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Philosophical Positivism and American Atonal Music Theory

Author(s): James A. Davis
Source: Journal of the History of Ideas, Vol. 56, No. 3 (Jul., 1995), pp. 501-522
Published by: University of Pennsylvania Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2710038
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and
Positivism
Philosophical
AtonalMusicTheory
American
JamesA. Davis
oftenengagein controversies
overthevariMusicologistsand theorists
of specificmusicalcompositions;onlyrarelydoes the
ous interpretations
transcend
themusicalsurfaceand confront
thephilosophicalfounargument
dationsin whichsuchanalysesaregrounded.
Needlessto saytheviabilityof
an analysisis contingent
upon thevalidityof thecognitiveand perceptual
premisesheld by theanalyst;likewise,any analysisis subjectto the same
limitations
philosophy.
applicableto themotivating
between
Therehas been some discussiondevotedto the relationship
of previouscenturies,
mostnotablythe
philosophyand themusicalthought
buttheoriesof musicfrom
century,
"Romantic"ideologyof thenineteenth
in
this
ourcentury
havereceivedless attention
respect.Thisis bothsurprising
formusicalanalysisandtheorizing
haverecently
andregrettable,
grownto a
therefore,
that
newheightofrespectability
and prestige.It seemsnecessary,
ofspecificmusicaltheoriesbe investigated
not
thephilosophical
foundations
theimplicitassumptions
containedin suchtheoriesbutalso to
onlyto clarify
whichmaylimitor
uncoverpossibleweaknessesof theoriginalphilosophy,
thevalidityofanyanalysisbasedon thesetheories.Thisarticlewill
endanger
considerone such scenario:atonal music theoryand its relationshipto
positivistic
philosophy.
in claimingthata musictheoryoranalytic
Thereis a certainriskinherent
methodis groundedin a particular
philosophicalsystem,as analystsdo not
fromoutsidetherealmofmusic.As a result,
influences
alwaysacknowledge
betweenthesetwodisciplinestendto lie beneaththe
instancesof correlation
surfaceof the analysis,in thatthe actual analyticconclusionis more a
ofit.Forthis
thana directstatement
consequenceofa motivating
philosophy
in the
to outlinecertainphilosophers
andtheirthoughts
reasonitis beneficial
specificideaswhichformthebasis
hopeofdrawingoutand linkingtogether
outlook.Once suchideasareinplace,thenone canturntothe
ofa positivistic
to see ifanyexplicitreferences
aremade
initially
musictheorists
themselves,
to philosophers
and theirworks.Thencomestheattempted
mappingof one
501
Copyright1995 by Journalof theHistoryof Ideas, Inc.

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Berkeley. and mathematicians cornerstone scientists. Is logicnotcapable long. especiallychapters1 & 3. Davis 502 to specificissues or methodologies systemon to the other.Philosophy.' in pure withtheriseofpositivism was an increasing Concurrent interest mathematicians felt and logic.as I hopeto show.203.or even mysticalaspectsof earlierphilosophies.andidealisticexplanations SteveGerrard.61 on Mon.Hegel optedfora monisticidealismwherebyall existencecan onlybe as belongingto one mind." understood therebegan to emergea Aroundthe middleof the nineteenth century movement whichrejectedthedependenceon mentalphenomenathatwas a of idealism. to provide feltthatidealismwas too unstableand uncleara foundation answersto theirquestions. Whatlinks through ofa perceiving mindin theirtheoriesis a beliefin thenecessaryinvolvement and of For material reality. mental. one is in a positionto criticizetheanalyticsystemnotonly of the originalphilosophyand how this by focusingon the shortcomings affectstheattempted analysisbutalso by notingwherecertaintenetsof the withtheapparentintention oftheanalysis. objects theconstitution comprehension consistonlyofideasfoundeitherinthemindofGod orinthemindofone of God's creations. and two anonymousreviewersfor theirvaluable commentson earlierversionsof this paper.tr. I wouldliketo thankJohnDaverio. ' For a detaileddiscussionof the relationship betweenscience and philosophyin the Philosophyin Germany1831-1933.227. idealismhad cometo century Sincethemiddleoftheeighteenth withthetheories dominatemostaspectsof Europeanphilosophy.Manyphilosophers.Finally. This content downloaded from 132.MarjorieMerryman.JamesA. 04 Jan 2016 03:53:37 UTC All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Matthews(Cambridge.needed to emulatethe methodsand conceptsof science if it intendedto provideconcreteand defensiblesolutions.theybelieved.1984).whensome degreeof similitude beenestablished.the"AbsoluteMind.Theywantedto groundphilosophical satisfactory thoughtin more tangibleand empiricalprocesses. philosophy maybe incompatible ofcertainphilosophical The result.Kant held thatthe objects of the materialworld were on theperceivingmindfortheirexistbasicallyappearancesand dependent ence.Eric nineteenth century.and theyrejectedthe metaphysical. a numberof substantial alexperienced Europeanphilosophicalthought of century andthebeginning terations duringthelatterhalfofthenineteenth thiscentury. Manyphilosophers and thatthe mathematics of logic and mathematics had remainedpoorlydefinedfortoo foundations had offered no insights. beginning ofBerkeleyand continuing theworkofKantand Hegel.Thus of positivism emergedas a responseto whatwereseen as theshortcomings idealism. see HerbertSchnaidelbach.withattention has whichexhibitstrongparallels. RandyDipert.is thatthetransference modifimethodsand ideas to a systemof musicanalysiswithoutsubstantial cationmaylead to musicallyunacceptableconsequences.

Gregory to His Philosophy(Sussex. tained. defining and mathematiIt was withinthisclimatethattheGermanphilosopher of mathematics.. Preface.6. 3 "I claim thatthe Frege of the Grundlagen has themathematician's motivation.1981).1972).but thesequestionswere always Fregearguedthatall trueknowledgewas byhis originalconcerns. 04 Jan 2016 03:53:37 UTC All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .1981). Dummett. 4 JohnPassmore.ed. T. This content downloaded from 132. cian GottlobFregeproducedhis workon the foundations in the realmof the Frege saw it as a greatmistaketo place mathematics to as "psychoreferred subjectiveor psychological(whichhe disdainfully of had done. A. 150.This argument forthoughtheyarenotphysicalobjects.. tual Notationand Related Articles. 1980).4 the axioms of mathematicsinto logical calculus.The issue of to analyticphilosophyhas eliciteda certainamountof criticaldebate. The Foundationsof AnalyticPhilosophy. 17.that wherehe appearsto deal directlywiththe moretypically'philosophical'issues."23).The of Frege's Philosophy(Cambridge. investigations of language.for mathematics was merelyan extensionof logic. See also Michael Dummett.ForFregethetruths logistictheories")as previousphilosophers wereobjective.Frege: An Introduction. includinga rathercomplexlogical calculus(whichfailedto attractany adherents)and. Fregebegan to investigations Throughthe courseof his mathematical addressbroaderphilosophicalquestions. thenthe mathematics conceptsof logic and idealismwere by theirverynaturesincompatible. Chap. As his by translating he expandedhis searchto includethelogicalbasis broadened. Preface.Frege: An Introduction Sluga.ConcepInterpretation.61 on Mon. 667. see Currie. 3. GottlobFrege.and a priori. P. W.203.1957).Frege: An Introduction.theycan stillbe treatedas objective ofmathematics InitiallyFregesetoutto revealthelogicalstructure entities. 2-3. Language(London. Dummett. 26-32.. French(Minneapolis. Interpretation A HundredYears ofPhilosophy(London.[I]t is thosequestionsandposed theminsuchaformthattheanswers becausehe has restructured questionswhichare his principal theyrequirewill answer the substantivemathematical concern"(Benacerraf."MidwestStudiesin Philosophy. see also Hans D.in so doing.227. Frege's relationship Language. 1973). Bynum(Oxford. the logical structure of knowledgein generalby considering analytic the first one of to be considered is often whichis why Frege Fregebelievedthatmanyoftheprincipalproblemsofphilosophilosophers.all butinventedmodemlogic.analytic(in theKantiansense).tr. ing any claim to the a priori. Fregedevelopeda function-theoretic rootsof mathematics. GottlobFrege (London. Michael Dummett.2To help revealthe logical mathematics logical system.3 tempered objective.83.AtonalMusic Theory 503 Arethelaws of of subjectiveinterpretation? whichare independent oftruths notuniversaland priorto anymentalprocess?If so.and logic was thekeyby whichsuchknowledgecould be ascerincludedknowledgeof theelementsof mathematics. Currie. 167. "Frege: The Last Logicist. and Interpretation.whichwas seen as their characteristic. 1982). 13.universalstatus.5 2 Paul Benacerraf. 1. 14ff.Frege: The Philosophyof Currie."Frege: The Last Logicist. to place logic andmathematbelievedthatidealismthreatened Thesewriters removthereby ics intotherealmof a subjectivedisciplinelikepsychology.

