Philosophy and music

Topoi 28 (2):119-123 (2009)
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This essay explores some aspects of the relation between philosophy and music. First, how music can inspire philosophy; second, how philosophy can inspire music. Mathematics as a middle term between music and philosophy, the idea of wholeness in a musical composition or a philosophical text, music as a mode of thought displaying traits such as logic, coherence, and sense—these are some ways in which music and philosophy may be seen to be connected. Also, composers sometimes have explicit recourse to philosophical ideas in advancing their music, there being prominent examples of this in the twentieth century. Lastly, given there is such a thing as the philosophy of music, might there also be the music of philosophy?



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Jerrold Levinson
University of Maryland, College Park

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References found in this work

Music and negative emotion.Jerrold Levinson - 1982 - In Jenefer Robinson (ed.), Pacific Philosophical Quarterly. Cornell University Press. pp. 327.
Art, Value, and Philosophy.J. Levinson - 1996 - Mind 105 (420):667-682.
Musical thinking.Jerrold Levinson - 2003 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 27 (1):59–68.
Evaluating music.Jerrold Levinson - 1996 - Revue Internationale de Philosophie 50 (198):593-614.

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