Individual differences in bodily beauty result in significant differences in life outcomes. Some such differences seem unwarranted. On this basis, various authors have argued that there is a kind of discrimination—lookism—that affects those who are aesthetically disadvantaged. Several strategies have been proposed to address lookism. One aim of this paper is to draw a distinction between two sorts of anti-lookist strategies. Redistributive approaches propose to alter the current distribution of beauty, either by broadening beauty standards, or by giving individuals more (...) options to improve their appearance. Revisionary approaches argue that we should drop our current conception of human beauty in favour of one that is more compatible with social justice goals. Another aim of the paper is to argue that two problems posed by revisionary strategies represent a prima facie reason to prefer redistributive ones. Both problems are rooted in a trade-off between value and justice that is characteristic of revisionary approaches. (shrink)
This paper argues that contemporary analytic philosophy of music has characterized historically informed performance practice as compliance-focused, impersonal, and work-centered. The first part of the paper gathers evidence in support of this claim from the works of Julian Dodd, Peter Kivy, James O. Young, Aron Edidin, and Stephen Davies. In the second part of the paper, I reject this received view. Evidence from actual performance practice, as well as from the practitioners’ reflection on their activity, belies the received view outlined (...) in the first part of the paper. I conclude by drawing three methodological lessons from the oversights I attempt to rectify. (shrink)
In this paper I claim that Allen Carlson’s object-centered model for the aesthetic appreciation of nature could be extended to food. The application of an object-centered model to food requires the identification of appropriate foci of appreciative attention. I claim that knowledge about food function and history is relevant to its appreciation, as is the interplay between the resources of a territory and the way in which these are used by its inhabitants. After having offered a brief application of the (...) model to a traditional English recipe, the Cornish pasty, I will discuss the way in which my model meets the desiderata I outline in the first part of the paper. (shrink)
Julian Dodd  persuasively argues that John Cage’s 4′33″ should be characterised as a silent piece, as opposed to a sonically replete piece, containing the environmental sounds that occur as it is performed; a piece of performance art, but not a piece of music; a work of conceptual art. While I agree with Dodd’s claims, I contend that he fails to account for two features of 4′33″. I argue that a qualified description of Cage’s work as belonging to a subgenre (...) of conceptual art could address these shortcomings. (shrink)
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. (shrink)
We often use terms primarily concerned with the description of inanimate objects in order to characterize psychological states or dispositions, without being able to specify the connection between the two uses. I call this inanimation. In this paper, I propose an account of inanimation and of its connection to expressiveness.
In this paper, I will examine an evolutionary hypothesis about musical expressiveness first proposed by Peter Kivy. I will first present the hypothesis and explain why I take it to be different from ordinary evolutionary explanations of musical expressiveness. I will then argue that Kivy’s hypothesis is of crucial importance for most available resemblancebased accounts of musical expressiveness. For this reason, it is particularly important to assess its plausibility. After having reviewed the existing literature on the topic, I will list (...) five challenges the hypothesis is supposed to meet. Although my list of challenges does not aim at exhaustiveness, I believe that the hypothesis must meet all of the challenges I suggest if it is to work as a cornerstone for a theory of musical expressiveness. (shrink)
This paper discusses mistakes that occur in improvised musical performance. I first develop a couple of distinctions that are useful to understand the varied nature of such mistakes. Particularly, I think that it is important to distinguish mistakes that depend upon formal features of the music, and mistakes that are such in virtue of a failure of the performer’s intentions. Within this latter category, I argue that it is useful to distinguish between two different layers of performance intentions. Subsequently, I (...) discuss the idea that, in improvised performance, mistakes are not merely tolerated but are, in some sense, valuable, showing how the distinction I develop can shed some light on these issues. (shrink)
In this paper I discuss Stephen Davies’s defence of literalism about emotional descriptions of music. According to literalism, a piece of music literally possesses the expressive properties we attribute to it when we describe it as ‘sad’, ‘happy’, etc. Davies’s literalist strategy exploits the concept of polysemy: the meaning of emotion words in descriptions of expressive music is related to the meaning of those words when used in their primary psychological sense. The relation between the two meanings is identified by (...) Davies in music’s presentation of emotion-characteristics-in-appearance. I will contend that there is a class of polysemous uses of emotion terms in descriptions of music that is not included in Davies’s characterization of the link between emotions in music and emotions as psychological states. I conclude by indicating the consequences of my claim for the phenomenology of expressive music. (shrink)
