Missing the Wrong Target: On Andrew Bowie’s Rejection of the Philosophy of Music

Tomas McAuley


Andrew Bowie rejects the philosophy of music. He does so because it (allegedly) objectifies music and because it (allegedly) only ever affirms the practitioner’s prior philosophical assumptions. I argue that Bowie’s rejection is illegitimate on two counts. First, he mischaracterises the philosophy of music. I show how. Second, even if his characterisation of the philosophy of music were a faithful representation of that discipline, his reasons for rejecting it would still not be sufficient. In particular, Bowie criticises the philosophy of music for not engaging properly with its ‘other’ (music), yet refuses to engage seriously with his own ‘other’ (the philosophy of music). Bowie aims for the wrong target – and misses anyway.

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1. James Tartaglia. 2016. "Jazz-Philosophy Fusion." Performance Philosophy 2 (1). https://doi.org/10.21476/PP.2016.2162


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.21476/PP.2015.1126

Copyright (c) 2015 Tomas McAuley

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