Bacon.Russellstroveforscientific led himto developa logicalcalculus(basedon the tionofidealisticdoctrines workof theItalianlogicianGiuseppePeano) in orderto clarifyhis discusAs Russell sions and removeany dependenceon subjectiveinterpretation.whichwould freeintellectual ofordinary languagethathinderseriousdiscourse. 99. theinadequaciesof ordinary thoughit was oftenhiddenthrough mustadhererigidlyto an almostscientific and philosophicalinvestigations programif theyhopedto be valid. I A primeexample of the emulationof science is foundthroughout GottlobFrege. tr.based on his logical calculus. Michael D. language..was one of the firstto mergea positivist philosophyand symboliclogic. "On Sense and Reference."MidwestStudiesin Philosophy. differsfromthatof Locke. phy were the resultof the imperfections to be a strivingfor an ideal his there seems writing Throughmuch of purlanguage.1952). Frege. 90. 59ff. (New Haven. mathematician In England.227.and his rejecsophicalissuesas a whole. Austin(Evanston. Russellquicklyturnedto a staunchrealismwhichlinkedempirical andlogic.Like Frege.ed.another similarlines as Frege. P."Translationsfrom the Philosophical Writingsof GottlobFrege. 69ff. his blendingof empiricism Frege's approachto philosophy."Fregeand See AnthonyKenny. 04 Jan 2016 03:53:37 UTC All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . one intendedto obtainsomedegreeof objectivity. This content downloaded from 132. analysis with function/argument replacingtraditionalsubject/predicate (Cambridge. Geach and R..1980).and Humeby itsincorporation mentof a powerfullogical technique. Russell. anticipated a largeportionof to languageand mathematics and his attention workwhichwas to followhim.forsuch a of Comte. Bertrand turnedphilosopher. 22."in Logical Investigations.orpriorto. mathematics oflogicandhenceindependent of. L. himselfsays: Modem analyticalempiricism.Aftera along remarkably was developingthoughts influenced by briefforayintoBritishIdealism(an absoluteidealismstrongly Hegel).6. in regardto 6 For example.P.Frege.6 suitsfromtheconfusions and logic.1973).subjective ics is a development questionsand philoIn his approachto mathematical mentalparticipation.504 JamesA. Davis inherentin ordinarylanguage. J. rigor. Geach and M.and withelementsofmathematical program impact whichappearsto have had thestrongest it is thisformof positivism on future academicdisciplines.It is thusable.ForFregeformallogicwas thelanguageand mustbe approachedif whichthemajorissuesofphilosophy methodthrough objectivetruthdid exist. 1977). T. Stoothoff "Thoughts. Black (Oxford. Berke- of mathematics and itsdevelopley.Wittgenstein AnalyticPhilosophy:Facts and Speculations.however.7This shouldnotbe takento implythat philosophicalpositivismfirstemergedwiththe workof Frege. H. and manyof theBritish claimwouldignorethewritings Empiricists. GottlobFrege. tr. The Foundationsof Arithmetic. Resnik.Frege(and Russell)soughtto avoid semanticalproblemsof denoting by logical analysis.Russellinhisearlyworkssoughtto cleanse perception arguinginsteadthatpuremathematof itsidealisticovertones.203.61 on Mon.

propositions. Wittgenstein's ofFrege andhowitis relatedtotheworld.suchas thepropositions whichattempt useless to the philosopher.As Russell says."9 similarworkby G. used language(or and Russellas well as his ownuniqueideas. 834." bridge.AtonalMusic Theory 505 to achievedefinite answers.or linguisticmisunderstanding.In thebroadestsense how it shouldbe . Block (CamPerspectiveson the Philosophyof Wittgenstein. chapters1 and 2. S. unsolvableproblemswereeitherresolved manypreviously logicalnotation.Followingthethoughts practiced.History. as foundin his TractatusLoThe earlyworkof LudwigWittgenstein. and Wittgenstein. gico-Philosophicus in manyrespectshis stancewas to be themostradical. I. ed.for they are not consistentwith the logical 8 Bertrand Philosophy(New York.whatit comprised. (due inpartto the tophilosophy oflanguageanditsrelationship thestructure Russellalso believedthatthe oftheyoungLudwigWittgenstein). Wittgenstein This content downloaded from 132.Insightand Illusion: Themesin thePhilosophyof (Oxford.for theresultwas the isomorphic of theworld.Like Frege.830. Russell.led set-theory. though on drew Fregeand Russell. see Michael Dummett."Frege 10For moreon Wittgenstein's intellectualbackground.As Russell moved he becamemoreandmoreconcernedwith beyondthestudyofmathematics. influence forphilolanguageposed a greatmanydifficulties of ordinary ambiguities of philosophy propositions linguistic If one the reduced sophicaldiscourse. such propositionsinto oftenby translating to theirlogical constituents.227. topicwas philosophy.1981). statements discussed.conceptual. 04 Jan 2016 03:53:37 UTC All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .His workin mathematical whichhe thenoften himto developa complextheoryof class membership employedin more traditionalphilosophicalpursuits.Butitis for meaningful thatwe can sayanything congruence ourselvesto thatwhichcan be theverysame reasonthatwe mustrestrict mentiontheway thingsare.'though can be reducedto something philosophy been thiswordhas to be used in a somewhatwidersensethanhas hitherto from of (and this propositions analyzing It is from technique customary. 1945). 31-42.203. Moore) thatthe title"AnalyticPhilosophy"was derived. "It graduallybecame clear thata greatpartof thatmaybe called 'syntax. abouttheworld.61 on Mon. or shownto be theresultof a logical.Wittgenstein and to be moreprecise)as thefocalpointof his investigation.It is because of this reflects thelogicalstructure Wittgenstein.A Historyof Western 9 Russell. boldlyappliedhis new approachto mostfacetsof philosophicalinvestigawere never inclinations tion. PeterM.however. Hacker.10 heavily (1921-22).. E. farfromthesurface.whichhavethequality certainproblems.1986).Language.Russell's mathematical forexample. to go beyondthis. thanofphilosophy.Meaningful propositions are ofmetaphysics.8 of sciencerather on thephilosophyof mathematics WhereasFregehad focusedprimarily Russell and approachedbroaderphilosophicalquestionsalmosttangentially. "picturetheory"of language.

