Descriptivism in Meta-Ontology of Music: A Plea for Reflective Equilibrium

Espes. The Slovak Journal of Aesthetics 8 (2):59-73 (2020)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

In this paper, I investigate one popular view in current methodological debate about musical ontology, namely, descriptivism. According to descriptivism, the task of musical ontology is to offer a description of the ‘structure of our thought’ about musical works, as it manifests itself in actual musical practices. In this regard, descriptivists often appeal to our pre-theoretical intuitions to ground ontological theories of musical works. This method, however, is worrisome, as such intuitions are unstable and contradictory. For example, there is a broad variety of intuitions in our musical practice concerning what counts as an authentic performance of a musical work. All such intuitions reflect at least a part of actual practice; however, they are in conflict with each other. This raises a problem, for how can they thus represent a reliable basis for our ontology? A further worry for descriptivism concerns the triviality of the knowledge it gives us access to. If, according to descriptivism, the task of musical ontologists is simply to codify the regularities found in our intuitive thought or discourse about practice, then how can the resulting theories be informative at all with regard to the object of their concern?

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 74,509

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Contemporary Aesthetics. A Topographic Attempt.Lisa Giombini & Adrián Kvokačka - 2019 - Espes. The Slovak Journal of Aesthetics 9 (2):3-9.
Descriptivism and Its Discontents.David Davies - 2017 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 75 (2):117-129.
Musical Works: Ontology and Meta-Ontology.Julian Dodd - 2008 - Philosophy Compass 3 (6):1113-1134.
Piece for the End of Time: In Defence of Musical Ontology.Andrew Kania - 2008 - British Journal of Aesthetics 48 (1):65-79.
The Meta-Justification of Reflective Equilibrium.K. Kappel - 2006 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 9 (2):131-147.
There Are No Things That Are Musical Works.Ross P. Cameron - 2008 - British Journal of Aesthetics 48 (3):295-314.
The Poverty of Musical Ontology.James O. Young - 2014 - Journal of Music and Meaning 13:1-19.

Analytics

Added to PP
2021-02-01

Downloads
6 (#1,095,852)

6 months
1 (#417,896)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references