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Everything posted by Jonathan13

  1. I disagree. Youre treating music as if melody were necessarily its primary characteristic or means of aesthetic expression. It's not, at least not in all cases or instances. Rap's primary musical means is rhythm. Rap is the same thing as traditional operatic patter song, only taken further in its rhythmic vocabulary. In effect, modern rap is what Howard Roark would do to patter song. The patter -- the beat and tempo -- are more expressive than the words. Try it yourself: Isolate both and experience each independently of the other. The words are dry and rather lifeless without the specific rhyth. But the rhythm is still just as stimulating even without identifiable words.
  2. And if you've had any previous experience with conspiracy theorists and their supporters, you've probably developed something of a subconscious smell-test, in which you pick up on the kooky vibe that the theorists are giving off. And beyond that, if you've had first-hand experience in your personal area of expertise in which you've reviewed and very effectively criticized the kooks' "evidence," and then watched them squirm, dodge and evade the criticism, and cling to false positions in spite of the evidence, you've probably acquired an even more sensitive nose for sniffing out kookiness. I really do think that there are traits/characteristics that we pick up on when confronted with nuts and charlatans. The con is always the same, and the "logic" always has a similar flavor of taint to it. You might not always be able to put your finger on it explicitly, but I think that with enough life experience, sensing that something is off is a pretty reliable method of avoiding wasting your time. J
  3. Sure, some music can communicate some emotions to some people (and by "communicate," I mean convey the composer's intended meaning), especially when accompanied by "outside considerations," such as the images and storyline of a film which it is a part of. Most music, without accompanying "outside considerations" does not. It's very common fo I ndividuals to experience differing emotions and meanings in the same piece of music. The same is true of colors and non-representational shapes. Whether they're the components of architecture or absract paitings, some works can communicate to some people. An "outside consideration" which I don't think most people consider is conditioned response. After decades, or even centuries, certain arrangements of musical components become known as representing certain meanings due to their having been tied to those meanings via outside considerations for very long periods of time. Then an original creator comes along, refuses to employ those old cliches, and produces new sounds and expressions that most people call "noise," and only a small percentage of people recognize as exciting and amazingly expressive. Eventually the new style becomes a part of the established "vocabulary," and the traditionalists move on to opposing the next new contribution. So, yes, musicians study, but they also innovate. They generally explore how new and different arrangements affect them as individuals, rather than how effectively they can precisely communicate meaning as if they were writing a novel or essay using an established vocabulary. In my experience as a musician who has created with countless other musicians, a part of the need to reject the old, established cliches is that they often don't evoke what they're said to evoke. Basically, something like this: "Traditionalist musical society says that musical phrase X evokes 'yearning,' but I've never felt it as evoking yearning when it's not accompanied by images and/or lyrics about yearning, so what musical arrangement that I can come up with expresses, on its own, 'yearning' to me?" i don't remember ever having jammed with someone who wanted to follow an established vocabulary rather than his or her own ear and heart. Certainly. A rapid tempo generally coveys energy. But what does that mean? What does it make people feel? It could be interpreted in many different possible ways: fun, exciting, adventurous, frantic, intimidating, out-of-control, or violent, etc. Again, the exact same is true of the absract colors and forms of architecture and abstract paintings: bright, saturated colors convey energy where muted neutrals convey the opposite, and the bright colors' energy can be interpreted in as many different ways as a strong tempo can, and the same us true of slow tempos and desaturated colors: they could be taken to be calm, restful, pleasant, comforting, listless, dull, boring, passionless or dying, etc. Indeed! But there are also other possible interpretations to atonal music other that horror. Many fans of atonal music say that the expression that they are most fond of hearing in it is freshness. They describe it as a spring breeze blowing through an open window. Yes, music can be very meaningful, but it doesn't have to be objective in order to pull that off. Sometimes many people might have similar experiences and find similar meanings. In other cases, most people won't. Music is an abstract art form: it contains elements which are non-representational, but which we nevertheless subjectively find to be similar to things in reality in certain ways, and which we therefore experience as having meaning. Tempo is like a heart beat or a motor or a foot race or a fight. Orange and yellow are like the sun or fire or fruit or urine. Each person experiences what each abstract element means to him or her via what in reality they subjectively interpret it to be most similar to. So, of course the odds are that several people will experience the same or similar sums. J