and deal withverifiable metaphysics the Vienna Circle conceptionofthe adopteda "scientific Fromthestart. Thoughnotactuallymembersof thecircle.KurtG6del. Philosophyin Germany.HerbertFeigl.Hans membersof thecircleincludedMoritzSchlick. bythescientific denceexhibited The membersoftheCircledecidedthatthebest founditselfon thedefensive.W. 39-56. Oswald (New York. provedto be influential knownas theViennaCircle(c.Insightand Illusion.A. 1920-30).a numberof prominent philosopherscame into contactwith or were directlyinfluencedby the ViennaCircle. oftheirfindings.FromFregeand Russellthesephilosophers logic in generalphilosophicalendeavors.. wayforphilosophy in favorof objectiveproof.mathematicians.6.0-4.and A.see A.85.OttoNeurath. 1956). 181ff.It was in thiswaythatWittgenstein structure and he believedthathe had at leastremoved.D.98.and thatall the variousfieldsof investigation. 04 Jan 2016 03:53:37 UTC All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Ayer.506 JamesA.and to reject avoid subjectiveinterpretations factsalone."MidwestStudies in Philosophy. resolved.Insightand Illusion. 1981). V. andtheconclusiveness theirrigidmethodology for so had which dominated long.as well as the work of Russell and Frege."Vienna Circle. 1959). Wittgenstein's and on the groupof scientists. Ayer (ed. 12 For moreon the development of Logical Positivism. F. Logical Positivism Hacker.and from theuse of mathematical of languageand its effecton theylearnedof the limitations Wittgenstein questionsof knowledge.includingKarl Popper.Not only will the many manywillbe revealedas meaningproblemssolvethemselves. Davis soughtto addressthe ofreality. and empiricism positivistic movement knownas Logical Positivism."13 thatof science. 4.14Thisapproachled to twoofthemostoutstanding proachto different " See LudwigWittgenstein. This content downloaded from 132.especiallytheclarification Tractatus. 0. TractatusLogico-Philosophicus.the By thetimeof theorganization "hard"scienceswere seen as the dominantfieldof inquiry.203.Some oftheprincipal philosophers Waismann. 1988).11 realisticand usefulgoals. Hanfling. intellectual science(and ideallyphilosophy)were but the applicationof a singleaptopics.if not whole of philosophy.). F.These approacheswere mergedwitha thorough derivedfromAugusteComteand ErnestMach.was theidealisticphilosophy specifically its conclusionsor even its purposewiththe confiincapableof justifying It seemedas ifphilosophy now community. adopted Quine. Pears and B. J. "Logical Positivism.all the major questionsof philosophy. Editor's Introduction.Ayer.GilbertRyle.12 was the theresult of theViennaCirclein the 1920s.61 on Mon.AlfredTarski. J.PhilippFrank."Logic and Knowledge(London. See also Hacker. to toreassertitselfwas to adopta scientific methodology. McGuinness(London. BertrandRussell.due mostlyto Philosophy. '3 Schnadelbach. J.and Rudolf Camap. philosophical less and nonsensical.Friedrich Hahn.and philosophywill thenbe freeto pursue more of language.0031." 183. '4 Ayer.Logical Positivism(New York.227."The Vienna Circle. 134-45. In a sense theybelievedthattherewas onlyone valid meansof world. tr. chapter1.

see Hanfling.98. as theyfutilely attempt greatquestionsof philosophyare swept away as meaningless.Chapter2.and thatthisshouldbe thecase withphilosophy.The stanceof nity.203. This content downloaded from 132.Mathematics and logic.To guardagainstmakingsuchmistakes.. thatis in proposition. But anynontautological beingtautological.wereshowntobe whenanalyzed(as byWittgenstein questions. ornotitis true.'7 Thoughthe specificmovementcalled Logical Positivismfadedrather quicklyfollowingthebreakupof the Vienna Circle in the late 1930s.whichareconsistent whether at the price of are admittedas meaningful withall observations.227." 184. to be meaningless arenowconsidered statements metaphysical By definition Mostofthe to definethatwhichis beyondexperience.Logical Positivism.one whichincludeslinguisticanalysisas well as This generalapproach.Logical Positivism. of is devoid facto ipso observation.'6 Logical Positivismhad an intenseimpacton thephilosophicalcommuit quicklydissipated. theverification .thatis..Attempts quicklyabandonedin favorofmorelenientapproaches. A Dictionaryof principle of theverification and definitions Philosophy(New York..the established.61 on Mon. avoid side ofphilosophical thistitletendsto stressthelinguistic I whichsurround AnalyticPhilosophy. ofwhichit was a partwas by thistimefirmly largermovement to as AnalyticPhilosophy. principle weremade to modifythepositivistic position. 45. 16 See Schnadelbach. "Logical Positivism. theViennaCircleadopted nonsense. thatis in whateverobservations verification.which I referto as variousothercharacteristics.. 17 Ayer. though As a wholethismovement can be referred To analysis."Vienna Circle."367.For too questionswhose ambiguous had dwelton metaphysical long philosophers to termsand conceptswere impossibleeither confirmor disprove. also Hanfling. Russell. Interpretations can varygreatly. '5 Quoted fromthe entry"Logical Positivism"in AnthonyFlew.AtonalMusic Theory 507 featuresof the logical positivists:the rejectionof metaphysicsand the The ViennaCirclebelievedthatscienceconcernsitself principle.. Philosophyin Germany. theirfundamental tenets. 04 Jan 2016 03:53:37 UTC All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . verification withfacts. elementsand eventspossessingobjectiveand empirically verifiablereality. unverifiable by any principle 15 meaning. namely: principle.butit was criteria. thepositivists itsown not meet of could the verification.thoughas an organizedmovement evenone of was too dogmaticto holdup underclose scrutiny.These andRussell).and the stateis leftto analyzelanguageto insurethatonlymeaningful philosopher mentsare allowed. 1984). thespecificissuesand controversies fromthe choose insteadto extracta moregeneralphilosophicalorientation writersdiscussedso far. [T]he meaningof a propositionconsistsin the methodof its or experiencesshow.

The emphasison scientificvalidityhas led mostpositivistseitherto whichfallsbeyondtherealmof theempirically anything rejectcompletely or at leastto expressan extremesuspicionof themetaphysical. in theprocessof analysis. whichsentencesare scrutinized 18 Resnik.. emulatessciencenotonlyinthesensethatmany Analyticphilosophy withscience ofitspractitioners takeitto be prescienceor continuous butalso inthesensethatitlaysclaimtoprecision. greatdeal of reductiveanalysis.'9 itselfwithscience. more objectiveand verifiabletools necessaryto deal withthetraditionally esotericsubjectsofphilosophy. leads to an emulationof sciencein bothmethodology rejectionor avoidance of metaphysics. "AnalyticPhilosophy. encountered or directobservation cernedwith"facts"whichcan be proveneitherthrough throughlogical deduction.In thisway thepositivist tendto avoid any"mental"phenomenaas well."Frege and AnalyticPhilosophy. will Mostoftenthetopicis simplynotaddressed.Justas researchprogramsin science are promptedby so scientific hypotheses. can be definedby isolatingcertaintendencies Positivistic which Thesetendenciesincludea rigidempiricism exhibit. 04 Jan 2016 03:53:37 UTC All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .'8 itspractitioners a and terminology.History.as seenbythepositivists.is seen as the onlyproperor worthyrealmof makesuse ofa To carryoutitsprogram philosophy positivistic investigation.the use of linguisticand logical the avoidanceof analysis.2'as a result.20 searchprograms thatattempt likewisereflectsthisscienThe emphasison formallogic and mathematics In the realm of symboliclogic the positivistfindsthe tificorientation."405.and has developedits own batteryof technicaltermsand results.61 on Mon. verifiable. This content downloaded from 132."Frege and AnalyticPhilosophy.828."86.. interpreting on any perceivingsubject. Resniknotes. partlyas a resultof these characteristics.in and also to evaluatetheirmeaningfulness. 19Russell.and.JamesA.Ultimatelyit is the mergingof the empirically verifiablewiththemethodsof formallogic whichprovesto be one of the It is notsurprising thatthisempirical positivists'mostcompellingfeatures. ence.203. empiricalproblemsand aim at establishing in emulatingscience have proposedhypothanalyticphilosophers eses fordealingwithphilosophicalproblemsand have pursuedreto establishthem. Searle."88. 20 21 Resnik."Objective"truth.This includesboth linguisticanalysis. Davis 508 which Philosophy..Scileads positivistic philosophyto identify orientation As Michael is theidealmodeofinvestigation.227.demandsattention to detail. subjectiveinterpretation The stancetakenby positiviststendsto be more dogmaticthanthat The positivistis conin mostpreviousempiricalmovements.theroleof the in no way dependent subjectall butvanishes.

