Appearance Emotionalism in Music: Analysis and Criticism

Journal of Aesthetic Education 53 (3):93-105 (2019)
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This paper is composed of two related parts. The first raises questions regarding the characterisation of the phenomenology of music listening required by Davies’s theory of musical expressiveness, appearance emotionalism. I will identify two possible readings of the theory, a thick and a thin one, and claim that the former represents the basic characterisation of what it is to hear expressive music according to appearance emotionalism. The thick characterisation is to be preferred, I will claim, both on the grounds of textual evidence and of overall consistency and explanatory power. The second part of the paper discusses a criticism of appearance emotionalism I advanced in a recently published paper, along with its consequences for aesthetic education. In the remainder of the paper, I address Davies’s twofold reply to my objection. I will contend that both replies fail to address at least some of the problems I raised. The first reply fails because of Davies’s own view of emotions, while the seconds fails if one accepts the thick characterisation of appearance emotionalism I offer in the first half of the paper.



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Matteo Ravasio
Peking University

Citations of this work

The philosophy of music.Andrew Kania - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Analytic Aesthetics in Mainland China.Liu Jiachen - 2023 - East Asian Journal of Philosophy 2 (3):29-49.

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