Physics and Metaphysics of Music and Essays on the Philosophy of Mathematics

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Why even have twelve-tone themes? Why bother with pitch at all?

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Edgar Varese rejected the twelve-tone system as arbitrary and restrictive. His noise was still formulated; it was organized. There were indications in the score as to exactly when the boiler should explode. What was needed, according to John Cage — , was to have absolutely no organization. Typical of Cage were compositions whose notes were based on the irregularities in the composition paper he used, notes selected by tossing dice, or from the use of charts derived from the Chinese I Ching.

Those were his more conventional works. He presented concerts of kitchen sounds and the sounds of the human body amplified through loudspeakers. Let us say Yes to our presence together in Chaos.

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What was the purpose of all this? Cage did for music what Rousseau did for political philosophy. Aristotle said that nature defined not only what man is, but what he should be. There is no purpose in man or nature; existence is therefore bereft of any rational principle. Rousseau asserted that man by nature was not a social or political animal endowed with reason. What man has become is the result, not of nature, but of accident. And the society resulting from that accident has corrupted man. Only by accident did man come into association with others.

Somehow, this accident ignited his reason. He began to live in the esteem of others instead of in his own self-esteem. Rousseau knew that the pre-rational, asocial state of nature was lost forever, but thought that an all-powerful state could ameliorate the situation of alienated man. The state is the vehicle for bringing people together so that they can be apart: a sort of radical individualism under state sponsorship. It is necessary to pay this much attention to Rousseau because Cage shares his denigration of reason, the same notion of alienation, and a similar solution to it.

But what is its own accord? In reality, our community is a community for separation. Nor could Cage have made the same point in his art more clearly.

Philosophy from mathematics - Trace Hill - TEDxLSSU

The orchestra and dancers rehearsed separately and appeared together for the first time at the premiere performance. The audience is left to make of these random juxtapositions what it will. There is no shared experience — except of disconnectedness. The dancers, musicians, and audience have all come together in order to be apart.

According to Cage, the realization of the disconnectedness of things creates opportunities for wholeness. People are alienated from themselves because they are living in the esteem of others. In fact, Cage repeatedly insisted on the integrity of an external reality that exists without our permission. It is a good point to make and, as far as it goes, protects us from solipsists of every stripe. Man violates this integrity by projecting meanings upon reality that are not there.

That, of course, is the distortion of reality at the heart of every modern ideology. For Cage, however, it is the inference of any meaning at all that is the distorting imposition. If creation does not speak to us in some way, if things are not intelligible, are we? From the traditional Western perspective, it leaves us completely adrift.

The Greco-Judeo-Christian conviction is that nature bespeaks an intelligibility that derives from a transcendent source. Speaking from the heart of that tradition, St. Noise is incapable of pointing beyond itself. Noise is the black hole of the sound world. It sucks everything into itself. If reality is unintelligible, then noise is its perfect reflection, because it too is unintelligible.

Having endured the worst, the twentieth century has also witnessed an extraordinary recovery from the damage inflicted by Schoenberg in his totalitarian systematization of sound and by Cage in his mindless immersion in noise. Some composers, like Vagn Holmboe — in Denmark, resisted from the start. Others, like John Adams b. It is worth examining, even briefly, the terms of this recovery in the works of these two composers because their language reconnects us to the worlds of Pythagoras and Saint Clement. Their works are symptomatic of the broader recovery of reality in the music of our time.

His music reveals the constellations in their swirling orbits, cosmic forces, a universe of tremendous complexity, but also of coherence. It reflects nature, but not in a pastoral way; this is not a musical evocation of bird songs or sunsets. To say his work is visionary would be an understatement. What a thing is its essence is fully revealed through its completion its existence — through the thorough exploration of the potential of its basic materials.

The overall effect is cumulative and the impact powerful. Holmboe found his unique voice through a technique he called metamorphosis.

Form vs. Matter (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

The argument from history leads to creation ex nihilo , not so much in imitation of God as a replacement for Him — as was evident in the ideologies of Marxism and Nazism that plagued the twentieth century. The argument from nature leads to creation in cooperation with the Creator. Certainty of this order is the stimulus of music, and to recreate it and mirror it is the highest goal.

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For Holmboe to make such a remark reveals both his metaphysical grounding and his breathtaking artistic reach. This man was not simply reaching for the stars, but for the constellations in which they move, and beyond.

Holmboe strove to show us the cosmos, to play for us the music of the spheres. In other words, chaos is not the problem; chaos is easy. Cosmos is the problem. The whole piece is a kind of allegory about that quest for grace. What I really loved about the book, though is Nahin's enthusiasm. He is obviously just as nuts or more as I am about this outlandish subject of time travel, which Exploring Metaphysics. Available for immediate download.

This was an extraordinarily good lecture series. The science that explains the best way of thinking about the problem was always at the center of the lecture.

  • Shards (Book Two).
  • Essentials.
  • Physics And Metaphysics Of Music And Essays On The Philosophy Of Mathematics - Lazare Saminsky?
  • Nathan Salmon.
  • On Mathematics and Metaphysics.

I had not realize that most of my readings about science and philosophy had met at the intersection of metaphysics so nicely until I listened to this series. I will end up getting a book on metaphysics because I can't find any more on this topic at audible. For me, I hate reading and it's a real compliment to this lecturer because I'm even willing to read a book on the topic because of this lecture. I wish the author had more lectures or even a book out there but I can't seem to find any at Amazon.

There wasn't a single topic that he talked about that I didn't find exciting. He starts off by talking about the mind body dichotomy and what Douglas Reinhardt. I think of myself as a relatively scientific person Thecontent is dense You could probably break this book up into a number of small books and still not do it justice. Very impressive.

Nunez Encinitas, California. Over the past century or so most scientists have regarded mass and energy as nature's primary actors on the universal stage with information allowed only a secondary role. I will not attempt a comprehensive review here, just hit a few highlights. Check the web for more detailed reviews.

Why should one take this idea of [information-as-fundamental] seriously? A short answer addressed by several authors is that known physical laws, relativity, quantum mechanics, and thermodynamics, are all laws about information, especially limits on the speed, quantity, and quality of information transfer. Relativity limits speed; quantum mechanics limits quantity. The wave function of a system of quantum particles encapsulates all that is known about the system; it is essentially an information field.

It is not clear to me at least if the fundamental information envisioned here might be embedded in space-time as the usual quantum wavefunction or if the information may create space-time itself. Probably there are proponents on both sides of this question. What are the implications of this revolutionary new paradigm? For one thing it is bound to Usually ships within 1 to 2 months.

Haigh Cornwall United Kingdom. Basic Structures Of Reality expands on Colin McGinn's earlier works with their emphasis on the mysteries of consciousness to discuss other "hotbeds of mystery". It proposes that matter, motion, mass, energy and gravity are ultimately not fully accountable, not free of mysterious elements.

Natural philosophy

Instead we cognise only their mathematically revealed interrelations. What physical reality is actually like in itself is left as an open question - a great epistemological gap remains at its heart. Whilst advocating this form of structuralism, McGinn is careful to avoid positivism - he does this by adopting "extreme principled agnostic realism". He defends a realist interpretation of the basic categories of physics whilst recognising that "our concepts are quite inadequate to capture what is really going Available for download now.

A concise, accessible, enjoyable, responsible and rewarding survey of the historical development of the physicist's conception of space and time.

There's certainly a bit of math in the book, but not so much as to exclude the layperson. The descriptions and diagrams provided are about as clear as they can be, given the subject.