26 (1988).in whichproblemsor specificpropositions into symboliclogic to test theirvalidity. 04 Jan 2016 03:53:37 UTC All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . philosopherof Kurt Godel and Carl Hempel.thisin turnprovidedan important propagation whichwas the theory.Followingthe emigration afterWorld War II. As JosephKermannotes: schoolsofthetime. the concernis almost and subjective and logicalsoundness. withobjectiveverification exclusively is avoided.influencedheavilyby beganto emerge.AtonalMusic Theory 509 are translated logical analysis. the unknowledge.espeof Europeanscholars ciallyin theUnitedStates. the influential 23 The mathematician wereactiveat Princetonduringthistime.227. a centerforanalyticphiThis is perhapsmostnoticeableat Princeton. 24 Music.Contemplating This content downloaded from 132. Music. America.23 . "RecentIdeas and Activitiesof JamesK.203. 27. Randall and BenjaminBoretz: A New Social Role for Music. 75." Perspectivesof New Music.See Kerman. positivismfound a home at many universitiesin and of Chicago. Kerman. see also chapters2 and 3).It also becamea centreforthe explicitlead inpositivistic of Schenker'ssystem.61 on Mon.Contemplating bridge.but whichwas a partof. Yale underAllen Forte became anothersuch centre. Princeton schoolsthata new approachto music scholarship. werenotlimitedtophilosophy. 74.. interpretation as a worthphilosophy soughtto reestablish In thesewaysthepositivists and subjectivebaggageof idealisticphiwhilediscipline. [W]e have seen how underArthurMendel Princetontook an musicology. 214-15.mostnotablytheUniversity then. Fred EverettMaus.22 positivism.The of Schenkerat Princetonand Yale in the 1950's reprerediscovery in linkbetweenAmericanneopositivism sentsa trueunderground movement.thatit was at manyof these It is notsurprising."Positivismin movement.1985].24 German nineteenth-century musicand theoriginal 22 This is equally true for musicology as it is for music theory. 43.Again.Contemplating scienceand history.Such beliefscontinueto thisday of scientific assailablefortress and can be foundin manyfieldsotherthanphilosophy. compositional ideologicalspurto avant-garde real creationof Babbittand the grouparoundPerspectivesof New Music.The metaphysical losophieswas rejectedin favorofan objectiveapproachwhichthepositivists believedcould not only competewith. music most influential one of the and losophyand positivisticthought. 56..ColumbiaUniversity. thought ofpositivistic The radicaleffects Most scholarlyfieldscame underits sway at some pointor another.a movementwhich puts its scholarshipwas originallya nineteenth-century Music [Camineradicablestampon early musicology"(JosephKerman. University.

"Past and PresentConcepts of the Nature and Limits of Music. V.ed. Brownand Douglas J. and VI.28 The Meta-Variations by Babbitt'spupil and colleague. 483-98.it is the development whichmostclearlyreflectsthis handsof Americancomposersand theorists connection." Perspectiveson Contemporary Music Theory. Set Theory."Past and PresentConcepts.Music Theory. 18 (1979-80).Dempster. Allen Forte. "MetaVariations:Studies in the Foundationsof Musical Thought(I). "The Structureand Functionof Musical Theory.510 JamesA.AllenForte. 65-106.8 (1964).Brown and Dempsterhave considereda "scientific approach"to music theorywhich attemptsto take into accountmanyof the traditional arguments againstpositivistic programs.it is interesting chooseto citeas theirinfluences.In 1908he begantoproduceworks in a "free"atonalstyle.33 (1989).Benjamin 25 For example. 15184. 1972).25 The same can be said for did he producea systematic successors. extendingchromaticism experiment pitch wereno longerthesole meansof determining tionaldiatonicfimctions It was the composerArnoldSchoenbergwho took the most organization.."Journalof Music Theory.Hempel. 1972).61 on Mon. "A Theoryof Set-ComplexesforMusic.27 factorsin his develophe namesCarnapas one of thethreemostinfluential ments. 19 (1979). 16. Davis a positivistic influence theory mayreflect Thoughthegrowth ofSchenkerian of atonaltheoryand analysisin the to some degree." Perspectivesof New Music. B. 1973). Brook (New York."In TheoryOnly." 28 JasonGibbs. Benjamin Boretz.It was Schoenberg'simmediate suchas MiltonBabbitt."Contemporary IntellectualHistory.andGoodmanmorethananymusicalsources. "A Sketchof the Use of FormalizedLanguages for the Assertionof Music. 1 (1963).203. Boretzand E. Babbitt'searlyworksreferto philosophers and suchas Carnap.1975). 19-20. 27 See Babbitt.ed.227.TheStructure ofAtonalMusic (New Haven. decisivestepinthisevolutionary process. 04 Jan 2016 03:53:37 UTC All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions ."Ibid. 10 (1988)." Perspectivesof New Music. in Arnold Schoenberg."Review of Wordsabout Music by MiltonBabbitt."Symposium."Perspectivesof New Music. "Logic. 26 A partiallist of the primary sourceswherethis approachcan be foundincludes Music Compositionand Music Theoryas Contemporary MiltonBabbitt. 136-83. see Parts II. JohnRahn. 8 (1969)."RelatingSets. Though Schoenbergpublisheda rather on music."Perspectivesin Musicology. B. 3-9. More recently.and othersattempted formthebasis of an atonaltheory. manycomposersbeganto century Duringthelaterpartofthenineteenth to a pointwheretradiwithharmony. 114-27. 1-74. 83-94.Style and Idea (Berkeley. "The ScientificImage of Music Theory.whereno singlepitchhas tonalprimacyover any of 1923. This content downloaded from 132.at no point his thoughts extensiveamountof literature concerning methodof analysis."JournalofMusic Theory.See MatthewG.Benjamin notuntilthe1950sthatwriters to formulate analyticprincipleswhichwould Boretz. Cone (New York. in arrivedat thedodecaphoniccompositions otherand eventually ofserialorganization areusedto determine thepresentation whichprinciples of the completechromaticscale.26 to notewhomthesemusicians At themostbasic level. 10-21.AntonWebernand AlbanBerg.Michael Kassler. T.

