Religious music does weird things to me


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"Objectivishistic"? You must have a key programmed to put up the entire word by hitting it once. I prefer "Objectivishistically" because it's longer, therefore more impressive to hoi intellectual poll

Decent fellow just a bit touched in the head..

That would be "tetched in de head," curtesy of the Urban Dictionary...

slightly insane or crazy

Men leaving the toilet seat up makes women tetched i.e. mad

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I think you aren't getting what sort of "objective vocabulary" Rand thought would be developed for music: a kind of schema-of-flow graphing the emotions (supposedly) directly produced in all listeners by physiological processes triggered by particular combinations of tones - the baseline emotion to which she said listeners' "sense of life" emotions then respond.

Her desire was to be able to make such a statement as: "The physiologically-triggered emotional sequence of X composition is: sorrow -> tranquility -> hopefulness stirring -> resolve -> striving -> joy of victory."

The above is what I mean by saying that Rand expected a "language" of music to be discovered. She was expecting that music would translate into a language of emotions, and series of something akin to emotional "words" or "sentences" which would be combined to form a story, much like you did above. She believed that her personal, emotional interpretations of various sections of music would be shown to be the objectively correct interpretations, and that any other differing interpretations would be wrong. Totally, viciously, reality-denyingly wrong, and therefore evil.

Let me give some random chords as an example: Dm + A7 + E, might objectively equal, say, "sorrow." If so, it would be the objective-emotion-language equivalent of saying the word "sorrow." If you or I then took Dm + A7 + E to mean "serene" or "contemplative," we would be as wrong -- and as evil -- as if we had said that "sorrow" means "serene" or "contemplative."

What I described isn't a language. Rand thought that depersonalized emotions were physiologically produced in listeners, not that some sequence meant an emotion. If you read her suggested requirements of analysis, she wasn't talking about some set of chords having some sort of specific evoking power. The analysis she envisioned was a very complicated one. Also, you ignore her specifically saying that music cannot tell a story.

(As to how "evil" she'd call someone who said that "sorrow" means "serene" or "contemplative," I'll leave that to your imagining.)

Jonathan, on 04 Nov 2014 - 8:31 PM, said:

Her requirement was that, in order for something to qualify as art, it must communicate objectively intelligible subjects and meanings, just as literature can.

Where are you getting that statement about Rand's requirement? From something she said in a context pertaining to painting?

It wasn't just in the context of painting.

Rand said, "As a re-creation of reality, a work of art has to be representational; its freedom of stylization is limited by the requirement of intelligibility; if it does not present an intelligible subject, it ceases to be art."

Where? I think it was in that same essay, and that it was about visual art. Obviously she didn't think that music "has to be representational." Or architecture. Or dance either.

"Causeless and arbitrary" is not Rand's rational definition or usage of "subjective," but rather her highly emotional, irrational misidentification of the term. I think she may have actually had several definitions or meanings of "subjective," and most of them are just nonsensical outbursts. In other words, she had a lot of what MSK calls "normative before cognitive" ("evaluating before you have correctly identified") comments about the term "subjective," and she very rarely offered a reasonable identification of the term's meaning.

Her calm, rational identification of "subjective" was that it meant any content that is contributed to a judgment by a man's individual consciousness, and which cannot be proven to be inherent in the object.

Subjectivity is the state in which "a man cannot tell clearly, neither to himself nor to others and therefore, cannot prove which aspects of his experience are inherent in the object and which are contributed by his own consciousness."

That is what "subjective" means. That's the standard usage, and it represents Rand's usage at her most rational. Her comments about the "causeless and arbitrary" are nothing but her being philosophically frantic.

What you're quoting is her describing mankind's being "on the perceptual level of awareness" and "still in a state of early infancy" in regard to music. The statement is not offered as a definition of "subjectivity" and I wouldn't say it's standard usage. To say content is contributed by one's own consciousness isn't necessarily to say that one can't tell this.

I agree that she used "subjective" with different meanings in different contexts, but not that you're using it in the same way she was talking about with regard to music.

The way she viewed the situation can be analogized to the nature of atomic structure before and after the development of the Periodic Table of the Elements. Nothing in the nature of atomic structure has been changed by our developing a conceptual framework for categorizing and comparing elements.

Similarly, the way Rand thought of musical processing, the physiological registering of the emotional character of tone combinations already exists. We just don't know what it is.