Philosophers of music and psychologists have examined the various ways in which music is capable of arousing emotions in a listener. Among philosophers, opinions diverge as to the different types of music-induced emotions and as to their relevance to music listening. A somewhat neglected question concerns the possibility of developing a general criterion for the artistic relevance of music-induced emotions. In this paper, I will try to formulate such a criterion. In whatever way music may induce emotions and regardless of (...) the sorts of emotion music is taken to arouse, a given emotion will qualify as artistically relevant if and only if it is caused by appropriate listening, it is dependent on features of the piece of music as a work of art and is capable of further directing our attention to such features. (shrink)
In this article, I aim to provide an account of the peculiar reasons that motivate our negative reaction whenever we see musical instruments being mistreated and destroyed. Stephen Davies has suggested that this happens because we seem to treat musical instruments as we treat human beings, at least in some relevant respects. I argue in favour of a different explanation, one that is based on the nature of music as an art form. The main idea behind my account is that (...) musical instruments are not mere tools for the production of art; rather, they are involved in an essential way in artistic appreciation of music. This fact not only grounds our negative reaction to their mistreatment and destruction but also has a normative force that is lacked by the account proposed by Davies. (shrink)
Analytic Perspectives in the Philosophy of Music The philosophy of music attempts to answer questions concerning the nature and value of musical practices. Contemporary analytic philosophy has tackled these issues in its characteristically piecemeal approach, and has revived interest in questions about the ontological nature of musical works, the experience of musical expressiveness, the value … Continue reading Philosophy of Music: Analytic Perspectives →.
Rhythm is an underexplored topic in contemporary Anglophone philosophy of music.1 This collection is an attempt to change this trend. It contains twenty-four essays, dealing with issues that range from the ontology of rhythm to questions regarding its existence and relative importance in art forms other than music.I cannot here discuss all of the contributions and my selection should not be taken as indicative of differences in quality among the various chapters.The book’s introduction is worthy of mention, as it is (...) more than a chapter-by-chapter overview. The editors trace a brief history of the philosophical debate on rhythm from antiquity to the present day, stressing the relative lack of interest for this topic.This collection moves therefore in largely uncharted territory, although various essays are firmly grounded in debates that are familiar to contemporary philosophers of art. Ted Gracyk’s essay ‘Rhythm, Resemblance, and Musical Expressiveness’ is an example of this, as it is an attempt to expand on resemblance theories of musical expressiveness by showing that rhythm is crucial to establishing the relevant resemblance between music and expressive behaviour. Gracyk persuasively argues that taking rhythm into account allows resemblance theories to tackle some recurring objections and difficulties. For instance, the centrality of pace and gait to our lives may explain why we automatically focus on music’s resemblance to human movement, as opposed to any of the countless other things it resembles. Moreover, rhythmic entrainment (synchronization to music's rhythm) may be the reason why music sometimes arouses the emotions which it expresses, a claim famously defended by Stephen Davies (2011). Just as it is partly by entraining to other people’s movements that we may come to experience the emotions they experience, we are infected by the music’s mood by entraining to its rhythm. (shrink)
In this paper, I discuss cases of replication in the visual arts, with particular focus on paintings. In the first part, I focus on painted copies, that is, manual reproductions of paintings created by artists. Painted copies are sometimes used for the purpose of aesthetic education on the original. I explore the relation between the creation of painted copies and their use as aesthetic surrogates of the original artwork and draw a positive conclusion on the aesthetic benefits of replica production (...) by artists. A skeptical conclusion follows regarding the use of such replicas as surrogates for the original painting. The second part of the paper concerns mechanically produced replicas, such as photographs and 3-D prints. On the basis of some of the claims made in the first part, I set conditions that mechanically produced replicas need to meet in order to function as aesthetic surrogates of an original. I argue that perfect aesthetic surrogates are either already available or at least possible. I conclude by considering two possible objections. (shrink)