  4. Well, certain members here have been saying that there is an Objectivist sense of life, and only one, and they've also tied that position to at least implicit statements about others not "integrating" the philosophy well enough, and have also sort of mimicked Rand and her old inner circle in advising others to "check their premises." In other words, the behavior appears to be following the very typical tack of parroting Rand while posing as being highly moral, intellectually superior, and properly "integrated." But, at the same time, the proof is missing. So, it looks like bluff and bluster, and the type that I've seen Objectivists attempt for decades. Perhaps it's not. We'll see. J
  5. False.You were asked to prove something; to back up statements and positions with research and testing. In response, rather than offering any proof, you asserted that one does not prove philosophical tenets the same way one does special science theory via research or testing.Well, there is no other means of proving anything. What do you imagine that the concept “proof” means? You seem to be saying that there is some method other than scientific research and testing which can quality as proof. If that’s what you’re saying, then please identify what that method consists of. Please identify the non-scientific method of proof that you think philosophy employs in establishing its tenets.There is no such method. Proof is proof. Therefore, when you stated that philosophy isn’t like science and doesn’t prove philosophical tenets in “the same way,” what that means, logically, is that one doesn’t have to prove anything in philosophy! See? Understand?Meanwhile, you’ve written a lot on this irrelevant side-issue, but still haven’t provided any proof of the initial position that a sense of life, or any other emotional state, can be reliably integrated with a fully conscious and explicit philosophy. Um, I think what you need to do is to review your own posts. Ever heard the old Swedish proverb, "Sweep first before your own door, before you sweep the doorsteps of your neighbors”? It means that you should apply your standards to yourself prior to applying them to others.Let’s inspect a couple of example items from your doorstep:"You appear to have been infected with the upside down view of philosophy.”Oooh! INFECTED!!!"Listen, if you want to debate the Oist conception of objectivity, start a thread on it. As it stands you don't appear familiar with it.”That’s kind of bossy and snarly. Ordering me what to do! And there’s that unsupported claim that I don’t understand the Objectivist concept of “objectivtiy.” Notice that, after that false assertion of yours, I provided evidence to back up my position, and challenged you to refute it. You haven’t done so. Why not? You seem to have plenty of time to post here about side issues and other distractions. Maybe you should prioritize. Maybe try harder to focus on and address the main substance being discussed. Please, give it a try! Please get back to the substance instead of skirting it or postponing it. Back up your assertion that I’m not familiar with the Objectivist concept of “objectivity.” If you don’t, then your statement complies with the definitions of “bluff" and "bluster." You don’t seem to know what a strawman is. You attempt to force inquiries into the category of strawmen. You infer negative judgments and disingenuousness where none exist. Answering the questions would be much simpler and more effective than all of this side-issue sensitivity and distractions stuff. The above is another example of your not sweeping your own doorstep first. It’s snarly, and has the vibe of your unwillingness to even consider the possibility that you might be contributing to others’ misunderstandings. The failure must be the fault of others! As I said, it’s a two-weay street. But you seem to like — perhaps even need — to believe otherwise. Anyway, please do come back and address the actual substance and challenges that I’ve laid down for you. J
