Jazz-Philosophy Fusion

James Tartaglia


In this paper I describe and provide a justification for the fusion of jazz music and philosophy which I have developed; the justification is provided from the perspectives of both jazz and philosophy. I discuss two of my compositions, based on philosophical ideas presented by Schopenhauer and Derek Parfit respectively; links to sound files are provided. The justification emerging from this discussion is that philosophy produces ‘non-argumentative effects’ which provide suitable material for artistic expression and exploration. These effects – which are often emotional – are under-recognised in philosophy, but they do important philosophical work in demarcating the kinds of truths we want to discover, and in sustaining our search for them. Jazz-Philosophy Fusion can help to increase metaphilosophical self-consciousness about these effects, while also helping to counteract any undue persuasive force they may achieve. Jazz is a particularly suitable medium because it has independently developed a concern with philosophical ideas; because of strong parallels between jazz and philosophy which explain their mutual openness to fusions, and because improvisation very effectively facilitates the direct audience engagement essential to inducing these effects.


Jazz; Metaphilosophy; Non-argumentative effects in philosophy; Schopenhauer; Parfit; Experimental Philosophy

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.21476/PP.2016.2162

Copyright (c) 2016 James Tartaglia

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