In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:Music, Mind, and Morality:Arousing the Body PoliticPhilip Alperson (bio) and Noël Carroll (bio)I. IntroductionIf like Aristotle one agrees that the responsibility of philosophy is to offer as comprehensive a picture of phenomena as possible, then one must admit that sometimes the methods and goals of analytic philosophy stand in the way of getting the job done properly; they may even distort one's findings. This is not said in order (...) to eschew analytic philosophy. It is simply a reminder that sometimes we need to stand back and check to reassure ourselves that the tail is not wagging the dog.One example of where this danger looms is in the philosophy of art. In the eighteenth century the Modern System of the Arts was born.1 It included the practices that we think nowadays are the appropriate inhabitants of art schools and art centers and the legitimate beneficiaries of programs like the National Endowment for the Arts in the United States. These arts included poetry, painting, sculpture, music, dance, and sometimes gardening. These are what we might call the arts with a "capital A."This is a different way of understanding the notion of the arts and the nomenclature from which they derive in Latin and Greek. For Socrates, Aristotle, and Plato, arts were simply any skilled practice. Poetry, for Aristotle at least, was an art, but so were navigation, medicine, and statecraft. And there were, of course, the martial arts. What happens with the emergence of the Modern System of the Arts—otherwise known as the Fine Arts, or the Beaux Arts, or, for us, the Arts with a capital A—is that a subset of the arts in the Greco-Roman sense were selected out and christened as a class unto itself, [End Page 1] different from the other "small a" arts. Whereas once upon a time chemists and painters might have been grouped together in the same guild in virtue of the fact that both types of workers ground substances, such as pigment; with the advent of the Modern System of the Arts, chemists and painters became first and foremost categorically different.However, the consolidation of the class of Arts with a capital A demanded a theoretical answer to the question of what criterion an art form had to meet in order to gain membership in the Modern System of the Arts. The first suggestion was that a candidate practice had to possess the capacity to imitate the beautiful in nature. This was not a definition that had legs. For when absolute or pure instrumental music—or, as Peter Kivy calls it, music alone2 —took center stage as the most important form of music as well as the Art with a capital A to which all the other arts putatively aspired, the criteria for entry into the Modern System of the Arts had to be reconceived. Since music alone could not creditably be described as the imitation of the beautiful in nature (or, for that matter, the imitation of anything else), a new license for practicing Art with a capital A had to be found. And this has become one of the animating tasks of the analytic philosophy of art.But the analytic philosophy of art comes with a certain bias toward discharging this task. It is committed to finding an essentialist answer to resolving the question of what warrants citizenship in the republic of Art (with a capital A). That is, what makes something an Artistic practice or, for that matter, a work of Art such that it is different from other things? What separates the Arts and the artworks from everything else?Perhaps not surprisingly, one of the most popular and recurring proposals here is that the Arts are what are primarily intended to promote aesthetic experience where that has formerly been characterized as disinterested pleasure but, more recently, as experience valued for its own sake. Experience valued for its own sake, of course, is virtually by definition conceptually independent from any other end, whereas the practices that do not belong to the Modern System of the Arts are primarily devoted to securing other ends—useful or utilitarian ends, knowledge... (shrink)
_Diversity and Community: An Interdisciplinary Reader_ is a collection of essays exploring the notion of community in its many theoretical, practical, and cultural manifestations. A collection of specially commissioned essays exploring the notion of community in its many theoretical, practical, and cultural manifestations. Discusses the idea of community in its full, cultural context. Deals with issues confronting many diverse groups, including African American, Franco-Canadian, computer-mediated, and gay and lesbian communities. Includes contributions by both eminent schlars and new voices, among them (...) Martha Nussbaum, Jean Bethke Elsthain, D.A. Masolo, Mary Hawkesworth, Lewis Gordon, Maria Lugones, Crispin Sartwell, Duane Champagne, and Frank Cunningham. (shrink)
Most instructors who teach introductory courses in aesthetics or the philosophy of arts use the visual arts as their implicit reference for "art" in general, yet until now there has been no aesthetics anthology specifically orientated to the visual arts. This text stresses conceptual and theoretical issues, first examining the very notion of "the visual arts " and then investigating philosophical questions raised by various forms, from painting, the paradigmatic form, to sculpture, photography, film, dance, kitsch, and other forms on (...) the borders of the visual arts. The selections represent both classical and contemporary views and include sections by artists, art historians, and critics as well as philosophers. A singularly important text for courses in the philosophy of arts or aesthetics, this anthology is designed to enrich the philosophical and critical examination of our beliefs about the visual arts. (shrink)
In ‘Vollkommenes hält sich fern’ (‘Perfection keeps itself aloof’) – the book title is drawn from a verse of American poet Kimberly Johnson (*1971) –, Philip Alperson and Andreas Dorschel discuss issues in the philosophy of music and general aesthetics related to the body, to practices and genres, values and education.