The problem is that Rand's thoughts on musical processing don't take into account the fact that people have wildly differing experiences of which emotions any piece of music might evoke. The nature of music is that it does not evoke the same emotional responses in everyone. [....]

You mix up two things there, distinguished by Rand:

(1) the depersonalized emotion which she thought was conveyed; and

(2) the sense-of-life emotional response to that directly-evoked emotion.

She thought that people have different, maybe even "wildly different," sense-of- life responses but that all listeners "as a rule" identify the same depersonalized emotion.

Music conveys the same categories of emotions to listeners who hold widely divergent views of life. As a rule, men agree on whether a given piece of music is gay or sad or violent or solemn. But even though, in a general way, they experience the same emotions in response to the same music, there are radical differences in how they appraise this experience - i.e., how they feel about these feelings.

I don't think that Rand's theory of musical processing is correct - and what she describes as the way one listens to music is not the way I listen to music. However, I think that there is broad category commonality in the way people would describe the "emotion" of various musical selections. For instance, do you think that anyone would describe the "funeral march movement" of Chopin's Piano Sonata #2 as lighthearted gaiety (played with the original tempo and phrasing), or the "Minute Waltz" as dirge-like (again, with the original tempo and phrasing)?

Do you know of examples from [OO and/or SoloHQ] of self-styled Objectivists who claim that music is a kind of language?

I don't have examples that I could link to quickly. But, yes, I've seen Objectivishistic people assert that music is a type of language of emotions. Like Rand, [...].

Not like Rand, if they are describing music as a type of language.

Ellen

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Addendum re "Objectivish":

Objectivish is just a way of referring to someone who has an interest in Objectivism, and appears to agree with some of it, but doesn't call himself an "Objectivist."

But now I'm going to switch to a new term, because even though I called Marotta "Objectivish," Ellen is taking issue with it and reminding me that Marotta is not an Objectivist, even though I specifically avoided calling him one. So, since "Objectivish" now equals "Objectivist," I'm going to use "Objectivishistic" from now on.

J

Whatever term you use, I'll still take issue with your description of Marotta's post #20:

Marotta regurgitated a bunch of Objectivish cliches in his bluffing and blustering episode.

My point was that, no, Marotta didn't. He used two "Objectivish" or "Objectivishistic" terms, or whatever other categorization you want to use, "analytic-synthetic dichotomy" and "mind-body dichotomy." The rest of his post was "Marotta-ish," if you want a label.

The way you're now defining "Objectivish" or "Objectivishistic" or whatever, your posts castigating Rand on aesthetics - and any other comment by anyone at all influenced by and so much as referencing a Rand-affected thought - qualifies.

Ellen

PS: The thrust of Marotta's post was counter Rand in his saying that music as such can be "religious," whereas she said that such an abstraction as "religion" is too specific for music to convey. On that issue, you were actually in synch with Rand, whereas he wasn't.

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The quality of 'religiousness' (as distinct from religious) --exultation, etc. -- can certainly be conveyed in music, irrespective of its composer's inspiration and purpose, usually his religious worship of God. As there's no God, the emotion-consciousness is all-human - in its scope, by man, for man. (This was probably already covered here, or in Rand). I still get a kick out of singing Anglican hymns on the odd occasion, all in keeping with my admiration of a particularly grand church or cathedral.

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The quality of 'religiousness' (as distinct from religious) --exultation, etc. -- can certainly be conveyed in music, irrespective of its composer's purpose, usually his worship of God. As there's no God, the emotion-consciousness is all-human, by man, for man. (This was probably already covered here). I still get a kick out of singing Anglican hymns on the odd occasion, all in keeping with my admiration of a particularly grand church or cathedral.

As I see it, religious music is evidence of God. It is a uniquely transcendent mathematically logical nonverbal language that speaks directly to the heart. Worshiping God is a joyful state of being that uplifts and ennobles the human spirit.

I believe the pandemic of depression that created our mood altering pharmaceutical enslaved society is the natural result of the free choice to deny the reality of God in our lives. Once that logical objective reality has been denied... by default all that is left is crushing hopeless depression that gives rise to the inordinate irrational demand for alcohol and psychotropics to dull the emotional pain.

Greg

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The quality of 'religiousness' (as distinct from religious) --exultation, etc. -- can certainly be conveyed in music, irrespective of its composer's purpose, usually his worship of God. As there's no God, the emotion-consciousness is all-human, by man, for man. (This was probably already covered here). I still get a kick out of singing Anglican hymns on the odd occasion, all in keeping with my admiration of a particularly grand church or cathedral.

