Why do modern philosophers suffer from amusia?

Posted: October 21, 2016 by vequinox in Literature

Piano Poetry Pantelis Politics

The French philosopher Jean-Luc Nancy opens his book Listening/À l’écoute (2002) with two questions:  “Is listening something of which philosophy is capable? … Isn’t the philosopher someone who always hears/entend (and who hears everything), but who cannot listen, or who, more precisely neutralizes listening within himself, so that he can philosophize?” (2007, p. 1)

The philosophy of music is a rather new and limited field of inquiry. The names associated with it remain few – in order of year of birth, Schopenhauer, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Bloch, Ingarden, Jankélévitch, Adorno, Barthes, Deleuze, Cavell, Bernard Williams, Badiou, Kendall Walton. (I am not considering here the substantial work of musicology.) Arguably, since E. T. A. Hofmann most important reflections on music have been written by fiction writers (Balzac, Thomas Mann, Carpentier), poets (Rilke, Stevens, Zagajewski), and musicians (Berlioz, Wagner, Schönberg, Stravinsky, Thomson). Furthermore, some of the most penetrating and influential musical aesthetics have…

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