In this chapter I invite the reader to consider the philosophical assumptions which underpin the early career aims and objectives of Barrie Kosky. A focus will be his “language” of opera, and the processes by which the audience is prompted to interpret it. The result will be to see how Kosky creates mystery and meaning while avoiding fantasy and escapism; and can express psychological truth while stimulating subjective interpretations. The point will be to show that Kosky’s oeuvre demonstrates a central (...) concept in the Kantian tradition of aesthetic theory regarding the key process in creative expression, and that is the evocation/communication of “aesthetic ideas”. (shrink)
(text in Dutch) Mediated by the so-called Dream-organ ('Traumorgan') which opera composer Richard Wagner mentions in his writings, the author engages in a fictitious dialogue with Wagner. Their dialogue focuses on a few topics related to the conference theme 'Conflict and compassion' that were of concern to Wagner in his days and which have undergone some serious changes since his death. The author discusses with Wagner the 'death of tragedy', sexuality and desire after the sexual revolution, the attractivity of musical (...) genres like film and dance music, and the role of travel. (shrink)
In this paper, I make two claims: an opera’s music, both vocal and instrumental, is part of the ontology of its fictional world, and song constitutes the normative mode of communication and expression in the fictional world. I refute Carolyn Abbate’s influential arguments that both of these claims are untrue. Abbate’s contention that opera characters do not have epistemic access to the music is based on false premises and gives rise to serious interpretive problems. My account of operatic metaphysics refines (...) and extends the work of Edward T. Cone and Peter Kivy. Where I diverge from their respective accounts is in my contention that the orchestral music typically does not have a fictional author. Often its real author is the only agent to which it may be logically attributed. (shrink)
Scruton's Aesthetics is a comprehensive critical evaluation of one of the major aestheticians of our age. The lead essay by Scruton is followed by fourteen essays by international commentators plus Scruton's reply. All discuss matters of enduring importance.
Opera is a paradoxical genre. For it seems self-defeating to create an illusion of reality by means of the theatrical apparatus if the art form’s central mode of expression, lavish singing in all kinds of circumstances, defies realism anyway. A solution to the paradox is implied by the 18th century turn of European philosophy of art from mimēsis to aisthēsis. In terms of aesthetics, reality is no longer an object of imitation but rather the impact upon and presence for a (...) consciousness – that are actually heightened by singing. Of course we remain aware that to deal with everything in the mode of singing is in a way surreal. But then the simultaneous production and suspension of illusion turns out to be not a fault of art; rather it features as one of its peculiar achievements. (shrink)
The latest volume in the splendid critical edition of the Opera philosophica et theologica of William of Ockham in progress at the Franciscan Institute of St. Bonaventure University under the general editorship of Gedeon Gál, O.F.M. The project itself is something of a phenomenon in the area of critical editions of medieval Latin texts in terms of the rapidity at which quality volumes are produced at remarkably reasonable costs. Since 1967 five quarto volumes, totaling some three thousand four hundred pages, (...) have appeared. Three of these contain the first portion of Ockham’s most important theological work, the Ordinatio of his "commentary" on book 1 of the Sentences. The final portion is scheduled to appear early in 1979 as volume 4 of the Opera theologica. Volume 1 of the philosophical opera contains the monumental Summa Logicae, and volume 3 will also appear this year, thus completing with the present volume the edition of the most important of Ockham’s logical works. Editors are also assigned and are already at work on the other major non-political writings, notably the Quodlibet and commentaries on Aristotle’s Physics. Since the Opera politica Guillelmi de Ockham were published in three octavo volumes by the University of Manchester Press, we may expect to have very shortly substantially all the works of the Venerable Inceptor, thanks to the exceptional industry of a team of highly qualified researchers as well as substantial grants by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the De Rance Corporation. Two of the editors of individual works in the present volume are deceased. Father Philotheus Boehner, O.F.M., who came to the Franciscan Institute from Germany before the outbreak of World War II, first conceived of and began work on the critical edition. His text of the Tractatus de praedestinatione was first published in 1945 in Franciscan Institute Publications, Text Series No. 2 and was subsequently translated into English by M. M. Adams and N. Kretzmann in 1969. It differs little in Brown’s revision, which adds variants from the Bruges MS, unavailable to Boehner because of the war. The other posthumous edition is that of E. A. Moody. This too appeared in the aforesaid Text Series as No. 14. The present text is identical with the earlier version, but observations and suggested alternate readings by the general editor are added in footnotes. The thirty-two pages of introduction contains a wealth of information. To mention but two items: One concerns the probable reason why Ockham only incepted in theology but never served as regent master. This apparently had little or nothing to do with Lutterall’s opposition, as Chancellor of the University, to Ockham’s views and his summons later to the papal court at Avignon. It stemmed rather from the Franciscan custom of promoting those bachelors who had completed their magisterial studies to regent master on the basis of seniority. At his time a junior like Ockham could expect a wait of eight to ten years. It was during this period, beginning probably in 1321 that he began his lectures on logic, probably at the Franciscan house of studies in London where he later composed the Summa Logicae and his exposition of Aristotle’s Physics, before the summer of 1324 when he went to Avignon. Another item is the effective refutation of the authenticity views of Prantl and Anneliese Maier of the Expositiones and their relationship to the spurious and derivative Notabilia. As a final comment, we note that this second volume of the Opera philosophica contains all the works of Ockham edited by Marcus de Benevento under the title Expositio aurea et admodum utilis super artem veterem edita per Ven. Inceptorem Guilielmum de Occham, [[sic]] cum quaestionibus Alberti Parvi de Saxonia.—A.B.W. (shrink)