Volume 28, Issue 4, 2018
Philosophical Anthropology at the Crossroads
Musical Works as Ideal Objects
Phenomenology of Music and Its Implications for Philosophical Anthropology
In light of recent studies in the phenomenology of music, the essay engages anew in the classical phenomenological controversy over the ideal status of musical works. I argue that musical works are bound idealities. I maintain that the listener’s capacity to apperceive physical sounds as musical melodies, which can be repeatedly and intersubjectively experienced, accounts for the ideality of musical works. Conceived of as bound idealities, musical works 1) are bound to the acts that sustain them; 2) do not have retroactive validity; 3) are inseparable from their reproductions; 4) are modified by the performances. I conclude with some reflections on the importance of bound idealities for the phenomenologically-oriented philosophical anthropology.