell, Robert. 'Types, Indicated and Initiated.' British Journal of Aesthetics 42 (2002): 105–27. Caplan, Ben and Carl Matheson. 'Fine Individuation.' British Journal of Aesthetics 47 (2007): 113–37. Week 4: Musical Work as Historical Individuals Rohrbaugh, Guy. 'Artworks as Historical Individuals'. Dodd, Julian. Works of Music: An Essay in Ontology , chapter 6. Caplan, Ben and Carl Matheson. 'Defending Musical Perdurantism.' British Journal of Aesthetics 46 (2006): 59–69. Caplan, Ben and Carl Matheson. 'Defending "Defending Musical Perdurantism".' British Journal of Aesthetics 48 (2008): 331–37. Week 5: Musical Works as Compositional Actions Currie, Gregory. An Ontology of Art . New York: St, Martin's Press, 1989. Davies, David. Art as Performance . Oxford: Blackwell, 2004. Dodd, Julian. Works of Music: An Essay in Ontology , chapter 7. Week 6: Meta-ontology of Music: What are we Doing When we do the Ontology of Music? Ridley, Aaron. 'Against Musical Ontology'. Thomasson, Amie. 'The Ontology of Art and Knowledge in Aesthetics'. Thomasson, Amie. Ordinary Objects , chapter 11. OUP, 2007. Davies, David. 'The Primacy of Practice in the Ontology of Art.' Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 67 (2009): 159–72. Kania, Andrew. 'Piece for the End of Time: In Defence of Musical Ontology,' British Journal of Aesthetics 48 (2008): 65–79. Kania, Andrew. 'The Methodology of Musical Ontology: Descriptivism and its Implications.' British Journal of Aesthetics 48 (2008): 426–44. Cameron, Ross. 'There are No Things That are Musical Works.' British Journal of Aesthetics 48 (2008): 295–314. Dodd, Julian. 'Musical Works: Ontology and Meta-Ontology.' Philosophy Compass 3/6 (2008): 1113–1134. doi: [DOI link] Focus Questions 1. Are musical works literally created by their composers? 2. Critically examine Levinson's thesis that musical works are 'indicated structures'. 3. What, if anything, is wrong with the thesis that musical works are identical just in case they sound exactly alike? 4. Should we immediately be sceptical of ontological proposals for works of music that are substantially revisionary of the way in which we ordinarily think of them? (shrink)
The ontological nature of works of music has been a particularly lively area of philosophical debate during the past few years. This paper serves to introduce the reader to some of the most fertile and interesting issues. Starting by distinguishing three questions – the categorial question, the individuation question, and the persistence question – the article goes on to focus on the first: the question of which ontological category musical works fall under. The paper ends by introducing, and briefly considering, (...) meta-ontological questions in the ontology of music. (shrink)
This paper argues that a consideration of the problem of providing truthmakers for negative truths undermines truthmaker theory. Truthmaker theorists are presented with an uncomfortable dilemma. Either they must take up the challenge of providing truthmakers for negative truths, or else they must explain why negative truths are exceptions to the principle that every truth must have a truthmaker. The first horn is unattractive since the prospects of providing truthmakers for negative truths do not look good neither absences, nor totality (...) states of affairs, nor Graham Priest and J.C. Beall’s ‘polarities’ (Beall, 2000; Priest, 2000) are up to the job. The second horn, meanwhile, is problematic because restricting the truthmaker principle to atomic truths, or weakening it to the thesis that truth supervenes on being, undercuts truthmaker theory’s original motivation. The paper ends by arguing that truthmaker theory is, in any case, an under-motivated doctrine because the groundedness of truth can be explained without appeal to the truthmaker principle. This leaves us free to give the ommonsensical and deflationary explanation of negative truths that common-sense suggests. (shrink)
Introduction -- The type/token theory introduced -- Motivating the type/token theory : repeatability -- Nominalist approaches to the ontology of music -- Musical anti-realism -- The type/token theory elaborated -- Types I : abstract, unstructured, unchanging -- Types introduced and nominalism repelled -- Types as abstracta -- Types as unstructured entities -- Types as fixed and unchanging -- Types II : platonism -- Introduction : eternal existence and timelessness -- Types and properties -- The eternal existence of properties reconsidered -- (...) Types and patterns -- Defending the type/token theory I -- Unstructuredness and analogical predication -- Musical works as fixed and unchanging -- Abstractness and audibility (again) -- Works and interpretations -- Conclusion and resumé -- Defending the type/token