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Critique of Pure Music - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Critique of Pure Music

James O. Young


This book is a critique of formalism in philosophy of music. Formalism is the view that music is appreciated as pure musical form: music is not about anything, it does not represent, and it has no content or, at any rate, no important content. According to the anti-formalist position defended in this book, many works of music, including some of the greatest masterpieces, are valued as sources of insight into the emotional lives of humans. Drawing upon the latest psychological and musicological research Chapter 1 argues that music is expressive of human emotions by resembling human expressive b ... More

Keywords: philosophy of music, aesthetics, expressiveness, emotion, representation, opera, profundity, formalism

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2014 Print ISBN-13: 9780199682713
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199682713.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

James O. Young, author
Professor of Philosophy, University of Victoria

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