one kindof methodforthe of "concepts"and the verbalanalysisof such verbalformulation "scientific"languageand "scientific"method.227.thathe possessesapprorelevantdiscoveries.. analysis methoddefined?Whenconsidering Buthow is this"scientific" theobjectto be analyzed.butthereis a simultaneous emphasison language."Perspectiveson New Music.it shouldbe obviousthattheattempt of coherencein the unique relativisticcontext the compositional to thecentralconcerns presentlinksthecomposer'sproblemdirectly thoseof linguisticand scientific particularly thought. Babbitt.and criticaltools. BenjaminBoretz.in its bid to distanceitselffromsubjectivemystiverifiable objects. controlled ingly. of present-day fromwhichhe thusis in a positionto takeadvantageof philosophy.one mustdetermine What are the entitieswhich an analystseeks to isolate and understand? Positivistic philosophy.soughtto deal onlywithempirically withinthe"real perceivedas entities withthoseobjectswhichareobjectively of a dead-end."Past and PresentConcepts."A Note on Discourse. 04 Jan 2016 03:53:37 UTC All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions ..203. Positivists. whatconstitutes of anysort.30 formulations: Not onlyis thereone method.and descriptive analytic.AtonalMusic Theory 511 philosophy.anotherindicationof Babbitt'sdebtto philosophical positivism. somewhat as Hume discovered. See also Brown and Dempster.It is outof suchconsiderations and conceptualinsightsintotheirown workin the methodological workdoneinthesefields. to approachmusictheoryand Generallyspeaking.did not limitthemselvesto the objectsof everydayexperience: 29 79. of course. .61 on Mon. however..assuming.thatof science. methods. [T]hereis butone kindof language.. priateeducativeequipmentto be aware of and criticalabouttheir thatcomposershavefound relevance.29 Claimslikethismakeit clearthatphilosophicalpositivismis themodelfor and a closerlook at specificissues revealsthatpositivistic thesetheorists.andthattheyhaveborrowedsymbological. philosophythatwere musictheorysharesmanyof thetraitsof positivistic discussedearlier.one sees an attempt In thewordsof MiltonBabbitt.verifiedempirically." 30 This content downloaded from 132. analysisscientifically."The ScientificImage.Butto deal only cism." 3. experimental thatcan be syntaxes musical to intheirattempt construct terminology revealand characterized precisely. world"becomes. 4 (1966).As Boretzreadslike a Who's Whoof analyticand positivistic Boretzhimselfsays: to createstructural Even more.

of logic.the analysisof empirically peris thattherenow appearsa new ceived objects.31 contradictory For Frege. 84-85.6..linguistic some objectincludedwithinthebroaderconcept.and Relational Predication.Frege: An Introduction.Otherwise. See also 31 RobertSternfeld. J.whichare notthe system. 32 As quoted in A.512 JamesA."entities"includenot onlyphysicalobjectsbutalso truthobjects. .namely.For as thesubject-matter theremustbe newentities suchconceptsimplytheexistenceof objectsof whichtheyare the properties.Whatrelationship withinthe musicalcomposition? Philosophershave learnedthatthereis a too wide an ontologicalstatusto logical entities.227.. can find. 04 Jan 2016 03:53:37 UTC All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .61 on Mon."Logical Form. This content downloaded from 132. greatdangerin granting theymustbe dealtwithonlywithintheabstractdomainin whichtheyare thereference ofobjects."MidwestStudies in Philosophy.BertrandRussell (Chicago.the tendedtheirinvestigations. But whatof a subjectsuch as musicanalysis?We have moveda great distancefromour originalintent.notto found. thatthereare objectswhichfall underthe conandpossibly thesystemis an empty. Existence.assumingof course values.groupsof symbols. The further more they began to deal intherealm however. thatthereis as one It seemsplausiblethatpurelogic is aboutas stablea foundation it was vastlysuperiorto anything metaphysical.and more. enterintoa mathematical references ofsucha system.logical constructions are preferableto "inferred ties.forthepositivists is this:wherFor Russell. See also Herbert Hochberg.then. Ayer.33 Thisdifficulty is ofgreatimportance whenconsidering music positivistic withthe have expressedtheirdissatisfaction analysis. Fregearguesthatwhereconceptualelements. 1972).specifically foundin therealmof logic.Manycommentators Frege's Logical Theory(Carbondale.meaningless. 1966). 176-77. Frege's Logical Theory. 35. structure. cepts. Davis mathematics and logic had providedthemwithnumerousentitieswhich servedas one of the seemedworthyof analysis. thatis.and logicalentitiesbecamethefocusof theirstudies. is certainly truein a fieldsuchas physics. Currie. of logicalexpressions. thepositivistsexwhichsuch investigations were carriedout.59-62.Originallymathematics and logic was thetool through primary fieldsof inquiryforthepositivists."The suprememaximin scientific philosophizing forinferred entiare to be substituted everpossible. 216: "Russellthusfeltcompelledto recognizelogicalformsand directions or senses of relationsas objectsof knowledgeby acquaintance.Whatis moredisturbing of objects.The taskofthelogicianis to determine inventnew objects.whichare open category do thesenew entitieshave withthosefound foranalysis."32It may be that"logical constructions" ormathematical this intherealmofgeneralphilosophy entities" speculation.203." 33 See Sternfeld.

theanalystis dealingwiththepitchesfoundwithina composition.are by the integer membersof the same pitch-class(in this case represented distancedourselvesfromtheoriginalcomposi"0"). classes whichareby no meansthesameentitiesas thepitches manipulating whenthese The problemis intensified theirmembership.thismeansthatthe 12 notes thechromatic in a singleoctave(by assumingoctaveequivacan be represented notationfora pitchis not unique (by lence) and thata particular equivalence).5 (1986).AtonalMusic Theory 513 the elementswithina ways in whichcertaintheoristsdefineand identify Take for instancethe conceptof pitch-class.introducedin the have system.TheHarmonicOrganization 36 EdwardT. 170-90. Cone says: is a dominantone today. B#. 27.which Forte composition.Dbb.More precisely.one is no longer Instead." Journal of Musicology.but will it be of value when consideringthe individual betweensuch patterns movesof thegame?Even if one is able to determine classes."The Structure Forte. 8 (1990).willanylightbe shedon whytheplayerschoseto place theirpieces wheretheydid? The same concernshold trueformusicalanalysis. the functionsapplied to sets whose membersare classes. 1978).true.36 Once pitch-classesbecome the elementsof an analysis. regardlessof theiroctave placement. 35 AllenForte. Music: A ViewfromDelft(Chicago.and an unThe trendtowardabstraction healthyone forart.34 definesas: musicallanguage The notionof pitch-classis implicitin ordinary scale.35 assumingenharmonic All notatedpitchesC.It is as ifwhenanalyzinga chessmatch thisis all thepawnsundertheclass "pawn. of Atonal Music by Allen 34 See forexample William E.. Cone. This content downloaded from 132. and Richard Taruskin. 13 (1974). George Perle. 04 Jan 2016 03:53:37 UTC All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .The devices criticizedhere. "Pitch-ClassSet Analysis: An Evaluation.. unitywithinthetwelve-tone hopeofachievinga perfect resultedin producinga unity.61 on Mon. Benjamin. Unfortunately."Music Analysis.and thesesets are then At this pointwe have set-theoretical subjectedto variousmanipulations. whichconstitute pitch-classesare gatheredto formpitch-classsets. 151-72. it whenever we speakofthe12 notesofthechromatic pitchescomprisethebasic stockof is assumedthatonly12 different system.butoutsidethemedium."Letterto the Editor.in the realmof arithmetic. oftheRiteofSpring(New Haven. Thatis. 313-20. 1989). We haveautomatically we are denotinga logicalentityof which to a pitch-class."Certainly we beginbygathering logicallytenable. tion.203.By referring ouroriginalnoteis onlya member.As EdwardT."Perspectivesof New Music.227. 1.

