Sunday, March 17, 2019
Music, Truth, Profundity :: Philosophy Art Papers
Music, Truth, Profundity PART I 1. Theme One of my long-standing philosophical worries is what I describe as a cognitive dilemma in relation to musical communication. How can an finesse form which lacks a discursive element and addresses itself primarily and indeed directly to the auditory sense, be discerned as conveying truth or wisdom? The power is amply attested so much so that but among the arts music occasionally figures as a surrogate pietism. The pieces of this kaleidoscope ideas culled from Schopenhauer, Langer, Jung and others did not fall together until recently after reading calamus Kivys Music Alone, an account of his quest for musical profundity which ends (as he confessed) in failure, but from whose dissection of the presuppositions I gained a platform for a price reduction of my own. In this essay the key concepts of an embryonal theory are presented as a quasi abstract of the 19K draught which comprises its first formulation. 2. Sense and head teacher Kiv ys main point is that profundity must be mum as treating a subject matter in a underlying way, i.e. discursively. Accordingly the principal means of achieving profundity are verbal, in art the tools of novelists, dramatists and poets. But musicians lack those resources therefore, as Kivys analysis of bachs Well-tempered Clavier shows, no further yield than superb craftiness results but how is this distinguishable from the craft of a Faberg? These travails point to an underlying minute malaise, namely the comprehensive prejudice that reason and cognition are inherently discursive to understand is plainly the ability to describe what one has understood. thence his failure to nail down musical profundity amounts to a understood acknowledgement of the ineffability of instrumental masterpieces resulting in musical truths being consigned to its sensory mood or else to a demand for marshalling verbal paraphrase for explicit decoding. My proposal is that both of these are blind all eys. Firstly, verbal analogues foster the illegitimate design of a residual language component (of which more infra). Secondly, sensory cortices are merely the incidental conveyances of communicative values they are not possible sites for the germination of humanly significant meanings. Consider that speech is necessarily phonate before it can be interpreted as utterance and thus belongs to the same sensory modality as music but from this it follows that diversity between words-as-sounds and words-as-meanings cannot be the work of the auditory cortex, but only of a mind.