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  1. Authorship and Creation.Nurbay Irmak - forthcoming - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism.
    Artworks have authors. According to Christy Mag Uidhir, this simple assumption has significant consequences for the ontology of artworks. One such consequence is that artworks cannot be identified with abstract entities: if there are works of art, they are concrete entities. Therefore, one cannot create an abstract work of art. Mag Uidhir presents a novel challenge against abstract creationism, the view that certain kinds of art objects are abstract artifacts. This article has two aims. First, it provides a defense of (...)
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  2. The Problem of Creation and Abstract Artifacts.Nurbay Irmak - forthcoming - Synthese:1-14.
    Abstract artifacts such as musical works and fictional entities are human creations; they are intentional products of our actions and activities. One line of argument against abstract artifacts is that abstract objects are not the kind of objects that can be created. This is so, it is argued, because abstract objects are causally inert. Since creation requires being caused to exist, abstract objects cannot be created. One common way to refute this argument is to reject the causal inefficacy of abstracta. (...)
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  3. Philosophy of Western Music: A Contemporary Introduction.Andrew Kania - forthcoming - New York, USA: Routledge.
    This is the first comprehensive book-length introduction to the philosophy of Western music that fully integrates consideration of popular music and hybrid musical forms, especially song. Its author, Andrew Kania, begins by asking whether Bob Dylan should even have been eligible for the Nobel Prize in Literature, given that he is a musician. This motivates a discussion of music as an artistic medium, and what philosophy has to contribute to our thinking about music. Chapters 2-5 investigate the most commonly defended (...)
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  4. Intuitions in the Ontology of Musical Works.Elzė Sigutė Mikalonytė - forthcoming - Review of Philosophy and Psychology:1-20.
    An impressive variety of theories of ontology of musical works has been offered in the last fifty years. Recently, the ontologists have been paying more attention to methodological issues, in particular, the problem of determining criteria of a good theory. Although different methodological approaches involve different views on the importance and exact role of intuitiveness of a theory, most philosophers writing on the ontology of music agree that intuitiveness and compliance with musical practice play an important part when judging theories. (...)
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  5. Why Can’T I Change Bruckner’s Eighth Symphony?David Friedell - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (3):805-824.
    Musical works change. Bruckner revised his Eighth Symphony. Ella Fitzgerald and many other artists have made it acceptable to sing the jazz standard “All the Things You Are” without its original verse. If we accept that musical works genuinely change in these ways, a puzzle arises: why can’t I change Bruckner’s Eighth Symphony? More generally, why are some individuals in a privileged position when it comes to changing musical works and other artifacts, such as novels, films, and games? I give (...)
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  6. Intuitions on the Individuation of Musical Works. An Empirical Study.Elzė Sigutė Mikalonytė & Vilius Dranseika - 2020 - British Journal of Aesthetics 60 (3):253-282.
    Philosophers often consider better compliance with prevalent pre-theoretical intuitions to be an advantage of a theory of ontology of musical works. However, despite many predictions of what these intuitions on relevant questions might be, so far there is only one experimental philosophy study on the repeatability of musical works by Christopher Bartel. We decided to examine the intuitions concerning the individuation of musical works by creating scenarios reflecting the differences in the positions of musical ontologists: pure and timbral sonicism, instrumentalism, (...)
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  7. On the Varieties of Abstract Objects.James E. Davies - 2019 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 97 (4):809-823.
    I reconcile the spatiotemporal location of repeatable artworks and impure sets with the non-location of natural numbers despite all three being varieties of abstract objects. This is possible because, while the identity conditions for all three can be given by abstraction principles, in the former two cases spatiotemporal location is a congruence for the equivalence relation featuring in the relevant principle, whereas in the latter it is not. I then generalize this to other ‘physical’ properties like shape, mass, and causal (...)
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  8. Are Musical Works Sound Structures?Vitor Guerreiro - 2019 - Filozofija I Društvo 30 (1):36-53.
    This paper is about the dilemma raised against musical ontology by Roger Scruton, in his The Aesthetics of Music: either musical ontology is about certain mind-independent “things” and so music is left out of the picture, or it is about an “intentional object” and so its puzzles are susceptible of an arbitrary answer. I argue the dilemma is merely apparent and deny that musical works can be identified with sound structures, whether or not conceived as abstract entities. The general idea (...)
