In the small but growing literature on the philosophy of country music, the question of how we ought to understand the genre’s notion of authenticity has emerged as one of the central questions. Many country music scholars argue that authenticity claims track attributions of cultural standing or artistic self-expression. However, careful attention to the history of the genre reveals that these claims are simply factually wrong. On the basis of this, we have grounds for dismissing these attributions. Here, I argue (...) for an alternative model of authenticity in which we take claims about the relative authenticity of country music to be evidence of ‘country’ being a dual character concept in the same way that it has been suggested of punk rock and hip-hop. Authentic country music is country music that embodies the core value commitments of the genre. These values form the basis of country artists’ and audiences’ practical identities. Part of country music’s aesthetic practice is that audiences reconnect with, reify, and revise this common practical identity through identification with artists and works that manifest these values. We should then think of authenticity discourse within country music as a kind of game within the genre’s practice of shaping and maintaining this practical identity. (shrink)
Genre discourse is widespread in appreciative practice, whether that is about hip-hop music, romance novels, or film noir. It should be no surprise then, that philosophers of art have also been interested in genres. Whether they are giving accounts of genres as such or of particular genres, genre talk abounds in philosophy as much as it does the popular discourse. As a result, theories of genre proliferate as well. However, in their accounts, philosophers have so far focused on capturing all (...) of the categories of art that we think of as genres and have focused less on ensuring that only the categories we think are genres are captured by those theories. Each of these theories populates the world with far too many genres because they call a wide class of mere categories of art genres. I call this the problem of genre explosion. In this paper, I survey the existing accounts of genre and describe the kinds of considerations they employ in determining whether a work is a work of a given genre. After this, I demonstrate the ways in which the problem of genre explosion arises for all of these theories and discuss some solutions those theories could adopt that will ultimately not work. Finally, I argue that the problem of genre explosion is best solved by adopting a social view of genres, which can capture the difference between genres and mere categories of art. (shrink)
Genres inform our appreciative practices. What it takes for a work to be a good work of comedy is different than what it takes for a work to be a good work of horror, and a failure to recognize this will lead to a failure to appreciate comedies or works of horror particularly well. Likewise, it is not uncommon to hear people say that a film or novel is a good work, but not a good work of x (where x (...) is the genre of that work). A work can be good all things considered, but genre membership provides us with an additional set of evaluative criteria over and above those of the medium, which colors how we interpret and appreciate the work. Given this importance, it is not surprising that philosophers of art have been interested in providing an account of what, exactly, a genre is. Despite this interest, there is not widespread agreement about what it takes for something to be a genre, nor what kinds of considerations are relevant in determining whether a work is a member of that genre. Beyond this, we might also want to know to what degree we ought to consider genre in evaluating a work of art and why it should matter at all. Here, I explore the variety of recent theories that philosophers have taken up on the topic of genre and why we should ultimately think of genres as artistic practices rather than the alternatives. (shrink)
It has been over two decades since Miranda Fricker labeled epistemic injustice, in which an agent is wronged in their capacity as a knower. The philosophical literature has proliferated with variants and related concepts. By considering cases in popular music, we argue that it is worth distinguishing a parallel phenomenon of art-interpretive injustice, in which an agent is wronged in their creative capacity as a possible artist. In section 1, we consider the prosecutorial use of rap lyrics in court as (...) a central case of this injustice. In section 2, we distinguish art-interpretive injustice from other categories already discussed in recent literature. In section 3, we discuss the relationship between genre discourse and identity prejudice. The case for recognizing the category of art-interpretive injustice is that it allows one to recognize a class of harms as being importantly related in ways that one would otherwise overlook. (shrink)
Groove, as a musical quality, is an important part of jazz and pop music appreciative practices. Groove talk is widespread among musicians and audiences, and considerable importance is placed on generating and appreciating grooves in music. However, musicians, musicologists, and audiences use groove attributions in a variety of ways that do not track one consistent underlying concept. I argue that that there are at least two distinct concepts of groove. On one account, groove is ‘the feel of the music’ and, (...) on the other, groove is the psychological feeling (induced by music) of wanting to move one’s body. Further, I argue that recent work in music psychology shows that these two concepts do not converge on a unified set of musical features. Finally, I also argue that these two concepts play different functional roles in the appreciative practices of jazz and popular music. This should cause us to further consider the mediating role genre plays for aesthetic concepts and provides us with reason for adopting a more communitarian approach to aesthetics which is attentive to the ways in which aesthetic discourse serves the practices of different audiences. (shrink)
Many widely divergent accounts of luck have been offered or employed in discussing an equally wide range of philosophical topics. We should, then, expect to find some unified philosophical conception of luck of which moral luck, epistemic luck, and luck egalitarianism are species. One of the attempts to provide such an account is that offered by Duncan Pritchard, which he refers to as the modal account. This view commits us to calling an event lucky when it obtains in this world, (...) but fails to obtain in a wide class of nearby possible worlds. In support of this account, Pritchard argues that a theory of luck ought to capture the fact that luck comes in degrees and that luck is closely associated with risk. I argue against this claim by suggesting that an understanding of luck grounded in considerations of probability is better able to satisfy these demands, and that the probability theory better explains exemplary cases of luck like those brought up by Pritchard. (shrink)
In this paper, I propose a novel theory for why we find certain mundane everyday experiences, objects, and phenomena satisfying aesthetic experiences. I refer to these as 'oddly satisfying' experiences, and argue that they assert themselves as aesthetic by being suggestive of the cinematic. This cinematic quality is the product of everyday experiences gesturing towards a kind of careful artistic intent.