Stephen Davies presents a fascinating exploration of the idea that art, and our aesthetic sensibilities more generally, should be understood as an element in human evolution. He asks: Do animals have aesthetics? Do our aesthetic preferences have prehistoric roots? Is art universal? What is the biological role of aesthetic and artistic behaviour?
I. History. Mainwaring's Handel : its relation to British aesthetics -- Herbert Spencer and a musical dispute -- II. Opera and film. Handel's operas : the form of feeling and the problem of appreciation -- Anti-semitism in Meistersinger? -- Speech, song, and the transparency of medium : on operatic metaphysics -- III. Performance. On the historically informed performance -- Ars perfecta : toward perfection in musical performance? -- IV. Interpretation. Another go at the meaning of music : Koopman, Davies, (...) and the meaning of "meaning" -- Another go at musical profundity : Stephen Davies and the game of chess -- From ideology to music : Leonard Meyer's theory of style change -- Sibley's last paper -- In defense of musical representation : music, representation, and the hybrid arts -- Music, language, and cognition : which doesn't belong? (shrink)
What is consciousness? Why and when do we have it? Where does it come from, and how does it relate to the lump of squishy grey matter in our heads, or to our material and social worlds? While neuroscientists, philosophers, psychologists, historians, and cultural theorists offer widely different perspectives on these fundamental questions concerning what it is like to be human, most agree that consciousness represents a 'hard problem'. -/- The emergence of consciousness studies as a multidisciplinary discourse addressing these (...) issues has often been associated with rapid advances in neuroscience-perhaps giving the impression that the arts and humanities have arrived late at the debating table. The longer historical view suggests otherwise, but it is probably true that music has been under-represented in accounts of consciousness. Music and Consciousness aims to redress the balance: its twenty essays offer a timely and multi-faceted contribution to consciousness studies, critically examining some of the existing debates and raising new questions. -/- The collection makes it clear that to understand consciousness we need to do much more than just look at brains: studying music demonstrates that consciousness is as much to do with minds, bodies, culture, and history. Incorporating several chapters that move outside Western philosophical traditions, Music and Consciousness corrects any perception that the study of consciousness is a purely occidental preoccupation. And in addition to what it says about consciousness the volume also presents a distinctive and thought-provoking configuration of new writings about music. (shrink)
Robert Sharpe examines the humanist conception of music as a language--as expressive and intelligible--which has been a dominant theory in Western culture. He argues against the view that music is expressive by causing certain states in us. Rather, he contends that our beliefs about music are integral to our appreciation of it. Differences in musical taste are then not just irresolvable differences in sensitivity, but the result of variations in circumstance and upbringing, of associations and ideology.
_Despite advances in standard of living of the population, the condition of widows and divorced women remains deplorable in society. The situation is worse in developing nations with their unique social, cultural and economic milieu, which at times ignores the basic human rights of this vulnerable section of society. A gap exists in life expectancies of men and women in both developing and developed nations. This, coupled with greater remarriage rates in men, ensures that the number of widows continues to (...) exceed that of widowers. Moreover, with women becoming more educated, economically independent and aware of their rights, divorce rates are increasing along with associated psychological ramifications. The fact that widowed/divorced women suffer from varying psychological stressors is often ignored. It has been concluded in various studies that such stressors could be harbingers of psychiatric illnesses (e.g., depression, anxiety, substance dependence), and hence should be taken into account by treating physicians, social workers and others who come to the aid of such women. A change in mindset of the society is required before these women get their rightful place, for which a strong will is needed in the minds of the people, and in law-governing bodies._. (shrink)
In The Psychologizing of Modernity, Mark Jarzombek examines the impact of psychology on twentieth-century aesthetics. Analysing the interface between psychology, art history and avant-gardist practices, he also reflects on the longevity of the myth of aesthetic individuality as it infiltrated not only avant-garde art, but also history writing. The principal focus of this study is pre-World War II Germany, where theories of empathy and Entartung emerged; and post-war America, where artists, critics and historians gradually shifted from their reliance on (...) psychology to philosophy, and, most recently, to theory. Included are discussions of writers such as Heinrich Wölfflin, Ludwig Volkmann, John Dewey, Vincent Scully and Richard Arnheim, among others. The Psychologizing of Modernity is a broad and erudite study of the evolution of modern aesthetic thinking in the fields of art and architectural history. (shrink)
