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Postgraduate Work in Progress Seminar

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Location: MS Teams

This week we are joined by Giulia Lorenzi and Felipe Morales Carbonell who will introduce their paper Modal Judgement in Musical Performance. We hope to see as many of you as possible there!


 In this paper, we aim to connect some issues in modal epistemology with some issues in the philosophy of music. Our aim is to explore the function of modal judgment in the context of music, and more specifically, in the context of musical performance. We show how judgments about what is ‘musically possible’ play an important role for performers in the western classical tradition. First, we address some preliminary concerns about the plausibility of the project. Then, we consider the case of the formation of expectations in performance, and argue that these are directed not only to future events (like the continuation of an arpeggio or a change in tempo), but also to merely possible ones. After doing this, we show that in order to account for the different ways in which modal judgment is part of the cognitive dimension of performance, we need to adopt a pluralist modal epistemology, which in turn pushes in the direction of a form of empiricism about the epistemology of modality. Briefly put: the time constraints for judgment in musical contexts make it implausible that modal judgments can arise by purely rational means. This suggests that we should consider the possibility of perception-based mechanisms of modal belief formation. Finally, we suggest that modal judgment also plays a role in listening more generally, and in composition.

Please contact Johan Heemskerk for instructions on joining.


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See also:
Centre for Research in Philosophy, Literature & The Arts Events
Consciousness and Self-Consciousness Research Centre Events
Arts Faculty Events