  6. I really don't know what the proposed and hoped-for "objective conceptual vocabulary" of music could possibly entail, but it seems that it's supposed to be something like a language or mathematical equation: Certain arrangements/conbinations of musical elements -- notes, chords, rests, tempo, etc. -- are to add up to and communicate one specific meaning, allowing for no rational disagreement or differences in interpretation. In other words, the chord structure of G then D then C then back to G would equal the concept of, say, "contentment," just as the letters in the word "contentment" add up to and signify the concept "contentment," or just as the numerical elements of "3 plus 4 equals 7." No, they're not bound to have the same sense of life. And the argument that others are not as well "integrated" philosophically is a illogical circular argument. How do we determine that someone is properly integrated? By looking at what we take to be their sense of life, and it's not matching out own? And, since we each self-judge ourselves as being properly integrated and having the proper sense of life, then everyone else who doesn't share ours is not properly integrated and has an inferior sense of life? Heh. That's not exactly objectivity in action. It skips right over the notion of proof and falsifiability, ignores the requirements of identifying, objectively measuring and applying clearly defined, rational standards, and actually proving one's position. In short, it sounds more like a defensive psychological maneuver attempting to disguise insecurity than anything else. And a transparent attempt at that! It's an old ploy, and suggests that its user is so inexperienced as to not recognize the inadvertent admission of naiveté that he's making in using it. J
  7. Another possible explanation is that musical interpretations and tastes are subjective, and two different people who have very similar outlooks on life, similar "senses of life," and identical philosophical beliefs can interpret musical styles very differently due to each person necessarily having very different -- individual -- life experiences: they each relate any piece of music to their own personal experiences, as opposed to the idea that the same experiences should be communicated via an objective "conceptual vocabulary." The same is true of the other abstract art forms, such as architecture, dance, abstract painting, etc. J
  8. Based on what? How would you propose to objectively prove that you've identified others' senses of life? J
  9. Additional options are that she exempted herself from her own statement about not being able to identify others' senses of life (SHE could identify others' senses of life, but no one else could rise to that ability); or she used the term with different meanings (when she spoke of the American sense of life, she was talking about an overall impression or vibe that she felt rather than something that she could state with objective certainty -- she was generalizing, of perhaps even expressing her hope or expectation of what Americans might or ought to be). J
  10. Of course it fails to project those virtues by the standard that you mention. So, what can we logically conclude? We have two options: 1) Rand's novel, We The Living, according to her own stated theory, reveals that she held a "malevolent universe premise," or 2) the aesthetic theory which misdiagnoses artists such as her as having a "malevolent universe premise" must be flawed and is need of revision. So, how do we decide. Rand wrote quite a lot on her views of man and existence, including the fact that she held the same basic views and sense of life since as far back as should could remember. From all of her many writings, it's clear that she did not have a "malevolent universe premise." She explicitly told us so herself. Many times! So, should we believe her, or should we believe that we can know her own mind better than she knew it herself based on our aesthetically Rorschaching one of her novels? Which is more likely true? Was her theory about novels and happy endings true without exception, or was everything she said about her own metaphysical view of existence true? Occam's Razor again: the idea that her theory needs some corrections requires the fewest assumptions. J
  11. As Rand said, you can't know the sense of life of other people, including your best friend. So all of this is subjective speculation about something that you can't objectively measure or know. J
  12. Indeed! Objectivism stands for individuality, so it's often disturbing to me to see Objectivists looking to conform to an alleged "Objectivist Sense of Life," and to imply or outright state that other individuals aren't quite up to par and Objectivist enough, or fully "integrated," if they have differing tastes, interpretations and preferences in music. An additional factor that Objectivists rarely address is knowledge and experience with the various arts. I've worked professionally as a visual artist for over four decades. Might it be possible that I have some knowledge and experience in regard to visual art that others lack? Might it be reasonable to expect that I can observe more in a painting than people who have practically no knowledge or and experience with the art of painting? I have very little exposure to the medium of dance. I have friends who are very into dance, and very knowledgeable and experienced. I don't take it as an insult that they observe and understand much more than I do in a dance performance. So, again, when discussing judging art, we have to take into account the viewer's or listener's level of competence at judging