_The Routledge Companion to Philosophy and Music_ is an outstanding guide and reference source to the key topics, subjects, thinkers and debates in philosophy and music. Over fifty entries by an international team of contributors are organised into six clear sections: general issues emotion history figures kinds of music music, philosophy and related disciplines _The Routledge Companion to Philosophy and Music_ is essential reading for anyone interested in philosophy, music and musicology.
David Hume's celebrated essay ‘‘Of the Standard of Taste’’ is the central text for understanding Hume's aesthetic theory, yet an important claim in that essay has received inadequate attention in the literature. Although it is understood that Hume stresses the importance of delicacy of taste, it is less well understood that this delicacy is a delicacy of imagination, which is distinct from a delicacy of perception. Using both the essay and other texts to elucidate this thesis, it appears that Hume's (...) account of taste faces unresolved difficulties in defending a standard of taste. (shrink)
Although popular music is increasingly recognized as an important area of inquiry in philosophy of art, many organizing principles have been taken over from other fields without scrutiny. This article selects heavy metal as an example of the value of applying philosophy of criticism to discourse about popular music. Metal is now in its fifth decade, and its combination of longevity and diversity have made it an attractive topic in popular music studies. In accounts of metal by musicologists and social (...) science researches, metal is almost always referred to as a genre of music, and the genre is said to unify diverse metal subcultures, which are associated with diverse styles of metal. An examination of the concepts of genre and subculture as they are typically understood in popular music studies generally, and in metal studies in particular, suggests that they do not function to delineate metal as a unitary category. However, contemporary philosophy of art provides several theoretical principles that provide criteria for identifying a unified genre. The relevant theories are historical definitions of art and Kendall Walton's account of style. Viewed in terms of these philosophical developments, metal should be seen as an evolving assemblage of related styles, only some of which are associated with fans who constitute a subculture. However, it is not a "category" in Walton's sense of that term. Video abstract. (shrink)
Arthur C. Danto’s The Transfiguration of the Commonplace is one of the most influential recent books on philosophy of art. It is noteworthy for both his method, which emphasizes indiscernible pairs and sets of objects, and his conclusion, which is that artworks are distinguished from non-artwork counterparts by a semantic and aesthetic transfiguration that depends on their relationship to art history. In numerous contexts, Danto has confirmed that the relevant concept of art is the concept of fine art. Examples of (...) music that are not fine art demonstrate that semantic and aesthetic transfiguration does not require a relationship to art history or art theory. Appropriate interpretation and individuation of a great deal of music can be achieved by listeners who do not grasp art theory and who do not guide their interpretation by reference to the concept of art. (shrink)
Harvey Siegel argues that minimum competency testing (MCT) is incompatible with strong sense critical thinking. His arguments are reviewed and contrasted with positions held by John E. McPeck and Michael Scriven. Siegel's arguments seem directed against the prevailing form of MCT. However, alternative formats which allow for the aggregate and context-sensitive nature of critical thinking are not doomed to the arbitrariness Siegel finds. MCT may be a legitimate and useful means for furthering critical thinking as one of our educational ideals.
Opinionated and example-filled, this extremely concise and accessible book provides a survey of some fundamental and longstanding debates about the nature of music. The central arguments and ideas of historical and contemporary philosophers are presented with the goal of making them as accessible as possible to general readers who have no background in philosophy. The emphasis is on instrumental music, but examples are drawn from many cultures as well as from Western classical, jazz, folk, and popular music.