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  9. Musical “Covers” and the Culture Industry.Babette Babich - 2018 - Research in Phenomenology 48 (3):385-407.
    This essay foregrounds “covers” of popular recorded songs as well as male and female desire, in addition to Nietzsche’s interest in composition, together with his rhythmic analysis of Ancient Greek as the basis of what he called the “spirit of music” with respect to tragedy. The language of “sonic branding” allows a discussion of what Günther Anders described as the self-creation of mass consumer but also the ghostly time-space of music in the broadcast world. A brief allusion to Rilke complements (...)
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  10. The Ontology of Musical Works and the Role of Intuitions: An Experimental Study.Christopher Bartel - 2018 - European Journal of Philosophy 26 (1):348-367.
    Philosophers of music often appeal to intuition to defend ontological theories of musical works. This practice is worrisome as it is rather unclear just how widely shared are the intuitions that philosophers appeal to. In this paper, I will first offer a brief overview of the debate over the ontology of musical works. I will argue that this debate is driven by a conflict between two seemingly plausible intuitions—the repeatability intuition and the creatability intuition—both of which may be defended on (...)
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  11. 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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  12. 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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  13. Rock as a Three-Value Tradition.Christopher Bartel - 2017 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 75 (2):143-154.
    Gracyk, Kania, and Davies all agree that the rock tradition is distinctive for the central place that it gives to the appreciation of recorded tracks. But we should not be led by those arguments to conclude that the central position of the recorded track makes such appreciation the exclusive interest in rock. I argue that both songwriting and live performance are also central to the rock tradition by showing that the practice of recording tracks admits of a diversity of goals (...)
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  14. Music and Vague Existence.David Friedell - 2017 - Res Philosophica 94 (4):437-449.
    I explain a tension between musical creationism and the view that there is no vague existence. I then suggest ways to reconcile these views. My central conclusion is that, although some versions of musical creationism imply vague existence, others do not. I discuss versions of musical creationism held by Jerrold Levinson, Simon Evnine, and Kit Fine. I also present two new versions. I close by considering whether the tension is merely an instance of a general problem raised by artifacts, both (...)
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  15. Unperformable Works and the Ontology of Music.Wesley D. Cray - 2016 - British Journal of Aesthetics 56 (1):67-81.
    Some artworks—works of music, theatre, dance, and the like—are works for performance. Some works for performance are, I contend, unperformable. Some such works are unperformable by beings like us; others are unperformable given our laws of nature; still others are unperformable given considerations of basic logic. I offer examples of works for performance—focusing, in particular, on works of music—that would fit into each of these categories, and go on to defend the claim that such ‘works’ really are genuine works, musical (...)
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  16. The Aesthetics of Electronic Dance Music, Part II: Dancers, DJs, Ontology and Aesthetics.Nick Wiltsher - 2016 - Philosophy Compass 11 (8):426-436.
    What's aesthetically interesting or significant about electronic dance music? The first answer I consider here is that dancing is significant. Using literature on groove, dance and expression, I sketch an account of club dancing as expressive activity. I next consider the aesthetic achievements of DJs, introducing two conceptions of what they do. These thoughts lead to discussions of dance music's ontology. I suggest that the fundamental work of dance music is the mix and that mixes require their own ontology, distinct (...)
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  17. The Metaphysics of Mash‐Ups.Christopher Bartel - 2015 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 73 (3):297-308.
    Accounts of the ontology of musical works seek to uncover what metaphysically speaking a musical work is and how we should identify instances of musical works. In this article, I examine the curious case of the mash-up and seek to address two questions: are mash-ups musical works in their own right and what is the relationship between the mash-up and its source materials? As mash-ups are part of the broader tradition of rock, I situate this discussion within an ontology of (...)
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  18. Computer-Generated Music, Authorship, and Work Identity.Maria Elisabeth Reicher - 2015 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 91:107-130.
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  19. Musical Ontology: Critical, Not Metaphysical.Jonathan A. Neufeld - 2014 - Contemporary Aesthetics 12.