whichcan influence notsubjectto thesameoperations whichapply subjecttotheoperations noraretheobjectsofrealitynecessarily to classes. 37 38 This content downloaded from 132..as he goes on to say.thoughtheymaybe viewedas a typeof object(in thiscase an "abstractentity"or a "logical fiction").Introduction.we generatea new object.forexample.JamesA.butit mustbe made clear entities exactlywhattheontologicalstatusoftheseobjectsis. 40 Russell.objects.since.38 Classes are.not representing or (as we say) in logical fictions. 189.see Hochberg. to MathematicalPhilosophy(London.the totalityof values over whichthe variablecouldrangewouldonlybe definablein termsof itself. 182.like descriptions.we shouldalso finditveryhardto understand aboutthata class whichhas onlyone memberis notidenticalwith thatone member.40 Classes. whichhas no membersat all and cannotbe regardedas a how it comes "heap".we shouldfind If we wereto attempt or conglomerations.if it were. Davis 514 originalpitchesfoundwithinthe compositionare no longera partof the is working. theobjectsofreality. BertrandRussell. howtherecan be sucha class as thenullitimpossibleto understand class." 215ff. 04 Jan 2016 03:53:37 UTC All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .theyare realityin thesameway as theentitiesof ourperception.203.thisnew objectmustnot be amongthe values whichour previousvariable could take.Introduction 183. 39 Quine." and that conveniences.and we shouldbe involvedin a viciouscircle.227.refers to classes as "abstractentities".39Suchabstract statusthantheobjectsofrealityevenwhenitis theobjectsof holda different of theclass. ontologicaldomainin whichthetheorist clearthatclasseswerenotrealobjects: Russellhimselfmadeitperfectly We shallthenbe able to say thatthe symbolsforclasses are mere objects called "classes.classes do themembership realitywhichconstitute as theseobjectsandarenotsusceptible notoperateunderthesameconstraints as realentities."Logical Form. to thesamefunctions about"all" or "some" of thevaluesthata Whenever. classes are fact.then.in some sense of theword. "incompletesymbols.are not to be consideredpartsof Likewise.partof the"ultimatefurniture world. As a result. by statements variablecan significantly take."To treatclasses as real entitiesleads to logicalproblems: way as simplyheaps We cannottakeclasses in thepure extensional to do that. Russell."37 of the Classes are not.61 on Mon.Introduction. 1919).

28 (1979). E. 1. of ties in mostatonaltheory.in thiscase. foundwithinJanetSchmalfeldt's oftheclearestdiscussionsavailableon thesubject.we compare Usingthesamefactorswe used to determine thesetwosetsto discoverwhichis the"prime"formoftheset."Music froma Set-Theoretical I RichardTaruskin. To facilitate setsso thattheirfirstmemberis thepitch-class"0": theoriginalset(4."Now. Allen Forte's single-minded to pitch-classsetsin his analyseshas led at leastsomecommentaattention torsto referto himas a "positivistic"43 and his analyticalsystemas exhibiting a "naive empiricism. 10) becomes(0. the thatoffinding ofatonaltheory. 3." CurrentMusicology. 115. 9. LennartAqvist. 2. pitchesF#.) betweenthesesets. 1. 6. resulting collectionis (2. 1983). 6]. 42 ".61 on Mon..fora set and its inversionare consideredto be equivalent.theresult.any discussionof the"metaphysiwhichis notfoundin thescore."6). 8) becomes(0.whichparallelstherelationbetweena formal inherent representation of it" (Babbitt. 04 Jan 2016 03:53:37 UTC All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .letus suchan approachare considerable. relationships Whatis avoidedis anydiscussionwhichgoes beyondtherealmof the objectivelyverifiableand empiricallyvalid. 4.""As a result. minedby subtracting is considered the"normalorder. the"bestnormalorder. 4." Interface. of AtonalMusic. into purposeofthisprocessis to organizepitchesfoundwithina composition betweenothercollections.For example.and the logisticaland musicalramifications For a closerlook at thisproblem. followedbya consideration emphasison thefrequency etc."Review of The HarmonicOrganizationof theRite of Spring. 8).(4. 6.the we transpose both comparison. 5.42 ofany ofoccurrence." 177. andtheinverted thenormalorder. We thenplace theintegersintoascendingorder.one mustisolatetheempirically namelypitches. 10).227. based on an assumedbut between the"facts"of themusidefinedrelationship.AtonalMusic Theory 515 and pitch-classsetsare treatedas real entipitch-classes Unfortunately.and translatethemintointegernotation..thatis. Introduction."we mustinvertthe originalset. it is [0. First."Past and PresentConcepts. 6). Therethenfollowsa comparison.2 (1973). 6.203. (New Haven. 3.and detercircularpermutation findtheorderwith"theleastdifference through thefirstintegerfromthelast". comparison collectionsin a waythatwillfacilitate basis of the work. Bb. 4. 9. 6. 6). 9. 10). considerone ofthemostbasic operations andpitches primeformofa setofpitches.is cal" aspectsof a musicalwork.complementation. (suchas inclusion. to makesurewe have thecollection in itsmostreducedstate.I use forthisexampletheformula "41 whichis by farone Berg's "Wozzeck. usuallyambiguously and some logical.take the therebyrevealingthe structural intointegernotation.thesepitchesare translated mod 12: (6.anything Berg's "Wozzeck":HarmonicLanguage and DramaticDesign 4' JanetSchmalfeldt.set-theoretical.A. 4 Benjamin. See also theoryand an interpretation Pointof View.The composition. observable"facts"of a To beginwith."The Structure This content downloaded from 132. 2. [T]he apparentrelationshipof a mathematicalexpressionand its musical in theseprocedures. or other"objective"refcal composition The mostfrequent resultis themappingof set typeswithspecial erence. set(2.

Whathavebeenconsideredsuchup tonowarenotgenuine questions.61 on Mon.the consistencyof logic. Ayer."Past and PresentConcepts. will be. can be.present"statements" of attitude statement grammatiertyof beingat bestan incorrigible assertion.47 Regardlessof the efficacyof such an approachin philosophy.considertwo theuse of languageclearlyrevealsBabbitt'spositivistic examples.admittedly.butsimplythatstatements music mustconformto those verbal and methodological requirediscoursein any mentswhichattendthe possibilityof meaningful domain. This content downloaded from 132.. regarding i. [I]t onlyneed be insistedhere thatour concernis not whether musichas been. no problemsaccompanythe identification "meaningless".is. thoughit is oftendifficultto determine whether whatconstitutes under meaninglessforBabbittis thesubjectmatter Thisuncompromising attitude toward discussionortheverbalpresentation.203. 46 Babbitt."The TurningPoint in Philosophy."3-4."whatabout everthatmaybe assumedto mean. Davis 516 leftunexamined. 55-56."in Investigations concerning so faras theydo notbecome partof psychology..Questionsregarding the"validityand limitsof knowlis knowablewhichcan be expressed.227.thereare difficulties withsuchan uncompromisingly empiricalstancein theanalysis of artworks.ed.The contentof this specific example is of no consequence. 04 Jan 2016 03:53:37 UTC All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .exceptto theextentthatit shareswiththemajorityof aboutmusicthe proppast and.was all thatit was possibleto talkaboutin ways thatBabbitt would not dismissas 'literallymeaningless'" (Kerman..notof values. edge" disappear. insoluble. 98).JamesA. 47 MoritzSchlick.." Logical Positivism. or shouldbe a "science. however.Contemplating Music.Thereare consequently no problemswhichare in principle are in principleunanswerable.thesecondfromMoritzSchlick.thefirsttakenfromBabbitt.46 callydisguisedas a simpleattributive Schlickwrites: the human"capacityforknowledge. Babbitthas oftenstatedthathe all butrejects"meaningless" statementsabout music. concerning everypossible"language"in themostgeneralsense of theterm.Althoughthereremainunsolvedproblemsassociatedwith of theseconditionsforcomplexand sophisticated thedetermination of the grossly cases.Everything and this is the total subjectmatterconcerningwhichmeaningful no questionswhich questionscan be raised.. ..butmeaninglesssequencesof words. are replacedby considerations thenatureof expression. or representation.45 roots.e.as the structuralist movementin literary criticismdiscovered 45 As Kermannotes: "In the positivistic climateof the 1950s.

