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Artworld Metaphysics$
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Robert Kraut

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199228126

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199228126.001.0001

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Emotions in the Music

Emotions in the Music

(p.66) 4 Emotions in the Music
Artworld Metaphysics

Robert Kraut (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter formulates a theory—”content expressionism”—about the underlying ground of music's capacity to arouse emotion. Content expressionism is a causal‐explanatory hypothesis about why the music strikes some listeners as having an emotional dimension: the theory posits a real feature of the music—i.e. ”what the music expresses”—and claims that a musical event prompts competent listeners to discern the presence of a certain emotion in the music because the music expresses that emotion. This expressive content is alleged to be a real, causally efficacious, and explanatorily relevant feature of the music. It is concluded that content expressionism is false, thereby undermining the familiar claim that (some) music expresses emotions.

Keywords:   emotion, explanation vs. justification, expression, Hanslick, response dependence, semantic content, Stravinsky

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