Intuitions on the Individuation of Musical Works. An Empirical Study

British Journal of Aesthetics 60 (3):253-282 (2020)
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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, and contextualism. The results show that emotional expressivity, instrument, timbre, and images evoked in the listeners were not considered as properties individuating musical works. However, the musical works were held to be different if the composers were different. In most cases, the participants had clear intuitions. Pure sonicism, complemented with additional stress on significance of the composer’s creativity, seems to be the most intuitive position.



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Author Profiles

Vilius Dranseika
Jagiellonian University

Citations of this work

Can Artificial Intelligence Make Art?Elzė Sigutė Mikalonytė & Markus Kneer - 2022 - ACM Transactions on Human-Robot Interactions.
Intuitions in the Ontology of Musical Works.Elzė Sigutė Mikalonytė - 2022 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 13 (2):455-474.
Experimental Philosophy of Aesthetics.Florian Cova - forthcoming - In Max Bauer & Stephan Kornmesser (eds.), Compact compendium of experimental philosophy. De Gruyter.

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References found in this work

What a Musical Work Is.Jerrold Levinson - 1980 - Journal of Philosophy 77 (1):5-28.
Descriptivism and Its Discontents.David Davies - 2017 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 75 (2):117-129.

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