Recent philosophy of music in the Anglophone analytic tradition has produced many fine-grained analyses of musical practices within the context of the Western fine-art tradition. It has not for the most part, however, been self-conscious about the normative implications of that orienting tradition. As a result, the achievements of recent philosophical discussions of music have been unnecessarily constricted. The way forward is to enrich the range of musical practices philosophy takes as its target of examination.
In this paper I retrace the line of thought that led me to the position of a praxial philosophy of music education, from a perspective 20 years after the inaugural meeting of the International Society for the Philosophy of Music Education. I discuss how I conceive of the general project of the philosophy of music education and recapitulate some of the strategies that might be deployed. In doing this I stress the “robust” or radical nature of the praxial program. I (...) then address what I call the “anti-aesthetic” turn that some writers have taken with respect to the praxial position. I argue that there is no principled reason to adopt such a position and that, among other things, such a position undermines the reach and threatens the cogency of a robust praxial program. I end with a few comments on what I take to be the prospects of a praxial approach to the philosophy of music education. (shrink)
Contemporary Anglophone philosophy of music has eschewed traditional philosophical concerns about the place of music in human affairs, concentrating instead on a more restricted domain of musical meaning related to aesthetic considerations which are ultimately tied to the concept of disinterested aesthetic experience. I argue that this emphasis needs to be supplemented by an attention to the instrumentality of music, understanding music in relation to questions of the social and cultural purposes that music might serve and thereby broadening the idea (...) of what it is to count as a musical practice. I illustrate how this re-orientation might proceed with reference to the case of musical improvisation. (shrink)
_Diversity and Community: An Interdisciplinary Reader _is a collection of essays exploring the notion of community in its many theoretical, practical, and cultural manifestations. A collection of specially commissioned essays exploring the notion of community in its many theoretical, practical, and cultural manifestations. Discusses the idea of community in its full, cultural context. Deals with issues confronting many diverse groups, including African American, Franco-Canadian, computer-mediated, and gay and lesbian communities. Includes contributions by both eminent schlars and new voices, among them (...) Martha Nussbaum, Jean Bethke Elsthain, D.A. Masolo, Mary Hawkesworth, Lewis Gordon, Maria Lugones, Crispin Sartwell, Duane Champagne, and Frank Cunningham. (shrink)
This volume, reproducing a special issue of The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism on &"The Philosophy of Music&" (Winter 1994) with a revised introduction and two new articles, is distinguished by its breadth of content, diversity of approaches, and clarity of argument, which should make it useful for classroom teaching. The topics covered include musical representation, the expression of feeling in music, the metaphysics of operatic speech and song, musical understanding, musical composition, feminist music theory, music and politics, music (...) and racial identity, music in non-Western cultures, and the ontological implications of recording technology for rock music. The approaches used are philosophical, historical, social and political, feminist, and ethnomusicological. The book includes discussions of a great many styles and historical periods of music, from ancient Greek music and music theory to instrumental and operatic music in the Western classical tradition, Persian music, music of the Blackfoot Indians, rock and the blues, and the avant-garde compositions and performances of John Cage. The contributors, all eminent scholars in the field, are Philip Alperson, No&ël Carroll, Stephen Davies, Claire Detels, John Andrew Fisher, Lydia Goehr, Peter Kivy, Jerrold Levinson, James Manns, Bruno Nettl, Jenefer Robinson, Joel Rudinow, G&öran S&örbom, Francis Sparshott, and Kendall Walton. (shrink)