    The ontology of musical works often sets the boundaries within which evaluation of musical works and performances takes place. Questions of ontology are therefore often taken to be prior to and apart from the evaluative questions considered by either performers as they present works to audiences or an audience’s critical reflection on a performance. In this paper I argue that, while the ontology of musical works may well set the boundaries of legitimate evaluation, ontological questions should not be considered as (...)
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  20. Platonism Vs. Nominalism in Contemporary Musical Ontology.Andrew Kania - 2013 - In Christy Mag Uidhir (ed.), Art and Abstract Objects. Oxford University Press. pp. 197.
    In this essay I first outline contemporary Platonism about musical works – the theory that musical works are abstract objects. I then consider reasons to be suspicious of such a view, motivating a consideration of nominalist theories of musical works. I argue for two conclusions: first, that there are no compelling reasons to be a nominalist about musical works in particular, i.e. that nominalism about musical works rests on arguments for thoroughgoing nominalism, and, second, that if Platonism fails, fictionalism about (...)
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  21. Historical Individuals Like Anas Platyrhynchos and 'Classical Gas'.P. D. Magnus - 2013 - In Christy Mag Uidhir (ed.), Art and Abstract Objects. Oxford University Press. pp. 108.
    In this paper, I explore and defend the idea that musical works are historical individuals. Guy Rohrbaugh (2003) proposes this for works of art in general. Julian Dodd (2007) objects that the whole idea is outré metaphysics, that it is too far beyond the pale to be taken seriously. Their disagreement could be seen as a skirmish in the broader war between revisionists and reactionaries, a conflict about which of metaphysics and art should trump the other when there is a (...)
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  22. Judging Covers.P. D. Magnus, Cristyn Magnus & Christy Mag Uidhir - 2013 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 71 (4):361-370.
    Cover versions form a loose but identifiable category of tracks and performances. We distinguish four kinds of covers and argue that they mark important differences in the modes of evaluation that are possible or appropriate for each: mimic covers, which aim merely to echo the canonical track; rendition covers, which change the sound of the canonical track; transformative covers, which diverge so much as to instantiate a distinct, albeit derivative song; and referential covers, which not only instantiate a distinct song, (...)
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  23. Cover to Cover.Achille C. Varzi - 2013 - Current Musicology 95:177–191.
    Paul Goguen once said that art is either plagiarism or revolution. That is certainly true of music. From pop to jazz to classical music, there’s a long history of borrowing, lifting, and stealing from other composers, along with other ways of building on their artistic contributions. Here I try to put some order in the complex picture that emerges from such a history, with an eye to the criteria—if any—that underlie the complex ways in which we compare, identify, and categorize (...)
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  24. Repeatable Artworks as Created Types.Lee Walters - 2013 - British Journal of Aesthetics 53 (4):461-477.
    I sketch here an intuitive picture of repeatable artworks as created types, which are individuated in part by historical paths (re)production. Although attractive, this view has been rejected by a number of authors on the basis of general claims about abstract objects. On consideration, however, these general claims are overgeneralizations, which whilst true of some abstracta, are not true of all abstract objects, and in particular, are not true of created types. The intuitive picture of repeatable artworks as created types (...)
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  25. Paganini Does Not Repeat. Musical Improvisation and the Type/Token Ontology.Alessandro Bertinetto - 2012 - Teorema: International Journal of Philosophy 31 (3):105-126.
    This paper explores the ontology of musical improvisation (MI). MI, as process in which creative and performing activities are one and the same generative occurrence, is contrasted with the most widespread conceptual resource used in inquiries about music ontology of the Western tradition: the type/token duality (TtD). TtD, which is used for explaining the relationship between musical works (MWs) and performances, does not fit for MI. Nonetheless MI can be ontologically related to MWs. A MW can ensue from MI and (...)
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  26. Software is an Abstract Artifact.Nurbay Irmak - 2012 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 86 (1):55-72.
    Software is a ubiquitous artifact, yet not much has been done to understand its ontological nature. There are a few accounts offered so far about the nature of software. I argue that none of those accounts give a plausible picture of the nature of software. I draw attention to the striking similarities between software and musical works. These similarities motivate to look more closely on the discussions regarding the nature of the musical works. With the lessons drawn from the ontology (...)