As I see it, religious music is evidence of God. It is a uniquely transcendent mathematically logical nonverbal language that speaks directly to the heart. Worshiping God is a joyful state of being that uplifts and ennobles the human spirit.

I believe the pandemic of depression that created our mood altering pharmaceutical enslaved society is the natural result of the free choice to deny the reality of God in our lives. Once that logical objective reality has been denied... by default all that is left is crushing hopeless depression that gives rise to the inordinate irrational demand for alcohol and psychotropics to dull the emotional pain.

Greg

Greg, That first is circular: If God created Man to worship Him -- then, of course (to a believer) Man worships Him through music etc., which "joyful state" will be taken as evidence for God.

Imagine for a moment that joyful state - without God...why should it be different?

The second, you know I've some agreement for. Wrongly, the converse of religious Faith is assumed to be agnostic skepticism, this can extend to nihilism. In the absence of 'meaning through God's purpose', there is much lack of purpose and meaning in many lives.

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Greg, That first is circular: If God created Man to worship Him...

He didn't... but it's a natural tendency to attribute our human emotional reactions to God. In my opinion, He doesn't need approval like people do. Acknowledging the reality of God is for our benefit... not God's.

-- then, of course (to a believer) Man worships Him through music etc., which "joyful state" will be taken as evidence for God.

When Handel wrote "The Messiah", it was the result of a personal experience of Something real enough in his own life to motivate him to create a transcendentally beautiful work of music.

Is there a possibility that he might have seen Something that other people simply do not see?

And when you hear it... do you get even just a tiny glimpse of what he saw?

Imagine for a moment that joyful state - without God...why should it be different?

Ultimately there can be no lasting happiness without gratitude. And God supplies our basic human need for a source of gratitude.

The second, you know I've some agreement for. Wrongly, the converse of religious Faith is assumed to be agnostic skepticism, this can extend to nihilism. In the absence of 'meaning through God's purpose', there is much lack of purpose and meaning in many lives.

While that's not always the case, it's certainly generally true.There's an old saying (paraphrased):

"People who don't believe in God don't believe in nothing... they'll believe in anything."

global warming... Utopia... big government... ideological purity... social justice... greenhouse emissions... carbon footprints... Obamacare :wink:

Greg

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What I described isn't a language. Rand thought that depersonalized emotions were physiologically produced in listeners, not that some sequence meant an emotion.

Rand's view was that specific sequences universally trigger or evoke specific emotions, and listeners then conceptualize those emotions (her view was that music operated in the reverse of the other arts). So, I think that the accurate way to say it would be that Rand thought that a musical sequence evoked an emotion, and then that the emotion communicated a concept. The melody and chords therefore only indirectly conveyed the concept -- the experiencing of the emotion was an integral step in the "language."

The chain was: Music > emotion > meaning.

The discovery of her hoped-for "conceptual vocabulary" would mean that there would be only one objectively valid emotion that could be experienced due to hearing a specific section of music, and the emotion would lead to only one objectively valid meaning. That's a language.

If you read her suggested requirements of analysis, she wasn't talking about some set of chords having some sort of specific evoking power.

Yes, she was. Her (mistaken) view was that a specific section of music would evoke the same emotion in everyone.

The analysis she envisioned was a very complicated one. Also, you ignore her specifically saying that music cannot tell a story.

There are a lot of things that Rand said about art that must be ignored or taken as contradicting everything else she said about it. I think that she meant that music cannot tell a story to the same degree or with the same amount of precision and detail that literature can. But she believed that it could indeed tell stories of "defiance" and "victory" and such. And I think that she believed that music would be much better at telling stories once the future "conceptual vocabulary" was discovered.

(As to how "evil" she'd call someone who said that "sorrow" means "serene" or "contemplative," I'll leave that to your imagining.)

It doesn't take any "imagining." Read Rand's own words. She very strongly, and very hatefully, vilified anyone who experienced in art what she did not, or who had a different interpretation than she did. It is not fanciful or whimsical to think that she would very likely do the same in all of her judgments of others' tastes and interpretations of art.

Rand said, "As a re-creation of reality, a work of art has to be representational; its freedom of stylization is limited by the requirement of intelligibility; if it does not present an intelligible subject, it ceases to be art."

Where? I think it was in that same essay, and that it was about visual art. Obviously she didn't think that music "has to be representational." Or architecture. Or dance either.

What do you mean "obviously"? Heh.

