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Kant's Theory of Musical Sound: An Early Exercise in Cognitive Science1

  • Robert E. Butts (a1)

Extract

Kant is well known as the philosopher who spent his life hunting for a prioris, philosophically identifiable characteristics of the make-up of human beings. These characteristics are species-universal, and are necessary presuppositions of the possibility of the success of various kinds of cognitive and cultural strategies. Kant bagged some big game. Space, time and the categories are a priori conditions of the possibility of human cognition. God, freedom and immortality are a priori conditions of the possibility of morality. The sensus communis is the a priori condition of the possibility of the universalization of judgments of taste. The hard-won trophies are presuppositions of possibilities. Once they were thought to be properties of a universe well ordered by a substantive god. No longer. Now we must look upon them as entrenched contributions of what it is to be human, as preconditions of human potentialities.

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References

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Butts, Robert E. 1992 “Tickles, Titillations, and the Wonderful Accidents of Sounds. Galileo and the Consonances.” In Coehlo, Victor, ed., Music and Science in the Age of Galileo. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers.
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Dialogue: Canadian Philosophical Review / Revue canadienne de philosophie
  • ISSN: 0012-2173
  • EISSN: 1759-0949
  • URL: /core/journals/dialogue-canadian-philosophical-review-revue-canadienne-de-philosophie
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