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  27. Platonizm skrajny Juliana Dodda.Robert Koszkało - 2012 - Filo-Sofija 12 (18).
    JULIAN DODD’S MUSICAL PLATONISM The purpose of the paper is to analyse Julian Dodd’s musical Platonism in the ontology of works of music. Dodd defends two views; first, that musical works are norm-types the tokens of which are dateable, locatable patterns of sounds. Second, that musical works are entities individuated purely in terms of how they sound. The main results of the analysis is the rejection of the following Dodd’s theses: 1. that types exist eternally; 2. that they are unstructured; (...)
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  28. The Process and Content of Musical Identity Formation.Ion Olteţeanu - 2012 - Analysis and Metaphysics 11:168-173.
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  29. Critical Study Julian Dodd. Works of Music: An Essay in Ontology. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007).Gary Ostertag - 2012 - Noûs 46 (2):355-374.
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  30. Constituting the Musical Object: A Neurophenomenological Perspective on Musical Research.Andrea Schiavio - 2012 - Teorema: International Journal of Philosophy 31 (3):63-80.
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  31. Musical Materialism and the Inheritance Problem.Chris Tillman & J. Spencer - 2012 - Analysis 72 (2):252-259.
    Some hold that musical works are fusions of, or coincide with, their performances. But if performances contain wrong notes, won't works inherit that property? We say ‘no’.
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  32. Music Without Metaphysics?Christopher Bartel - 2011 - British Journal of Aesthetics 51 (4):383-398.
    In a recent pair of articles, Aaron Ridley and Andrew Kania have debated the merits of the study of musical ontology. Ridley contends that the study of musical ontology is orthogonal to more pressing concerns over the value of music. Kania rejects this, arguing that a theory of the value of music must begin with an understanding of the ontology of music. In this essay, I will argue that, despite Kania's rejections, Ridley's criticism exposes a false methodological assumption that needs (...)
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  33. Do Higher-Order Music Ontologies Rest on a Mistake?L. B. Brown - 2011 - British Journal of Aesthetics 51 (2):169-184.
    Recent work in the ontology of music suggests that we will avoid confusion if we distinguish between two kinds of question that are typically posed in music ontology. Thus, a distinction has been made between fundamental ontology and higher-order ontology. The former addresses questions about the basic metaphysical options from which ontologists choose. For instance, are musical works types, indicated types, classes of particulars, or some other kind of entity? Higher-order ontology addresses the question of what lies ‘at the centre’ (...)
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  34. Are There No Things That Are Scientific Theories?Steven French & Peter Vickers - 2011 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 62 (4):771-804.
    The ontological status of theories themselves has recently re-emerged as a live topic in the philosophy of science. We consider whether a recent approach within the philosophy of art can shed some light on this issue. For many years philosophers of aesthetics have debated a paradox in the (meta)ontology of musical works (e.g. Levinson [1980]). Taken individually, there are good reasons to accept each of the following three propositions: (i) musical works are created; (ii) musical works are abstract objects; (iii) (...)
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  35. Performances and Recordings.Andrew Kania & Theodore Gracyk - 2011 - In Theodore Gracyk & Andrew Kania (eds.), Routledge Companion to Philosophy and Music. New York, USA: Routledge. pp. 80-90.
    An overview of philosophical issues raised by musical performances and recordings.
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  36. Music, Art, and Metaphysics.Jerrold Levinson - 2011 - Oxford University Press.
    This is a long-awaited reissue of Jerrold Levinson's 1990 book which gathers together the writings that made him a leading figure in contemporary aesthetics. These highly influential essays are essential reading for debates on the definition of art, the ontology of art, emotional response to art, expression in art, and the nature of art forms.
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  37. What a Musical Work Is, Again.Jerrold Levinson - 2011 - In Music, Art and Metaphysics. pp. 215-263.
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  38. The Ontology of Musical Works: A Philosophical Pseudo-Problem.James Young - 2011 - Frontiers of Philosophy in China 6 (2):284-297.