This book is about aesthetic processes and play from the perspectives of psychologists, philosophers, and semiologists. They explore the underlying processes from many viewpoints, including the prehistoric roots of language and art; the historical evolution of artistic, literary, and musical styles; the structure of artworks from both gestalt and semiotic perspectives; the biological and psychological processes underlying production and appreciation; the appeal of sentimental art; emotional responses to art and other aesthetic forms; personality in relation to artistic style; the (...) testing and measurement of art-related skills; the relations between social life and literary understanding; literature in relation to media; as well as neurobiological, developmental and individual growth perspectives on play activity. (shrink)
It seems to be the case that when we look at a flower in the way that the scientist does, we see the flower in one way, but when we look at the flower in a way as to view it as a thing of beauty, charm, elegance, we see it in a different way; we see it as an aesthetic object. Viewing the flower in such a way as to see it, or any object, as an aesthetic object, is (...) to be in the aesthetic attitude. What this work means to do is to formulate necessary and sufficient conditions for adoption of the aesthetic attitude. ;Analytically and traditionally, the aesthetic attitude is an attitude or state-of-perceiving that is entered into by an agent which serves to make the agent receptive to the having of an aesthetic experience, and transform the object of the agent's attention from an object-in-the-world into an aesthetic object. ;The aesthetic attitude has figured prominently in aesthetics from the Enlightenment until the present. Its most important formulations are disinterestedness , Psychical Distance , Aldrich's Impressionistic Viewing, Scruton's Empiricistic Account, and the naturalistic work of John Dewey and Monroe Beardsley. I conclude that a naturalistic formulation of the aesthetic attitude is correct. (shrink)
Mārgi Saṅgīta in Upaniṣadic times -- Emotion, aesthetics, bioenergy fields : a brief introduction of the archetypal/historical/living singer effect in the Indian psyche -- Indian aesthetics : the personal and impersonal.
This book is a philosophical study of the relations between hearing and thinking about music. The central problem it addresses is as follows: how is it possible to talk about what a listener perceives in terms that the listener does not recognize? By applying the concepts and techniques of analytic philosophy the author explores the ways in which musical hearing may be described as nonconceptual, and how such mental representation contrasts with conceptual thought. The author is both philosopher and musicologist (...) and uniquely combines the perspectives of both disciplines. Exploring the philosophical questions of mental representation in the relatively neglected, nonverbal domain of music, this study is a major contribution to the philosophical understanding of music perception and cognitive theory. (shrink)
Composers with disabilities and the critical reception of their music -- Musical narratives of disability overcome : Beethoven -- Musical narratives of disability accommodated : Schubert -- Musical narratives of balance lost and regained : Schoenberg and Webern -- Musical narratives of the fractured body : Schoenberg, Stravinsky, Bartók, and Copland -- Disability within music-theoretical traditions -- Performing music and performing disability -- Prodigious hearing, normal hearing, and disablist hearing.
PsychologicalAspects of Risk and Aggression among Motorcyclists - "Mad Max" Syndrome The primary objective of this study was the psychological examination of a group of Polish motorcyclists against a group of students and graduates of Technical Universities. This work poses a question regarding the differences in temperament, aggression and the level of risk between motorcyclists and the control group. The second question was whether it was possible to create a typology of Polish motorcyclists taking into account (...) the variables describing risk, temperament and aggression. This study used the Pavlovian Temperamental Scale, Stimulating-Instrumental Risk Inventory, SIRI 2001, Multifactor Risky Behavior Scale, Unhealthy behavior Inventory and the Buss and Perry Aggression Questionnaire. The tests were performed on 267 motorcyclists and 188 students and graduates of Technical Universities. A number of important differences was observed between the motorcyclists and the control group. Motorcyclists had a higher level of mobility of nervous processes and higher degree of excitation at the lower level of inhibitory processes. In terms of the measured level of risk they also had a higher level of stimulating, instrumental and unhealthy risk, at the lower levels of physical, social, ethical and financial risk in relation to the control group. Cluster and confirmation analyses showed the existence of three sub-groups of motorcyclists: prevaricators, ones with a Mad Max syndrome, and adventurers. The confirmation analysis was carried out on an additional group of 243 motorcyclists. (shrink)
The tears of Odysseus -- History : music gives voice to the ineffable -- Tears, chills, and broken bones -- The music itself -- Explaining strong emotional responses to music I -- Explaining strong emotional responses to music II -- The sublime, revisited -- Conclusion : values.