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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000970.txt from 2000/09

From: (William Wright)
Subj: Re: [kl] Smiling and feelings (vs. music)
Date: Sat, 30 Sep 2000 00:02:14 -0400

Tony, I'd like to 'clear the deck" of a point on which I think we
agree; and then I will post my thought on what remains.

=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0<><> Art, as practised, was always the best
argument against Descartes, for its practitioners at least.

I think we are agreed that Descartes' "error" was his attempt to
divorce physical sensation from an imagined pure intellect. The fact
that audiences claim to find both physical pleasure and pure
intellectual pleasure in the same piece of music (or painting or
whatever), and the fact that competent artists can evoke both pleasures
from an audience, shows that Descartes was wrong. The two things --
intellect and physical sensation -- are intermingled somehow.

But other parts of your post assert (if I read them correctly) that
a true musician _must_ be unaware of at least some 'physical' reasons
why his or her performance succeeds: if it is totally understood, it
isn't art -- it's just engineering.
This is a common theme of midnight bull sessions. It applies just
as much to debates about religion and artificial intelligence as it does
to music. "If you are totally explicable and quantified, you are a
robot, not a human with a soul."
I think this is the core issue that separates us, and we have been
waltzing around it rather than looking it straight in the eye.
Do you agree that this is what we disagree about?

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