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Frontiers of Philosophy in China

Front Phil Chin    2011, Vol. 6 Issue (2) : 284-297
The Ontology of Musical Works: A Philosophical Pseudo-Problem
James O. YOUNG()
Department of Philosophy, University of Victoria, Victoria BC V8W 3P4, Canada
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A bewildering array of accounts of the ontology of musical works is available. Philosophers have held that works of music are sets of performances, abstract, eternal sound-event types, initiated types, compositional action types, compositional action tokens, ideas in a composer’s mind and continuants that perdure. This paper maintains that questions in the ontology of music are, in Rudolf Carnap’s sense of the term, pseudo-problems. That is, there is no alethic basis for choosing between rival musical ontologies. While we have no alethic basis for choosing any ontology of music, pragmatic reasons can be given for favoring certain ontologies of musical works over others.

Keywords ontology      pseudo-problem      ontological relativity      phplosophy of music     
Corresponding Author(s): James O. YOUNG,   
Issue Date: 05 June 2011
 Cite this article:   
James O. YOUNG. The Ontology of Musical Works: A Philosophical Pseudo-Problem[J]. Front Phil Chin, 2011, 6(2): 284-297.
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