FA21 PHIL156

Notes: This course is currently scheduled for synchronous online instruction.

Philosophy and Music (PHIL156 Section 01)
Michael Lara

Mondays & Wednesdays  ·  11:00am–12:15pm  ·  COB–139

This course deals with two topics simultaneously—philosophy and music—and the ways in which they are inexorably intertwined. Over the course of the semester, we will examine possible answers to questions such as: What is music? Is music purely subjective? Can music be good or bad? What roles does music play in personal, cultural, and racial identity? Can (or should) we separate music from the musicians who create it? In trying to answer these questions, we will be picking apart selections of music and lyrics across many genres, from Mozart to Kendrick Lamar and beyond. These selections contain explicit and/or implicit connections to topics often covered in an introduction to philosophy course such as: What is real? How can we evaluate the difference between fact and opinion? Is morality relative? The central goals of this course are to introduce students to the difference between listening to music analytically versus critically and to foster the development of the skills and vocabulary required to analyze music from a philosophical perspective.

This course satisfies GE Arts & Humanities subarea C1.