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Profile: Jonathan A. Neufeld (College of Charleston)
  1. Jonathan A. Neufeld (2013). Billy Budd's Song: Authority and Music in the Public Sphere. Opera Quarterly 28 (3-4):172-191.
    While Billy Budd's beauty has often been connected to his innocence and his moral goodness, the significance of the musical character of his beauty—what I will argue is the site of a struggle for political expression—has not been remarked upon by commentators of Melville's novella. It has, however, been deeply explored by Britten's opera. Music has often been situated at, or just beyond, the limits of communication; it has served as a medium of the ineffable, of unsaid and unsayable truths (...)
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  2. Jonathan A. Neufeld (2012). Critical Performances. Teorema (3):89-104.
    Philosophers of music commonly distinguish performative from critical interpretations. I would like to suggest that the distinction between critical and performative interpretations is well captured by an analogy to legal critics and judges. This parallel draws attention to several features of performative interpretation that are typically overlooked, and deemphasizes epistemic problems with performative interpretations that I believe are typically blown out of proportion and ultimately fail to capture interesting features of performative interpretation. There is an important distinction to be made (...)
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  3. Jonathan A. Neufeld (2011). Living the Work: Meditations on a Lark. Journal of Aesthetic Education 45 (1):89-106.
    Imagine that a performer is confronted with the following decision. After working on a piece for several weeks—practicing, analyzing, listening to various recordings, perhaps reading a bit about it—a performer comes to a crossroads. It seems to him that changing a few crucial interrelated passages can generate two very different performative interpretations. One makes the piece sound animated, lively, and interesting; the other makes the piece sound repetitive, flat, and perhaps even boring. While the performer can understand why one would (...)
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  4. Jonathan A. Neufeld (2011). Philosophers on Music: Experience, Meaning, and Work Edited by Stock, Kathleen. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 69 (4):421-423.
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  5. Scott F. Aikin, Michael Harbour, Jonathan A. Neufeld & Robert B. Talisse (2010). Epistemic Abstainers, Epistemic Martyrs, and Epistemic Converts. Logos and Episteme 1 (2):211-219.
    An intuitive view regarding the epistemic significance of disagreement says that when epistemic peers disagree, they should suspend judgment. This abstemious view seems to embody a kind of detachment appropriate for rational beings; moreover, it seems to promote a kind of conciliatory inclination that makes for irenic and cooperative further discussion. Like many strategies for cooperation, however, the abstemious view creates opportunities for free-riding. In this essay, the authors argue that the believer who suspends judgment in the face of peer (...)
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  6. Jonathan A. Neufeld (2009). Musical Formalism and Political Performances. Contemporary Aesthetics 7.
    Musical formalism, which strictly limits the type of thing any description of the music can tell us, is ill-equipped to account for contemporary performance practice. If performative interpretations are in a position to tell us something about musical works—that is if performance is a kind of description, as Peter Kivy argues—then we have to loosen the restrictions on notions of musical relevance to make sense of performance. I argue that musical formalism, which strictly limits the type of thing any description (...)
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  7. Jonathan A. Neufeld (2007). Art and Ventriloquism by Goldblatt, David. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 65 (2):238–240.
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