We have yet to a "good.48 within are any subjectiveinterpretations considerations rejectmetaphysical The role of the listener(or analystas listener)is theprocessof analysis.However.Whatis dangerousis thatthe theverbalpresentation analysisoflanguagecan be confusedwiththeanalysisofmusic. mathematical corrigiblepropositions.Intentionto discern.and How to Get Out.LiteraryTheory:An Introduction (Minneapolis. and future and affectscontemporary Philosophicalpracticebothreflects is unintentional Sometimestheinfluence approachesin all realmsofthought.in this case philosophy.AtonalMusic Theory 517 (thoughtheyweremorewillingto broadentheircriticalapproachthanmost Whattendsto get lost whenthesetheorists positivisticmusictheorists). music. 49 "It is only in morerecenttimesthatanalystshave avoided value judgementsand equations.in an effortto achieve the formulations. 50 Babbitt.. leave thelistening musicwouldunfortunately the whichhelp to identify These are only some of the characteristics philosophy. adaptedtheirworkto a formatof strictly and the like.203." CriticalInquiry.61 on Mon." "right. surrounding It shouldalso be clearbynowthata greatdeal oftherhetoric music of theoryand between discussions shifts uneasily theory positivistic or analyst.say.thereis also a certaindangerpresentwhenone betweendisciplines.and this has aestheticramifications ignored.7 [1980].. chapter3. analysisand discussionsaboutthelanguageused by thetheorist Thisis trueofthequotescitedabovebyBabbitt. 1983). 04 Jan 2016 03:53:37 UTC All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions ."or "useful"muswhatconstitutes satisfactorily identify on whatconstitutes little agreement to be seems There even ical analysis. set-theory of scientificinquiry"(JosephKerman.and applyingthemto another.all this.can providetruly beneficialresults. apparently. and obvious.we see thata numberof difficulties indicatingthatperhapsphilosophicalpositivismis not as compatiblewith musictheoryas somemaybelieve.in othercases it is admitted and difficult ally borrowingconceptsand practicesfromone discipline.227. Having isolatedthese traits.50 ifmorecareweregivento musicalscholarship fact.itwouldno doubtbenefit of musicalconcepts.49 whichare too greatto be bypassed.whereasthe analysisof musicand the analysisof analysesof music are two separate believed ThoughRussellandWittgenstein issuesthatshouldremaindistinct.Somethingthatappearsto be triesto mix concepts48 See forexample TerryEagleton.in intrinsically thereis nothing Certainly validity. and positivistic theorists music certain between relationship arise. "music"!To searchfortheansweronlyin thelanguageused to discussthe experiencefarbehind."Past and PresentConcepts."4. This content downloaded from 132.whohas evenrecommended aboutmusicbe analyzedintotheirlogicalformto gaugetheir thatstatements wrongwiththispractice. 313)."How We objectivestatusand hence the authority Got intoAnalysis.it seemsthatto applythis and in so doingrevealsomething typeof thinkingto musical analysisbegs the question. thatlanguageandrealitywereclose enoughthatone couldanalyzelanguage abouttheworld.

1989)."52 was done primarily throughhis analysisof language.Few ifanyoftheearlypositivists the last fewdecades thata branchof "analyticaesthetics"has emerged.comprehensible systemmaybe. This content downloaded from 132. directly This apparentdisregard foraestheticsand artworksmighteven suggest art thatthepositivists viewed as fallingintoan ontologicalcategoryapart or language. century's tion." 52 Wittgenstein. 0.Thenthespecificapplicacomplement of tionof philosophicalconceptsshouldbe examinedand theramifications whenconsiderimportance thisapplicationconsidered. Anyinvestheoriesofemotiveexpression. This difficulty unimpeachable no doubtpartlyresponsibleforthe failureof so manyphilosophersand musicalaesthetic. such ofa particular philosophical characteristics thedefining beforetheycan encompassthearts.32.andthenineteenth and someother betweena philosophical'system tigationintotherelationship disciplinemustfirstconsiderhow well theoriginalphilosophyis suitedto or illuminate thesubjectunderstudy. The laterWittgenstein thoughthis same.theconstituents ofpoetryverydifficult.and hencenotnecessarilysubjectto fromlogic. Shus5' See J.518 JamesA. indeed to call attention makethetranslation AnalyticAesthetics. characteristics thedefining betweenpositivistic philosophyand music." "Philosophyof ArtafterAnalysis terman(Oxford. 20. AnalyticAesthetics. Urmson.ed.421. thestudyofart. and Nicholas Wolterstorff. suchas "Ethicsand aestheticsare one and the references.5" FregeandRussellneverdealtwithaestheticsor art perception The worksdirectly. and Romanticism.Such is the case with theeighteenth century'stheoriesof representaancienttheoriesof mimesis.wherehe is techniques. theirinvestigative form the of assertic propositions: discussing of languageto whichI herewant On theotherhand.it is As fortherelationship of thephilosophers themtenuousat bestwhenviewedfromthestandpoint addressedartandithas onlybeenin selves.and does not relate to thistopic.mathematics.This is of particular ing the philosophicalfoundationsof any methodof artisticanalysis.6.227. Logical Positivistslikewiseavoided the subject. numberof cryptic devotedmoretimeto aesthetics. 04 Jan 2016 03:53:37 UTC All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .61 on Mon.thenit is possiblethatan analysisbased on sucha systemwill failto considerthoseissueswhichare oftheartwork.did leave a earlyWittgenstein.203.yetifthatsystemhasno roomforaesthetic even deniesa place fortheaestheticexperience.The thoughhe neverspoke in lengthaboutart. Shusterman.and systems usuallyrequiremodification even thensuchtheoriesseldomdo justiceto music. ConsiderthispassagefromFrege. R.A to be of use to philosophicalsystemneednotaddressaestheticsspecifically or considerations. Tractatus.a thelanguageofartcriticism meta-critical approachwhichtendsto investigate in orderto clarifythe traditionally vague conceptswhich surroundthe ofartworks.Whatever musiciansto createa concrete."The Methodsof Aesthetics. Davis is in one contextmaybe ill-suitedto another.

"9.forit is just in makeperfecttranslation whatlargelymakesthepoeticvalue thatlanguagesmostdiffer.he continues: Further I use theword"horse" whether to thethought Itmakesno difference or"steed" or "nag" or "prad.thoughit the studyof is likelythat"mattersof feeling"are whatwould constitute wouldconone creed.203. 61.Thisfieldincludes losophy.forinstance. "Thoughts."9.S7 Frege. "Thoughts.sciencealone."On Conceptand Object" (Geach and Black.227."3 on. especiallynote 1)."Sense and Reference.apartfromtheeuphonyofthe onlyin thesenseofthesentencesandthe languagewe are interested imagesand feelingstherebyaroused.whatis portrayed sphere.Fregegoes so activity andaestheticareinsomewaysincompatible: faras toclaimthatthescientific In hearingan epic poem.History. Transdrawssuch a distinction.61 on Mon." 63." 13-15.Whatever can be thatit is bad to enjoythe infliction known. whichare ofprimary Does thismeanthatFregeknewthathis theorieswerenotdesignedto poetry. 55 Russell. 53 54 This content downloaded from 132."5 legitimately It seemsthatRussellhadethicsinmindwhenhe wrotethispassage. of language"and "thought" In each of thesecases it is the "constituents theoretical concernin Frege'sdiscussion. Frege. 04 Jan 2016 03:53:37 UTC All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .traditionally methodsareinadequate. There are numerousotherplaces whereFrege 57 Frege.forexample.cannotprove ultimate of cruelty.can be knownby means of science." See Frege.S4 rhythm.however.Following positivist investigation."6 cludethatsuch subjectiveissues are not open forscientific here is not so much thatthese philosophersdid not What is interesting aesthetics.wherescientific questionsofvalue.atmoand by intonation in a poem.AtonalMusic Theory 519 almostalways impossible.a vast field.The questionof truthwould cause us to abandonaestheticdelightforan attitudeof scientific investigation. and Frege."The assertoricforcedoes notcover theways in whichthesewordsdiffer."Sense and Reference.or otherartworks?ConsiderRussellas well: accommodate includedin phiThereremains.it is thattheyseemto acknowledgea realmof human investigate whichmaynotlie withinthesphereoftheirtheories.illumination does notbelongto thought. 834.Whatis called mood. the aestheticissues forRussell. of GottlobFrege. 56 Fregehad a similarstance:see Frege.46. lationsfromthePhilosophicalWritings "Thoughts.but thingswhichare matters of feelinglie outsideitsprovince.