theory II : musical platonism -- Platonism it is : replies to Anderson and Levinson -- The existence conditions of works of music -- Composition as creative discovery -- The nature of the compositional process : replies to objections -- Composition and aesthetic appraisal : a reply to Levinson -- Composition and aesthetic appraisal : understanding, interpretation, and correctness -- Musical works as continuants : a theory rejected -- A theory introduced -- Explicating and motivating the continuant view -- The continuant view and repeatability -- Further objections to the continuant view -- Musical works as compositional actions : a critique -- Currie's action-type hypothesis -- Davies's performance theory -- Sonicism I : against instrumentalism -- Sonicism introduced -- Sonicism motivated : moderate empiricism -- Instrumentation : timbral sonicism introduced -- Scores -- Instrumentation, artistic properties, and aesthetic content -- Levinson's rejoinder -- Sonicism II : against contextualism -- Introduction : formulating contextualism -- Contextualist ontological proposals -- Levinson's doppelgänger thought-experiments -- Artistic, representational, and object-directed expressive properties -- Aesthetic and non-object-directed expressive properties -- Conclusion : the place of context. (shrink)
Are works of music types of performance or are they continuants? Types are unchanging entities that could not have been otherwise; continuants can undergo change through time and could have been different. Picking up on this distinction, Guy Rohrbaugh has recently argued that musical works are continuants rather than performance-types. This paper replies to his arguments and, in the course of so doing, elaborates and defends the conception of musical works as types of performance. I end the article by arguing (...) that the conception of musical works as continuants is under-motivated and, ultimately, obscure. (shrink)
This paper sees me clarify, elaborate, and defend the conclusions reached in my ‘Musical Works as Eternal Types’ in the wake of objections raised by Robert Howell, R. A. Sharpe, and Saam Trivedi. In particular, I claim that the thesis that musical works are discovered rather than created by their composers is obligatory once we commit ourselves to thinking of works of music as types, and once we properly understand the ontological nature of types and properties. The central argument of (...) the paper is ‘the argument from the eternal existence of properties’, its moral being that types are eternal entities because they inherit their existence conditions from their eternally existent property-associates. The two key premises in this argument—that properties exist eternally, and that a type exists just in case its property-associate exists—are motivated and then defended at length. (shrink)
This paper asks whether we should accept a weakened version of the truthmaker principle: namely, the claim that truth supervenes on being, in which 'being' is understood as whether things are. I consider a number of positive answers to this question, including the following: that the truthmaker principle is a requirement of any plausible explanation of truth; that the principle must be accepted, if we are to do justice to the Wittgensteinian insight that the world is the totality of facts, (...) not of things; and that the correctness of the principle is a necessary condition of a realist metaphysics. In my view, none of these attempts to motivate the truthmaker principle is satisfactory. (shrink)
This book argues that correspondence theories of truth fail because the relation that holds between a true thought and a fact is that of identity, not correspondence. Facts are not complexes of worldly entities which make thoughts true they are merely true thoughts. According to Julian Dodd, the resulting modest identity theory , while not defining truth, correctly diagnoses the failure of correspondence theories, and thereby prepares the ground for a defensible deflation of the concept of truth.
This paper makes the following recommendation when it comes to the IogicaI form of sentences in indirect speech. Davidson’s paratactic account shouId stand, but with one emendation: the demonstrative ‘that’ should be taken to refer to the Fregean Thought expressed by the utterance of the content-sentence, rather than to that utterance itseIf. The argument for this emendation is that it is the onIy way of repIying to the objections to Davidson’s account raised by Schiffer, McFetridge and McDowell.Towards the end of (...) the paper, a view of Fregean Thoughts as utterance-types is defended; and the recommendation offered in the main body of the paper is distinguished from the simiIar account offered by Ian Rumfitt. (shrink)