    A bewildering array of accounts of the ontology of musical works is available. Philosophers have held that works of music are sets of performances, abstract, eternal sound-event types, initiated types, compositional action types, compositional action tokens, ideas in a composer’s mind and continuants that perdure. This paper maintains that questions in the ontology of music are, in Rudolf Carnap’s sense of the term, pseudo-problems. That is, there is no alethic basis for choosing between rival musical ontologies. While we have no (...)
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  39. Confessions of an Unrepentant Timbral Sonicist.Julian Dodd - 2010 - British Journal of Aesthetics 50 (1):33-52.
    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.
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  40. 7 Musical Identity.Christopher Hogwood - 2010 - In Giselle Walker & E. S. Leedham-Green (eds.), Identity. Cambridge University Press. pp. 21--157.
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  41. Reviews Works of Music: An Essay in Ontology . By Julian Dodd. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007, Pp. XI+286, £55.Michael Morris - 2010 - Philosophy 85 (3):419-424.
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  42. Works of Music – Julian Dodd. [REVIEW]Christopher Bartel - 2009 - Philosophical Quarterly 59 (237):760-762.
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  43. Hearing and Seeing Musical Expression.Vincent Bergeron & Dominic McIver Lopes - 2009 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 78 (1):1-16.
    Everybody assumes (1) that musical performances are sonic events and (2) that their expressive properties are sonic properties. This paper discusses recent findings in the psychology of music perception that show that visual information combines with auditory information in the perception of musical expression. The findings show at the very least that arguments are needed for (1) and (2). If music expresses what we think it does, then its expressive properties may be visual as well as sonic; and if its (...)
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  44. Works and Performances in the Performing Arts.David Davies - 2009 - Philosophy Compass 4 (5):744-755.
    The primary purpose of the performing arts is to prepare and present 'artistic performances', performances that either are themselves the appreciative focuses of works of art or are instances of other things that are works of art. In the latter case, we have performances of what may be termed 'performed works', as is generally taken to be so with performances of classical music and traditional theatrical performances. In the former case, we have what may be termed 'performance-works', as, for example, (...)
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  45. Teaching & Learning Guide For: Musical Works: Ontology and Meta-Ontology.Julian Dodd - 2009 - Philosophy Compass 4 (6):1044-1048.
    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 (...)
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  46. Constitution and Qua Objects in the Ontology of Music.Simon J. Evnine - 2009 - British Journal of Aesthetics 49 (3):203-217.
    Musical Platonists identify musical works with abstract sound structures but this implies that they are not created but only discovered. Jerrold Levinson adapts Platonism to allow for creation by identifying musical works with indicated sound structures. In this paper I explore the similarities between Levinson's view and Kit Fine's theory of qua objects. Fine offers the theory of qua objects as an account of constitution, as it obtains, for example, between a statue and the clay the statue is made out (...)
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  47. PF Strawson and Stephen Davies on the Ontology of Art.Anders Pettersson - 2009 - Organon F: Medzinárodný Časopis Pre Analytickú Filozofiu 16 (4):615-631.
    P.F. Strawson’s Individuals contains a condensed version of an ontology of art. According to this ontology, musical and literary compositions are similar to types. They are abstract entities, instantiated in the performances of the piece of music or the copies of the literary work. Musical and literary compositions are “well-entrenched”, Strawson says – we cannot eliminate these abstractions, or perhaps we have no need to do so. Strawson’s ontology of art forms an integral part of what he calls his “descriptive (...)
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  48. Singing His Praises: Darwin and His Theory in Song and Musical Production.Vassiliki Smocovitis - 2009 - Isis 100:590-614.
  49. There Are No Things That Are Musical Works.Ross P. Cameron - 2008 - British Journal of Aesthetics 48 (3):295-314.
    Works of music do not appear to be concrete objects; but they do appear to be created by composers, and abstract objects do not seem to be the kind of things that can be created. In this paper I aim to develop an ontological position that lets us salvage the creativity intuition without either adopting an ontology of created abstracta or identifying musical works with concreta. I will argue that there are no musical works in our ontology, but nevertheless the (...)
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  50. Musical Works: Ontology and Meta-Ontology.Julian Dodd - 2008 - Philosophy Compass 3 (6):1113-1134.
    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, (...)
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