art. Art is like a transmission. The artist is is a transmitter who is sending a message via his art, and consumers are the receivers. Rand only addressed the notion of judging the transmitter and his message, but neglected to recognize the need to also judge the receivers. The fact that a message is misunderstood by a receiver doesn't necessarily mean that the transmitter or transmission is at fault. There is also the possibility that the receiver failed. It is not logical to assume that all receivers are of equal ability to receive transmissions clearly. Yes, the concept of sense of life is under explored, not to mention under developed. Philosophically, it the equivalent of a strong hunch. It needs more work. It needs some science and proof to back it up, rather than mere introspection. And don't get me wrong. I like the concept, or at least most of it. J
  13. And upon what did she base that opinion? Anyone could assert that anything will one day be found to be objective once scientific knowledge expands! Why socialists and communists could say that socialism and communism will one day have objective proof which will prove that those systems are right. But that's not the way that philosophy works. Objectivist philosophy in particular deals with reality, and with actuals and not potentials. It is supposed to be based only on what exists, not what is hoped to one day exist. J
  14. That's only your subjective interpretation of the piece of music, and it's by no means the only possible interpretation. Breathy, elongated tones could also be taken to be expressions of yearning and desire, among many other possibilities. Besides, even if such a musical style were intended to be an expression of sighs or frustration, it doesn't logically follow that the artist who created the piece views all of existence as helplessness and futility. Art is not anywhere near to being that simplistic. A sigh might express disappointment at something stupid or painful that happened, but it does not logically follow that because an artist addressed such content in his work then he therefore has that view as the essence of existence, and he has a horrible "sense of life." I think you're demonstrating the reality of what Rand said about our inability to know others' senses of life based on such limited information. To repeat, she quite rationally stated that you can't know the senses of life of fictional characters, and most likely not even of your best friend; you might know the sense of life of a long-term romantic partner, but no one beyond that. She also said that sense of life is not a valid criterion of objective aesthetic judgment. You don't know musicians' senses of life based on your subjective interpretations of their art, and your sense of life responses are indeed still not a valid criterion of objective aesthetic judgment. J
  15. Sorry that you misunderstood, but in the full context of the discussion, I thought it was clear that I don't think that there will be a "conceptual vocabulary" for music. It's not possible. That's not how it works. Such vocabularies aren't discovered to already exist. Rather, they are created, and the used, not the other way around. Music affects us without having an objective vocabulary. J
  16. No, that's mistaken. Rand was not identifying a means by which to judge someone else's sense of life. Rather, she was saying DO NOT JUDGE IT, and INSTEAD judge their phiosophical convictions. There is no philosophical premise of the music until there is first an objective "conceptual vocabulary." Your interpretations of music via believing that you're objectively identifying it's sense of life contradicts Objectivism on at least a couple levels. First, Rand explicitly stated that our musical tastes are a subjective matter. That includes you. You don't get to exempt yourself. Second, regardless of whatever "sense of life" you may believe that you're detecting in a work of music, Rand explicitly stated that sense of life is not a valid criterion of objective aesthetic judgment! Thirdly, your, or anyone else's interpretation of a work of art are not the final say. There is the possibility that you or any other listener or viewer may be mistaken in his interpretation. Anyone might be aesthetically inept in regard to certain works or genres of art. True objectivity would require us to not only judge that artist's abilities, but to first find a means of judging the judges' fitness to judge. We're not all aesthetically equal and competent. We're not all equally observant, experienced and technically knowledgeable of all of the arts. Art is not a simplistic math formula. It didn't automatically earn a "malevolent" rating simply because it might include what you personally interpret to be horror or pain. People can scream for many reasons other than horror or pain, including heroic reasons. So, again, in order to be truly objective, we'd have to rely on something other than your subjective interpretation when attempting to judge how well the artist performed his task of expressing his views: we would need the elusive "conceptual vocabulary," but we'd also need an