Philosophy of the Arts


Notes and considerations, follow-up on discussions in class, what not.

Methods of the Humanities

1. Experimentation Though a core method for the natural sciences, most experimentation is prohibited for social sciences, for moral reasons (we are not allowed to manipulate people). This prohibition seems not to go against experimentation in the Humanities, since, here, the subject matter is the “products of human agency” (and not human agency directly, as…

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Core Issues in Philosophy. Emotion and Expression

Next year, (2006-07) the Fall philosophy course, HUM343 Core Issues in Philosophy is skipped, to return the year after, Fall 2007. Please be advised to regularly click: news?. This should take you to this weblog, where any important changes to this site or to the course shall be announced. The WWW-address of last year’s edition…

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Jazz and classical music

1. While listening to John Coltrane, this thought came up:jazz musicians play on a favourite instrument. And, sometimes, the instrument they pick does not really connect with them. [Multi-instumentalist Anthony Braxton seems best when playing on a soprano; Coltrane on a tenor sax, etc.]. This is not merely due to an accidental preference on behalf…

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Performers of classical music

Performers of classical music seem better off than pop or jazz musicians, in that in classical music the relevance of the score for the performance is uncontested. You don’t (always) have to invent your means to bring a score to life; in large measure, you must make sure to perform it correctly. Maybe, however, this…

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Timeless or outdated? Some arguments.

1. What kind of property is ‘timeless’ (or its counterpart “outdated”)? It is not a normal, objective property, like ‘loud’, or ‘in D minor’. These latter properties have clear rules of application. Instead “timeless” is a value; ‘is outdated’ is its negative counterpart, also a value. 2. How should we understand this value? Either nominally,…

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When is Philosophy?

The form of the question “When is Philosophy?” is intended. Every philosopher claiming to know what philosophy is will be confronted with others denying it. One thing they may all agree upon is that philosophy is a kind of thinking, but that might not seem very instructive. Beyond that, disagreement may start quickly. For instance,…

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The paradigm of art creation

The model for thinking about the creation of art that we shall be talking about in the next weeks, is this: the artist sees himself or herself confronted with ‘inert’ material, i.e. material that ‘merely exists’ and does not carry any artistic meaning yet. An artist confronts the challenge of making something artistically meaningful with…

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Welcome, musicians!

On the website of Philosophical Conversations. Philosophy for Music Students, you should be able to find all the information needed to successfully finish this course. In fact, the site consists of two separate sites, one for each of its series. This is the present series’s address: First series starting September 2004: The pages you…

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Website for Core Issues in Philosophy. Expressions and Emotions

The website for HUM343 Core Issues in Philosophy for Fall, 2007, is now online. Please be advised to regularly click the news? button at the top of pages on the website. This should take you to this weblog, where any important changes to this site or to the course shall be announced. Or better: copy…

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