Conférences et Prix Jean Nicod

Understanding Music : New Resources

Informations pratiques
23 mai 2024

ENS, Salle des Actes, 45 rue d’Ulm 75005 Paris


PJNMusic bears a unique relation to the emotions, which is just one of a suite of characteristics of music that can be explained with the help of contemporary philosophy of mind. A first question is : how are emotions and other mental states given to us when we hear them in a passage of music ? I propose that we need to recognize a new kind of mode of presentation, which I call an identifier, to be distinguished from demonstratives and other familiar kinds of modes of presentation. Properly deployed, a theory of identifiers can explain legitimate forms of the ineffability of the content of music, and music’s ability to leap over the first-person/third-person barrier in the characterization of others’ mental states. Identifiers also raise questions about the structure and relations of mental representations involved in the perception of music.

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