objective standard of judging hoe well he artistically used that vocabulary, which woul mean that we'd need to have acces to knowing his intentions in creating the art by some means outside of the art. No, you're not. Rather, what you're trying to do is to find a work-around which skips the "conceptual vocabulary." You're trying to smuggle in your personal subjective interpretations of music as objective interpretations. You're just arbitrarily ignoring Rand's explicit statement that your musical tastes and responses must be treated as a subjective matter. That doesn't work. Anyone with differing tastes could do the same. Then it just becomes a meaningless shouting match, with each person asserting that his own musical responses are truly proper objective ones, when none of the are. No ones musical tastes and interpretations become objective simply because they assert that they are. Actual proof would be required. That would mean the identification of a "conceptual vocabulary," which would include its being demonstrated in action: one would have to show people reliably "reading" the conceptual content of music using the explicitly identified method of vocabulary. There are no work-a rounds. J
  17. False. One DOES prove philiposophical tenets, that is unless one's philosophy has nothing to do with reality! One must first observe the nature of reality and study the entities to which one will be applying philosophy. Perhaps you're confusing philosophy in general with axiomatic proposals? Axioms, and axioms alone, don't require proof. It does not follow that all of philosophy therefore requires no proof. "Existence is identity. Consciousness is identification." One must actually observe entities in order to identify their natures. One can't just start with the axioms and then, without observing either humans or giraffes, reason one's way to what type of entities humans or giraffes are or should be. Just like science, philosophy obeys reality, and must be shown to conform to it. You seem to think that philosophy trumps everything and that reality conforms to it. That's false, and highly anti-Objectivist as well. That's what would be an "upside down view of philosophy." The above is all bluff and bluster. Instead of addressing substance, you're attacking the person opposing you. As for your false assertion that I don't appear to be familiar with the Objectivist concept of objectivity, my earlier formulation of the concept was taken from Peikoff' OPAR. So, you're saying that Peikoff doesn't understand the Objectivist concept of objectivity, but you do? Instead of just bluffing and emptily asserting that I'm wrong and uniformed, you might consider backing up your attacks and accusations with some reasoning and proof. You say that I don't understand the Objectivist concept of objectivity. Well, I've defined it here by giving Peikoff's summation of Rand's views on the subject (I'd give Rand's instead if she had ever offered her typical, direct, concise definition of "objectivity," but she neglected to do so, but instead left only rather dispersed comments on the specific concept). But you apparently know Objectivism better than Peikoff and Rand, so, back it up: identify the Objectivist concept of "objectivity" and demonstrate how I (and Peikoff and Rand) have gotten it all wrong! Prove it! And, yes, you do have to prove it. You can't get out of proving it by falsely asserting again that philosophy isn't like science and doesn't have to prove anything. No need to get so worked up and huffy! Have I misunderstood you? If so, I apologize. Please help me to understand your position. In the context of the discussion at hand -- music and the inability to judge it objectively, and also Rand's hope and expectation that one day we would find a means of judging music objectively -- what relevance does integrating one's sense of life with one's explicit philosophy have to the discussion? And I do sincerely apologize if I've misunderstood, but let me explain. I've experienced this same discussion multiple times in the past. In my experience, students of Objectivism are usually unaware of Rand's position on music's not having a means of being judged objectively. They tend to find that fact disappointing, if not dismaying, and then they usually begin to ponder ways by which to make musical responses objective. One of the standard tacks that they take is to assert that they have rigorously reprogrammed and fully integrated all of their emotions with their explicitly held philosophical beliefs, and have succeeded to the point of no longer having subjective emotions, but of having reached the ideal state of being purely objective, including in sense of life, and therefore also in their ability to judge music objectively. I took you, and others here, to be heading down that worn out old dead end road. If I was mistaken, then, again, I apologize. Indeed, but discussions always potentially involve some misunderstanding or confusion. It's a two-way street. You want to be better understood? Great, then make better arguments, make them more clearly, and, most important of all, provide proof to back