Um, re-read the first few words of the quote that I provided:

"As a re-creation of reality..."

Recognize them? They are the genus of Rand's definition or "art"!!! She is saying that anything that qualifies as art -- a re-creation of reality -- by her criteria HAS to be representational, and that her requirement of intelligibility applies to it. ALL ART. She classified music as a valid art form. Therefore, logically, she classified it as a "re-creation of reality," and therefore required it to be representational and objectively intelligible!

I think that the mistake you're making is one of a simple logic error. You seem to be saying that since Rand's comments that I quoted were said while she was discussing her hatred of abstract art, then those comments must only apply to abstract art. Non sequitur. Does not follow.

Anyway, Rand DID think that music, and all other art forms that she classified as valid, had to be representational, which is why she was hellbent on trying to make music qualify as being representational at some point in the future.

Her definition of art is that it must be representational -- it must "re-create reality." Her entire approach to art was to start with a mimetic theory that seemed to work well with literature, and to then try to force it onto the other art forms. Some of the other art forms, not being representational, then had to be adjusted to fit the theory, and therefore contradictions and double standards had to be introduced as fixes.

Her trick with music was to give it a pass based on assertions about future discoveries. Her trick with architecture was to place it in a special "class by itself" (a class which contradicted her criteria of art). Apparently it didn't occur to her that anyone could apply the same tricks to anything else, and therefore classify anything as art: Someday a "conceptual vocabulary" of abstract painting will be discovered, making it objective, and therefore we can objectively classify it as a legitimate art form today; I want furniture, automotive and product packaging design to qualify as art according to Objectivism's criteria, and therefore even though they serve utilitarian purposes and don't re-create reality, I will put them into special "classes by themselves" which magically allow them to be classified as re-creating reality while not re-creating reality, and as not serving utilitarian purposes while serving utilitarian purposes!

As for architecture and dance, Rand just didn't think any of it through. Her philosophy of aesthetics is so sloppy/hasty that she didn't take the time to apply her own criteria to the art forms that she accepted as valid. She didn't address the issue of architecture and dance not meeting her requirement of being mimetically representational and intelligible, but just kind of tried to gloss over it. She didn't write anything on the subject of architecture or dance that was philosophically disciplined, but merely advised her readers to review her fictional portrayal of architecture to understand her views on the subject, and just bluffed and blustered off the top of her head on the subject of dance.

She seems to have been blissfully unaware of her blatant contradictions and double standards of accepting architecture as a valid art form, at least until a Ford Hall Forum audience member asked her very late in life to clarify her contradictions during a Q&A. She fumbled in her answer, but the issue apparently stuck with her, because she is rumored to have reconsidered her views on architecture as an art form (which is why there is no entry on the subject in the Lexicon).

You mix up two things there, distinguished by Rand:

(1) the depersonalized emotion which she thought was conveyed; and

(2) the sense-of-life emotional response to that directly-evoked emotion.

She thought that people have different, maybe even "wildly different," sense-of- life responses but that all listeners "as a rule" identify the same depersonalized emotion.

I understand that that's what she believed, or wanted to believe. My point is that her opinion about listeners universally identifying the same depersonalized emotion is unwarranted. It is not something that she scientifically tested, but rather something that she merely asserted after introspecting and giving way too much weight to sloppily gathered samples of tainted anecdotal evidence that confirmed her biases.

Ayn Rand said

Music conveys the same categories of emotions to listeners who hold widely divergent views of life. As a rule, men agree on whether a given piece of music is gay or sad or violent or solemn. But even though, in a general way, they experience the same emotions in response to the same music, there are radical differences in how they appraise this experience - i.e., how they feel about these feelings.

Where's the proof of the above assertions of universal experiences of emotion? Where are the results of the tests that Rand performed in which she exposed test subjects to music while denying them access to "outside considerations," and where she applied the same standards which she used when rejecting abstract art because the emotions it evoked were too vague?

I don't think that Rand's theory of musical processing is correct - and what she describes as the way one listens to music is not the way I listen to music. However, I think that there is broad category commonality in the way people would describe the "emotion" of various musical selections. For instance, do you think that anyone would describe the "funeral march movement" of Chopin's Piano Sonata #2 as lighthearted gaiety (played with the original tempo and phrasing), or the "Minute Waltz" as dirge-like (again, with the original tempo and phrasing)?

