British Journal of Aesthetics 48 (1):65-79 (2008)
Aaron Ridley has recently attacked the study of musical ontology—an apparently fertile area in the philosophy of music. I argue here that Ridley's arguments are unsound. There are genuinely puzzling ontological questions about music, many of which are closely related to questions of musical value. While it is true that musical ontology must be descriptive of pre-existing musical practices and that some debates, such as that over the creatability of musical works, have little consequence for questions of musical value, none of this implies that these debates themselves are without value.
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