I know that other blogs have music features, but I have decided to start one of my own this summer for several related reasons. First and foremost, it's summer, and summer is a great time for music! ;) Second, I've been reflecting quite a bit lately on Anna Christina Ribeiro's recent post over at Aesthetics for Birds, "The Philosophical Importance of Aesthetics", and, more recently, Peter Kivy's 3AM interview about the philosophy of music -- both of which reminded me of just how central aesthetic experience is in my own life, and how unfortunate it is that aesthetics has increasingly been relegated to the backwaters of philosophical discourse. As Ribeiro points out, aesthetic experience is a significant part of human life. Almost all of us find ourselves deeply moved, at one time or another, by aesthetic experience -- whether it is the experience of a great song, a beautiful sunset, or a beautiful passing moment. And yet, Ribeiro points out, we hardly ever discuss these things philosophically. Finally, it has occurred to me, more and more recently, just how much of a role music has played in my life as a philosopher. Music has increasingly inspired my philosophical thinking on everything from free will to the philosophy of religion and morality. And yet, although music moves me personally and philosophically, I've never really had the opportunity to discuss it with any other philosophers (well, besides my wife!).
For all of these reasons, I thought it might be good to bring some music and aesthetic discussion to the blog. Aesthetics is something that I have neglected as a professional philosopher, and it is something that I -- following Ribeiro -- would really like to see return to prominence in philosophical discussion. Perhaps we can contribute to that, at least in a small way! Anyway, I hope to post music quite regularly, and ocassionally discuss it philosophy. I'd also like to encourage reader submissions discussing aesthetic experience, whether on music, visual art, or whatever! :) (Interested readers should send submissions to me at firstname.lastname@example.org).
In any case, I'm going to start off easy. No pretentious philosophical theorizing today. Just a couple of songs I like by the group Phantogram. I'll save the pretention for later. :)