Co-authored by three prominent philosophers of art, Jazz and the Philosophy of Art is the first book in English to be exclusively devoted to philosophical issues in jazz. It covers such diverse topics as minstrelsy, bebop, Voodoo, social and tap dancing, parades, phonography, musical forgeries, and jazz singing, as well as Goodman's allographic/autographic distinction, Adorno's critique of popular music, and what improvisation is and is not. The book is organized into three parts. Drawing on innovative strategies adopted to address challenges (...) that arise for the project of defining art, Part I shows how historical definitions of art provide a blueprint for a historical definition of jazz. Part II extends the book's commitment to social-historical contextualism by exploring distinctive ways that jazz has shaped, and been shaped by, American culture. Chapters 4 and 5 use the lens of jazz vocals to provide perspective on racial issues previously unaddressed in the work, after which chapter 6 examines the broader premise that jazz was a socially progressive force in American popular culture. Part III concentrates on a topic that has entered into the arguments of each of the previous chapters: what is jazz improvisation? It outlines a pluralistic framework in which distinctive performance intentions distinguish distinctive kinds of jazz improvisation. This book is a comprehensive and valuable resource for any reader interested in the intersections between jazz and philosophy. (shrink)
Ethical scandals in business are all too common. Due to the increased public awareness of the transgressions of business executives and the potential costs associated with these transgressions, ethical leadership is among the top qualities sought by organizations as they hire and promote managers. This search for ethical leaders intersects with a labor force that is becoming more racially diverse than ever before. In this paper, we propose that the ethical leadership qualities of business leaders may be perceived differently depending (...) upon the race of the leader. Using two experimental studies in the USA, we examine the difference in ethical leadership perceptions between a Black hypocritical CEO and an ethical CEO. Next, we consider a Black ethically ambiguous CEO and an ethical CEO. The findings indicate that a Black leader faces larger negative impact in hypocritical and ambiguous conditions than a similar White leader. There were no significant race effects in the ethical conditions in which a leader demonstrated a personal commitment to ethics through words or actions. We discuss the implications of these findings. (shrink)
This essay discusses how ontological commitments within modern Western culture are no less problematic than those within traditional African cultures. Each posits unobservable entities to explain the experiential world, and neither has ready access to those posits held as grounding or as otherwise determining what is experienced. It looks at the conceptions of persons in Western and African traditions and suggests that each tradition can learn from the other.
Some two hundred years ago the course of philosophy was changed, and we shall in this paper take it for granted that we cannot return to an earlier standpoint. We have left behind, not simply the notion that we can penetrate the nature of things by pure reason, but also the idea that our knowledge moves in ever-widening circles of objectivity toward a standpointless comprehension of things. Absolute comprehension is a mere regulative idea, although even that is misleading if it (...) suggests that we could somehow speculate on what it would be like to circumscribe the world in some enormous final circle. The idea that the world is inexhaustible is part of this turning point, but that is in itself not a new idea. What is more to the point than an indefinitely long parade of new facts is the permanent possibility—even within the limits of some absolute but undiscovered conditions of thinking—of revising our human schemes, or, if you wish, of revising our concepts of what, relative to schemata, is to count as an element or part of a system, or as an instance of a general law. (shrink)
What aspects of philosophical style really count? What aspects of philosophical writing count only as matters of style? Some features of philosophical writing and talking do seem to be of merely ornamental significance, worthy subjects only of gossip or banter. We are familiar with the academic sneer with which poor Professor Kluck is charged with having “somehow managed to confuse” one thing with another. A more serious stylistic matter, of course, would be Professor Kluck’s own willingness to use the apparatus (...) of modal logic in his pathetic endeavors. Or is that a matter of style? If so, does the same concept apply to such amusing and affective phenomena as accent and cadence? We have heard Professor Chisholm’s rising terminal voice inflection, if only because it is so widely imitated. One thinks of Professor Earle’s favorite condemnation “boring” pronounced with an “o” which seems to touch base on every vowel sound known to man. We are impressed by Goodman’s pithiness, and we register his penchant for alliterative triples. We compare Bergmann’s Laocöonian baroque prose with Quine’s soothing urbanity. It is an interesting fact that these are the features which come to mind when we begin to consider the whole question of philosophical style. Have we so internalized the parts that really count that they seem “white,” neutral, style-free? There might well be historical factors which encourage such blindness. Varying degrees of lingering transcendentalism about philosophical method would not be easily reconciled with the awful idea that one is merely speaking a local dialect. Of course the transcendentalism itself is rarely owned up to as such, as if it is assumed that it is Reason which speaks but that it is in poor taste to say so. Alternative methods, when confronted, generate distaste, horror, or the head-shaking sort of wonderment of the Eighteenth Century Parisian who wondered how on earth anyone could be a Persian. (shrink)
In most general terms, my paper is about the mixture of agendas in the recording industry, where documentation, with its apparently educational implications, becomes difficult to distinguish from a range of distinct, even opposed, goals—which I group under the heading "fabrication." After a few historical remarks, I develop the concept of what I call works of phonography —that is, sound-constructs created by the use of recording machinery. I detail their ontological characteristics, as contrasted the features of ordinary musical works. WPs (...) are—I claim—replete. They are autographic. And they are phono-accessible—that is, accessible only through playbacks of authentic instances of their record artifacts, e.g., cassette tapes, CDs, etc. I then turn to Theodore Gracyk's recent study of rock music, arguing that his account is formally similar to my account of WPs. This raises the question of whether there be counter-examples to Gracyk's account—particularly of the sort that show his view to be too broad. I bring this to a focus finally by a comparison of rock recordings with jazz recordings—two classes that Gracyk tries to keep ontologically distinct. I argue that many classic jazz recordings are artifacts of the recording studio, no less than those Gracyk identifies as pure cases of rock music. In the same vein, I argue that, once recorded, the improvisational music of jazz is deformed—indeed, that it acquires features of WPs. This has the further implication that Gracyk cannot preserve his sharp distinction between rock and jazz records that he want's to maintain. (shrink)