The Limits of Analysis and the Need for History

Lydia Goehr

in The Imaginary Museum of Musical Works

Published in print October 1994 | ISBN: 9780198235415
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191597503 | DOI:
The Limits of Analysis and the Need for History

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Presents an argument against the analytic approach. In each case, its inadequacies are argued to stem from either unsatisfactory or indecisive stands on the relation between the theory and the phenomena. In an attempt to be scientific or naturalistic, these theories seek ahistorical definitions of cultural concepts. Such definitions result in what Adorno calls a ‘false clarity’ and create an unbridgeable rift between theory and musical practice. The argument does not assume that harmony between theory and practice can be reached. It is an argument rather for the indispensability of history in the philosophical treatment of concepts.

Keywords: analysis; concepts; definition; practice; theory

Chapter.  7788 words. 

Subjects: Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art

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