them up. Not to keep harping on it, but philosophical arguments do require proof, just like science. Please, try to calm yourself. I wasn't building strawmen or proposing anything. I was ASKING QUESTIONS in order to clarify my understanding of what you're saying. See, questions are not statements. They are inquiries. Anyway, you seem to have a thing for accusing others of making "strawmen," but you don't seem to understand what the term means. It means to assign to your opponent a position that they don't hold, and then to beat up on that position. Asking someone to clarify his position doesn't qualify. To ask a question is not to assign a person a position. Besides, after asking the questions, I made no attempt to beat up on any of the potential answers that you might give, so my inquiries don't qualify as strawmen on either of the two criteria: I did not assign a position to you, and I did not beat up on a position that I assigned to you. By what objective, scientific means do you propose to observe their emotional states? The question was not whether or not their actions matched their explicitly held philosophy, but how you would propose to objectively measure how well their emotions and philosophy were integrated. See, what I'm asking is how you expect to be able to objectively, scientifically identify which emotions others are experiencing. It would not be objective or scientific to rely on their self-reporting of their emotions, and emotions cannot be reliably observed through others' actions. For example, a person might hold the explicit philosophical view that stealing even the smallest amount of anything is immoral, but yet he is tempted to steal a piece of cake that he hasn't paid for at a buffet's desert cart, and, although emotionally he feels some anger and resentment about his philosophy instructing him not to steal it, he ultimately decides to follow his philosophy rather than his emotions. Outwardly, he hasn't expressed his emotions, and his actions don't reveal his emotions: he felt the emotion of resentment, but all you see is that his actions show that he has complied with his stated beliefs, and you conclude, falsely, that his emotions and philosophy are properly integrated. Therefore, you cannot objectively measure, or even infer, another person's emotions by his actions. J
  18. False. Roark did act as a vigilante. He took matters into his own hands rather than pursuing justice through the justice system. Prior to that, however, he committed the fraud of passing if his work as someone else's, and knowingly and intentionally violated the rights of others not to hire him. He specifically secretly pushed his way onto the project despite stating that he knew that the owners would not want to hire him. as for your statement about drugs, and police brutality, again, your views are false. Objectivism stands for rights. Period. It doesn't become nonchalant about people's right to put whatever they wish into their own bodies just because you may not like their choices. You state that retaliating against brutal cops is criminal. Indeed it is, but the issue is not criminality, but morality. In the context of a fictional work, lethal retaliation against an evil cop can be consistent with Objectivism. In a corrupt system in which individuals have no recourse to rational justice, it would be perfectly moral to go vigilante. It is amusing to me that you seem to belive that taking matters into one's own hands and destroying others' property is acceptable in response to something as minor and harmless as a disagreement over a building's aesthetic design, but people being beaten and murdered under a corrupt system don't have the right to similarly take matters into their own hands. False. Remember the novel We The Living? I keep bring it up, but people keep ignoring it or evading it. The characters pursue their values, but nevertheless fail. Being unable to succeed does not logically imply malevolent universe premise or anti volition. Characters are shown choosing and pursuing their values. That's sufficient to demonstrate/express a pro volition vision. And characters ultimately failing doesn't automatically equal malevolent universe. In the vast majority of artworks in which characters struggle their hardest and yet fail, it's not the universe or existence that has defeated them, but usually other people, just as in We The Living. Your position is too simplistic and one-size-fits-all. Before mistakenly judging art as being "malevolent universe premise," first apply your standards of judgment to We The Living to see if you're applying a double standard which exempts Rand's art from accusations of being "anti volition" or "malevolent universe premise." J
