Re: Solo ea

Subject: Re: Solo ea
From: Michael Gogins (
Date: Thu Feb 10 2005 - 23:36:39 EST

I don't an objective basis and difficulty of apprehension are in tension,
quite the contrary.

Most scientists think there is a real world out there and they they get
closer and closer to the truth about it, but nobody doubts the difficulty of
scientific investigation, and the more basic it is the harder it is.

Similarly I think there is _something_ objective and absolute about music
that can be perceived from objective records, but I've no doubt how
difficult it is to evaluate this.

Even in yet more subjective matters I think there is a kind of "objectivity
of subjectivity" and that we know more philosophy now, post Goedel, than we
did in the time of Aristotle - but that's one and a half steps in 2300

I'm a critical realist -- I don't think that the object is "given", I just
think it is really out there and can be questioned and occasionally answers.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Eliot Handelman" <>
To: <>
Sent: Friday, February 11, 2005 2:13 AM
Subject: Re: Solo ea

> Michael Gogins wrote:
>> I see your point about the imagination of music. However, I believe that
>> what is imagined depends upon sound waves in a basic way. No sense of
>> hearing and experience of hearing, no music. At least, in the biological,
>> genetic sense (I think one could be deaf, even deaf from birth, and
>> compose, at least in one's mind, but that would still depend on the
>> biological and neural adaptation to hearing). So I argue that the
>> objective basis of music is still necessary.
> No doubt but isn't that in the brain?
> The deaf cellist who feels music through her instrument (whoiever that is)
> is dependent on signals that are used to create
> the relevant music, just like us who hear.
> I don;t like "music is language" stuff but there's surely some equivalent
> biological facilitator.
> Chomsly's current ideas maybe have some relevance here but maybe my
> argument is tenuous and
> surelt would be overcomplicated.
> What's wrong with seeing the sound as signals by which some sort of
> experience is engendered? I know
> that you feel strongly about absolutes in art, about which I'm unsure. If
> you know the art well maybe
> you can say stuff like that, but that seems to defeat your idea about some
> sort of direct transmission
> of absolute quyality via sound.
> I heard a piece by Turina on the radio today that I found great, but I'm
> also pretty sure I
> wouldn't have notced a million things about it had I listened to it ten
> yrs ago say. I jhave the
> right to devloip my hearing? Where does that fit in? How is that contained
> in sound? The push
> tworads development in art is made object by the existence of great
> geniuses, but is mahler's impact
> a sound wave thing (partly, because it;'s ALSO about esperienecing sound
> in the interests of various
> expressive purposes) or some vastly complex human artifact?
> WHy should music be so sad? becaus ethe artist suffers. But then, as
> Nieztsche says, everyone suffers, and
> the artist's suffering is about his vanity and ambition. So how can this
> be objective?
>> About post-humanity, I don't agree with your categories exactly, but I
>> certainly think that human existence has changed radically thanks to
>> science and technology, and will change yet more. What I think
>> constitutes humanity is subjectivity in the Kierkegaardian sense.
> You mean the rationalistic irreducibility of existence to I take it.
>> But, except for God, there is no subjectivity without an objective basis.
>> What I think we are seeing is that techne constitutes a new subjectivity.
>> I don't think this is "representations of subjectivity" unless I don't
>> understand what you mean (which is entirely possible).
> A p[iece that invokes "sad" is in some ways representing "sad." A prohgram
> that thinks about music is
> a rep. of a musically thinking mind.
>> I think it is a (partly) new objective "basis" for subjectivity. What is
>> interesting is that it is more or less intentional. Perhaps this is what
>> you mean by "representation" -- that technical bases of subjectivity
>> (cities, vehicles, media and their ikons, markets, computing) are more or
>> less designed?
> Sure, that all these things impose our "expression" on our environment
> which is why "life imitates art" or
> why Barnett Newman said "teh artist's function is to create reality."
>> Since I take contemporary subjectivity to be alienated just as human
>> subjectivity always has been alienated, the intentionality of the new
>> bases for subjectivity causes the new subjectivity to be thus doubly
>> alienated. This is related to what Mircea Eliade termed the "second
>> fall."
> That's why the power of new art often involves double alienation and why
> pretending to be rachmaninoff doesn't usually
> work, whether by EA or by other means.
> -- eliot

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