The same is true of colors, and of color-palettes. Most people wouldn't describe a collection of cool dark grays and warm blacks as lighthearted gaiety, nor bright pinks, yellows and oranges as mournful. It's not enough to say what a song or a set of colors IS NOT (not lighthearted, not mournful, etc.). Rand requires us to say specifically what it IS. See, our understanding of Rand's standards of classification and judgment are informed by her rejection of abstract art. Abstract sounds -- music -- are just as vague and subjectivity-laden as abstract visuals. In fact, in my experience in testing Objectivists and Objectivishistics, music may be more vague than abstract visuals.

And let's not forget some of Rand's comments on various composers and works of music. Her opinions about their "malevolence" and such. Are we to take such silly views as representing the universal identifications of emotions conveyed by the music? The most common reaction that I hear from people about Rand's "identifications" of the emotional content of works of music is, "Seriously? WTF? How is she imagining hearing doom or defeat in this piece of music, or Romantic joy in that one?" Not exactly a ringing endorsement of Rand's view of universal emotion identification, or of her absolute confidence in her own musical connoisseurship and the inevitable objective superiority of her tastes!

J

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If you read her suggested requirements of analysis, she wasn't talking about some set of chords having some sort of specific evoking power.

Yes, she was. Her (mistaken) view was that a specific section of music would evoke the same emotion in everyone.

Then why differing reactions according to a person's "sense of life'?

For these discussions to have any staying power they need better referencing and a few more quotes.

--Brant

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If you read her suggested requirements of analysis, she wasn't talking about some set of chords having some sort of specific evoking power.

Yes, she was. Her (mistaken) view was that a specific section of music would evoke the same emotion in everyone.

Then why differing reactions according to a person's "sense of life'?

The same would be true of a person responding to literature. Let's say that an author wrote about someone being defiant in the face of collectivist statism. You would identify the art as being defiant. So would a collectivist/statist who read it. Yet you would each have different sense of life reactions to the defiance. You would see it as heroic. He would see it as criminal.

Same with music. Rand's theory was that both of you would identify the emotional content of a section of music as being, say, joyous. Yet you would each have different sense of life reactions to it. You would love the joyousness, where an existence-hating malevolent-universe-premiser would hate it.

J

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So differing emotions are evoked?

No, and then yes.

Rand's theory is that first the same emotions are evoked in each person. Then a second set of emotions kicks in as a sense of life evaluation of the first. The first set of emotions are what the composer put into the music. They are the language that he is speaking in intelligibly communicating his representational subject and meaning, as per required by Rand's criteria of art. As a listener, you "read" those emotions by experiencing them. Then the final step is that you either adore the composer and his art because it resonates with your own sense of life and view of existence, or you get super unbelievably pissed off because the music is a vicious attack on all that you value, or you're just bored and indifferent about it because it's neither a representation of your highest values nor an attack on them.

J

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I don't get that second set of emotions. It sounds like rationalizing to a desired conclusion. But I still don't know if that's you explaining Rand accurately. It sorta seems you are. No quotes and no references. Maybe later today I can read it in The Romantic Manifesto, but I won't be sure if I'm matching up with your conclusion. Unless you start referencing your remarks all we have are your assertions. You cannot even write a college term paper this way. The main purpose of a college term paper, aside from the experience of research and writing something no one else will ever care about, is to write something no one has to accept out of implicit authority. That would be like going swimming on an ice covered pond. You'd just lay there thrashing about. For that, I decline. So far you sound like a college professor lecturing his class. As a student I'm supposed to remember what he says so I can regurgitate it on his test, pushing his positive buttons. This is one of the reasons I dropped out of college. I refuse to put pretend knowledge into my head and knead it like dough. This is not the same as knowledge errors, this is unfalsifiable knowledge. If you're on the premise of knowledge falsification you never knowingly let unfalsifiable knowledge in in the first place. Unfortunately, this wasn't all that clear to me at the time and I got sucked into the same wrong place studying Objectivism in the 1960s. That took me years to turn the corner and head to recovery a la "the philosophy of Ayn Rand."

--Brant

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I don't get that second set of emotions. It sounds like rationalizing to a desired conclusion. But I still don't know if that's you explaining Rand accurately. It sorta seems you are. No quotes and no references

On the issue of the second set of emotions, Ellen quoted Rand, and I quoted Ellen quoting Rand:

Ayn Rand said

Music conveys the same categories of emotions to listeners who hold widely divergent views of life. As a rule, men agree on whether a given piece of music is gay or sad or violent or solemn. But even though, in a general way, they experience the same emotions in response to the same music, there are radical differences in how they appraise this experience - i.e., how they feel about these feelings.