61 58 Rudolf Carnap.AndforWittgenstein.203.60 notonlycautionsagainstthemisuseoftermsfrom Wittgenstein one fieldto another(especiallyin ethics)but concludesthatthe studyof a science.as thatwhichattempts runstheriskofjoiningtherestofmetaphysics on theentirefieldofaesthetics the refusepile.and "true" in theuse oftheword"true"in artfromitsuse logic.especiallyin theway thatscienceis definedin the lexiconof philosophicalpositivism. ethicsinthiscontext ethicscannotconstitute includedaesthetics."1-2. This content downloaded from 132. to apply It is becomingclearthatthereare manyproblemsin attempting a "scientific" approachto theanalysisof worksof art.ed. espeRudolfCarnapexplicitly metaphysics. 60 Frege. Qualitiescannotbe "said. "Thoughts. Ayer. 59 Schlick. definedand perceivedin any numberof ways. Suddenly to expresstheinexpressible.But forthe aesthetician.As was riskin attempting to transfer conceptsfrom statedearlier. acknowledging one fieldto another without in their werecarefulto makea cleardistinction BothFregeandWittgenstein betweenfields.61 on Mon.To whichdefineartworks denythesequalitiesis to denytheverycharacteristics as uniqueentities. 04 Jan 2016 03:53:37 UTC All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . "The Eliminationof MetaphysicsThroughLogical Analysis of Language.74 (1965). nowcameundertheheadingof offeelingsmeantthatquestionsofaesthetics associatesartand metaphysics.78-80.59 In thispassage Schlickwas mostlyconcernedwithbroaderissuesof knowlqualitiesis somewhat edge and logic. ofmetaphysicians werealwaysdirectedupontheabsurd The efforts end of expressingthe contentof pure quality(the "essence" of hence of uttering the unutterable."Logical Positivism. LudwigWittgenstein.Fregeseparatedthefunction andmeaning use ofterminology of the words "beautiful"in aesthetics. 61 "A Lectureon Ethics. of no consequencein the at one pointseem to analysisof worksof art?Thoughthesephilosophers acknowledgethatthereis somethingwhich exists beyondthe logically anyimportance provable.thereis an inherent thedifficulties whichmayarise."ThePhilosophicalReview.so thathistiradeagainstmetaphysical theseare seriouswords.Are qualities.cognitionhas nothingto do. things)by meansof cognitions. expected. This is certainlythe case of certainconceptswhichare as MoritzSchlickpointsout: traditionally associatedwithaesthetics."57. Davis of artworksintotherealm to relegatetheperception For thepositivists.especiallydistinguishing in science.520 JamesA.227.theyruntheriskofthendenyingsuchpossibilities (or evenanyexistence)simplybecausetheydo notfitintotheirtheories." Theycan onlybe shownin experience."TurningPoint."good" in ethics.58 ciallymusic. But withthisshowing.

he assumesthattheideas large or threehave logicalpowerssimilarto thoseof green or merry?The inevitableconsequenceis thatnaive intellectualoperationswith those ideas lead directlyto logically intolerable results.Thoughtheuse of logic as a universal foundation has provento be invaluablein othersituations. "PhilosophicalArguments. structure as foundin otherlogicalapplications.Conceptsofdifferent typescannotbe coercedinto similarlogical conduct.Logiciansthemselves acknowledge theexistence of different logical types. moreso thanmostfields. "PhilosophicalArguments.334. Ryle. tionsare of different sortsof logical logicalformsandhavedifferent invalid theconjunctions ofpropositions powers. for example. This content downloaded from 132. discoursefoundin different fieldsare by defaultlogicallycompatible?Are thepropositions of."333.when.62 Even if thereis a logical structure whichunderliesmusicalcomposition or it does not necessarilyfollowthatit is the same logical understanding.whichis believedto providea systemof clarityand truthwhichencompassesall fields.63 62 63 GilbertRyle. If one proposition has factors of different thosepropositypesfromthoseof anotherproposition.Music scholarship. or setsuchas mathematics theory.and different logical systemsas well.thoughto ignorethecontentand of thelanguagebeinganalyzedrunstheriskof misreprespecificreference To quoteRyle again: sentingtheoriginalintentof theproposition.ed.The rulesgoverning reflectthe logical constitutions of theirvariousabstractarguments able factorsand features.as GilbertRylenotes: Whathappenswhena personassumesan idea to be of one logical typewhen it reallybelongs to another?. Thereis a danger. 04 Jan 2016 03:53:37 UTC All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . say..227.Thereis no doubt value intheapplicationof linguistic analysisto thediscussionsfoundwithin a givenscholasticdiscipline.203. musicscholarshipsubjectto the same constraints It maybe thatthelogicalstructure relevantto mathematics? of languageis thesameregardlessofthevocabularyused.61 on Mon. In factthedistinction betweenthelogicaltypesof ideas is identical withthediscrimination betweenthelogicalformsofthepropositions fromwhichtheideas are abstractions.is Yet is it truethatthe modes of certainly guiltyof hyperbolicdescription. .AtonalMusic Theory 521 Much of positivistic philosophyattempts to bypassthesedifficulties by basingitselfon logic. it is by no means unassailableinthiscontext." Logical Positivism. Ayer. The sameconcernsapplytothosewhofocuson thestructure oflanguage in an attempt to unravelbroaderphilosophicalquestions.

Collegeat Fredonia.To stripaway all buttheempirically works remove art anyquestionsof aesthetics.Discussionsof arthave traditionally ofthesubjectrather than cise. maysimultaneously which appear when These are but some of the possible difficulties positivistic philosophyand musicscholarshipmerge.. more importantly. 04 Jan 2016 03:53:37 UTC All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .therestillremainsa great attempts Fornowitwill sufficeto reaffirm thatphilosophideal ofworkto be done.butthisis duemostlytotheuniquecomplexity of criticsand philosophers.A truththemostinterest.forart may not be concernedwithtruthin a traditional morethana collectionof sounds.or painton a worksare by definition verifiablefromdiscussionsof canvas. Thereis littledoubtthata criticalevaluationofthe languageof musicanalysiswouldbe of immensevalue. diss. Davis.D. BostonUniversity. of positivistic musictheory.227. of aestheticsfails to considerthataesthetic value analysisof a statement statements sense. to see whatconceptsor techniques.203.butas in anyinterdisciplinary usefulinsights projectwhat is needed is a moreconsideredexaminationof the original withmodification. Davis 522 analysistopropositions outsidetherealmof The application oflinguistic philosophypresentsmanyproblemswhichmustbe addressedbeforetheir value can be determined.M4 has beenused as a modelforcertainmusictheorists.JamesA.61 on Mon.a majority withart worksand seemed to acknowledgethattheirsystemsmightbe This in itselfshouldbe incapableof sheddinglighton thefieldofaesthetics. Unfortucal positivism notconcerned ofpositivistic wereapparently philosophers nately. StateUniversity 64 See forexampleJamesA. PositivisticPhilosophyand the Foundationsof 1993). AtonalMusic Theory(Ph. can be of philosophy whatproblemsmightarise if one value to music and. of New York.butto assumethat to the thetechniquesof linguisticanalysisin philosophycan be transferred without modification mayresultin discoursesurrounding musicscholarship an inabilityto speak of any characteristics uniqueto the objectsof music been rathervague and impreanalysis.It sufficient cause fora carefulreexamination to claimthata positivistic wouldbe short-sighted approachcan notprovide intothefieldofmusicresearch. This content downloaded from 132. and it is thiscomplexity whichis of to inability foritis herethatthequestionsofaestheticsreside. to transfer thetenetsof philosophicalpositivismto thetheoryand attempts analysisof music.and thoughthereare to examinetheseissues in moredetail.