Although an ontological approach to musical works has dominated analytic aesthetics for almost fifty years, criticisms have recently started to spread in the philosophical literature. Contestants blame mainstream musical ontology for lacking historical awareness, questioning the cogency of metaphysical proposals that are substantially essentialist with regard to our musical concepts. My aim in this paper is to address this accusation by engaging the historicist critics in a sustained debate. I argue that even if the arguments based on history and sociology turn out to be accurate, this may not be enough of a reason to abandon the ontological project altogether. Ontology and history do not necessarily clash. Moreover, historical-sociological examinations do not fulfil our philosophical interest in music. I conclude by making a plea to “historical ontology,” a perspective that does not reject ontology but closely connects it to the dialectic between historical research and aesthetic interest.

Giombini, L. (2021). Music, Ontology and the Need for History. A Critical Discussion. CULTURE AND DIALOGUE, 9, 31-62 [10.1163/24683949-12340093].

Music, Ontology and the Need for History. A Critical Discussion

lisa giombini
2021

Abstract

Although an ontological approach to musical works has dominated analytic aesthetics for almost fifty years, criticisms have recently started to spread in the philosophical literature. Contestants blame mainstream musical ontology for lacking historical awareness, questioning the cogency of metaphysical proposals that are substantially essentialist with regard to our musical concepts. My aim in this paper is to address this accusation by engaging the historicist critics in a sustained debate. I argue that even if the arguments based on history and sociology turn out to be accurate, this may not be enough of a reason to abandon the ontological project altogether. Ontology and history do not necessarily clash. Moreover, historical-sociological examinations do not fulfil our philosophical interest in music. I conclude by making a plea to “historical ontology,” a perspective that does not reject ontology but closely connects it to the dialectic between historical research and aesthetic interest.
Giombini, L. (2021). Music, Ontology and the Need for History. A Critical Discussion. CULTURE AND DIALOGUE, 9, 31-62 [10.1163/24683949-12340093].
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11590/394014
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