Music and Philosophy: Contemporary Challenges

Preview: The ties between music and philosophy are strong and venerable, as they date back to the very beginnings of the latter. According to the ancient tale, Pythagoras, when passing by a smithy one day, noticed that the hammers make sounds of different pitch and, more importantly, that some of the pitch combinations feel…

2019-03Thematic Section
Listening to Different Texts: Between Reich and Eco with Nycz

Abstract: In this essay, the author considers intertextuality in contemporary musical work, conceptualizing it not only as a critical category and as an artistic convention, but also as an aesthetic strategy. Listening for texts, as it were, opens the work for influences and gives it new purposes. The multiple texts, which…

2019-03Thematic Section
“Harmony and Dissonance”: The Musical Perspective on Posthumanity

Abstract: This paper explores the role of music as a communicative tool between the human and the posthuman. It utilizes the theories of embodiment and performativity of Karen Barad and Deniz Peters, as well as the perspectives of Continental Realism and contemporary phenomenology (Serres, Merleau-Ponty, Harman, and Morton). The examples are…

2019-03Thematic Section
Meditating on the Vitality of the Musical Object: A Spiritual Exercise Drawn from Richard Wagner’s Metaphysics of Music

Abstract: In 1870, Wilhelm Richard Wagner (1813-1883) wrote an essay to celebrate the centennial of Beethoven’s birth. In this essay Wagner made the case that music is, unlike any other object we create or are attentive to in experience, in an immediate analogical relationship with the activity of the Schopenhauerian “will” and is…

2019-03Thematic Section
Postmodern Music and its Future

Abstract: The essay presents an attempt at characterizing contemporary music’s culture by identifying a dialectical tension between “modern” and “postmodern” currents in it. After initial considerations on the manifold usages of the term “postmodernism,” five composers’ approaches will be analyzed: John Cage, Philip Glass (and other minimalists), Bernhard Lang, Mauricio Kagel and…

Charles Taylor on Ethics and Liberty

Abstract: My argument in this paper is that Charles Taylor’s view of liberty and ethics unites Isaiah Berlin’s liberal pluralism with Elizabeth Anscombe’s virtue ethics. Berlin identifies, in “Two Concepts of Liberty,” a tradition of negative liberty advocated by figures like Locke and Mill. He maintains that this concept of liberty is…

What Is Dignity?

Abstract: It stands to reason that a criterion is needed that can serve as a common denominator for weighing or assessing different values or ideals. Dignity is offered as a possible candidate, to be presented from religio-legal and cross-cultural vantages. A definition will be offered for dignity and its parts defended throughout the paper. The approach…

A Subaltern Pain: The Problem of Violence in Philosophy’s Pain Discourse

Abstract: The scientific and philosophical approach to pain must be supplemented by a hermeneutics studying how racism has complicated the communication of pain. Such an investigation reveals that not only are non-white people seen as credibly speaking their pain, but also pain “science” is one of the ways races have historically been constructed….

2019-03Discussion Papers, Comments, Book Reviews
How to Handle Humility? Audaciously: A Response to Mark Tschaepe

Abstract: We address Mark Tschaepe’s response to Tibor Solymosi, in which Tschaepe argues that neuropragmatism needs to be coupled with humility in order to redress “dopamine democracy,” Tschaepe’s term for our contemporary situation of smartphone addiction that undermines democracy. We reject Tschaepe’s distinction between humility and fallibility, arguing that audacious fallibility is all we need. We take…