  19. Yes, you supplied quotes, but quotes aren't proof of a philosophical position. Where is the research to back up the claim that a sense of life, or any other emotional state, can be reliably integrated with a fully conscious and explicit philosophy? To me it seems that you're looking for a way to allow your emotional reactions to be considered "objective." It's like a shortcut. It's like saying, "No, I didn't carefully consider all of the evidence involved in this case, test any theories, or contemplate rigorous criticisms. Rather, I just felt my emotional response. But that's just as good, because I've previously integrated all of my explicit philosophy, so now my emotions count as being objective even though I didn't actually follow Rand's requirement that each individual case under consideration must follow the specific process of volitionally adhering to reality via logic and reason using a clearly defined objectivist standard of judgment. I've graded myself as having properly integrated my emotions, so now I can just skip the step of actual objectivity." In what context? All contexts? A child born under political tyranny and deprivation should have the same "proper" sense of life as a child born under freedom and wealth? A young man who has spent his life in slavery should have a "sense of life consistent with having objective values"? How would you objectively measure Objectivists' levels of philosophical and emotional integration? J
  20. I've been comparing Objectivists' interpretations and responses to artworks for a decade and a half now, and they definitely don't all respond the same or interpret individual works the same. Not at all. The only one thing that they appear to have in common is that, when facing differences of artistic interpretation and response, a very high percentage of them take the position that they are right and everyone else is wrong -- they each believe that they have more properly integrated Objectivism than all of their fellow Objectivists, and have acquired more the ultimate in rational command over their senses of life and all other emotions, and they've become instant experts at interpreting and evaluating art. J
  21. All of reality IS NOT objective. Objectivity is a process. It's mental activity. Some mental activity is subjective. J
  22. Very well said! Darkness in art doesn't mean that the artist or fans of his work are anti-man, nihilistic, or whatever. That's way too simplistic and naive of an interpretation. Dark works, such as We The Living, are usually explorations into how we handle adversity. To me, Rand's view of art is that it boils down to a simulation experience as a model-building guide to living. It's like stepping into a Star Trek holodeck. The idea isn't limit yourself to sunshine and bunnies and happy gumdrop fun times, but also to challenge yourself, and to experience some fears and few brushes with potential anguish and other bad things in order to prepare and fortify yourself. It's about growing and becoming stronger, not confining yourself to your innate "sense of life" preferences. J
  23. You are correct! But, despite the fact that Rand never mentioned the lack of objective "conceptual vocabularies" for any of the other art forms other than music, she never actually identified any either, other than that of literature (which would need no one pointing out its conceptual vocabulary since it's readily self-apparent that literature deals with language, which is by definition a conceptual vocabulary). Neither Rand nor any other Objectivist has ever proven/demonstrated that non-literary works can actually reliably meet her criteria for art: It has not yet been shown that, say, dance or visual art can communicate "artists' meanings" without the viewer having access to "outside considerations" (such as concert program notes, gallery placards, or other external sources of artistic intentions). I've done a lot of testing of people's abilities, or lack thereof, to implement Rand's criteria for art, and for "esthetic judgment," including many Objectivists (or regular posters at Objectivist sites). Of all of the many samples of visual art that I've posted over the many years, no one in an Objectivist forum has yet succeeded in complying with Rand's requirements. Nothing -- no realistically painted images -- yet qualifies as art. Despite those paintings presenting realistic likenesses of objects from reality, no one has identified their thematic subjects or meanings. And beyond that, I've even posted very famous, world-renowned and almost-universally adored realistic paintings by Romanticist artists such as J. M. W. Turner which certain viewers here at OO couldn't distinguish from abstract art, "toddler art," or what one called "lesser art." I think such little tests and the responses reveal that there's quite a lot of philosophical work that needs to be done to firm up the positions taken by Objectivism in regard to art and aesthetics. There's a lot of proof missing to back up the theories and conclusions. Or, conversely, there are a lot of aspects of the theory of Objectivist Esthetics that need reconsideration and revision. J
  24. My answer is that there is no way to objectively determine if any work of music is "compatible with Objectivism" or not, and that there will not be a way unless and until someone discovers and objectively identifies the missing "conceptual vocabulary" that Rand mentioned as being required for making objective judgments of music. J
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