If I have time this weekend I'll type up some more relevant excerpts.

J

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Ayn Rand said: Music conveys the same categories of emotions to listeners who hold widely divergent views of life. As a rule, men agree on whether a given piece of music is gay or sad or violent or solemn. But even though, in a general way, they experience the same emotions in response to the same music, there are radical differences in how they appraise this experience - i.e., how they feel about these feelings.

She makes sense...

It's easy to see using an example: Heavy metal music.

1366060582_1445_metal.jpg?itok=UqWA82wa

Everyone physically perceives the same sense of raw energy in heavy metal music.

Some perceive it as a manifestation of evil in this world, while others embrace it as their personal power in this world. So some people experience it as ugly degenerate and demonic... and yet for others it makes them feel exhilarated and powerful.

Two completely different emotional reactions to the same music.

Greg

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Oohh! I love evil!

I believe Ayn Rand might define that as a difference in "sense of life". :wink:

Greg

Seriously, I was speaking from an actor's perspective. Actors love to play the evil bad guy villain. If I were at least 25 years younger I'd be a great James Taggart. The only other major Randian character I'd like to do would be Gail Wynand. Not to say I should ever be actually cast in those roles. Gail is only a semi-villian and requires an extremely sophisticated interpretation while James is one demensional, "Is this where I start chewing on the rug?"

--Brant

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Gary Oldman does great villains. He can communicate a perfect combination of malevolence and cold blooded premeditation. One of his best was in the movie "The Professional" with Jean Reno. Christopher Walken infuses his villains with his own truly unique personality. We will watch any movie he's done regardless of role.

Greg

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She makes sense...

Many things seem to make sense prior to their being critically examined. Confirmation bias appears to be something that people fall for really easily.

It's easy to see using an example: Heavy metal music.

That's not a good example. "Heavy metal music" is a category, not an individual work of art. All works of music in a given category do not present the same emotions in the sense that Rand meant. Individuals experience different works of heavy metal music as containing/expressing different emotions, and those individuals often disagree with each other about the emotional content of each individual work of heavy metal.

All heavy metal may seem to be the same to you, but that doesn't mean that it's all the same to everyone else.

Everyone physically perceives the same sense of raw energy in heavy metal music.

Everyone does not perceive the same sense of raw energy in every work of heavy metal music.

Besides, "raw energy" isn't the type of thing that Rand was talking about. It's not specific enough. She required a much deeper identification of the emotional content of a work of art. After all, abstract paintings and sculptures which have commonly been described as conveying "raw energy" were rejected by Rand, as were such art forms as "performance art," which often contains "raw energy" in most viewers opinions.

Some perceive it as a manifestation of evil in this world, while others perceive it as their personal power in this world. So some people experience it as ugly degenerate and demonic... and yet for others it makes them feel exhilarated and powerful.

Two completely different emotional reactions to the same music.

You're absolutely right about that part. People have individual, subjective reactions to music. How they feel about the feelings that they feel that the music contains or evokes is highly subjective. There is no objective basis on which to conclude that a listener is right to interpret a work of music "as a manifestation of evil" versus an inspiration of "their personal power." Both are equally valid interpretations.

The one thing that we can know for sure, though, is that their reactions to others' interpretations are quite revealing. When a person needs to believe that his or her subjective tastes are objective and superior, and that others' tastes in music are sufficient psychological and moral indicators of their deficiency and inferiority, I think we're seeing the return of that strange human urge to witch-hunt.

J

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Ayn Rand said: Music conveys the same categories of emotions to listeners who hold widely divergent views of life. As a rule, men agree on whether a given piece of music is gay or sad or violent or solemn. But even though, in a general way, they experience the same emotions in response to the same music, there are radical differences in how they appraise this experience - i.e., how they feel about these feelings.

She makes sense...

It's easy to see using an example: Heavy metal music.

1366060582_1445_metal.jpg?itok=UqWA82wa

Everyone physically perceives the same sense of raw energy in heavy metal music.

Some perceive it as a manifestation of evil in this world, while others embrace it as their personal power in this world. So some people experience it as ugly degenerate and demonic... and yet for others it makes them feel exhilarated and powerful.

Two completely different emotional reactions to the same music.

Greg

That's insightful, but do you wonder 'why'?

There is no split between mind and emotions - unless one makes it so. Case in point, if one consciously places high value in what's overtly and clearly "ugly", one's emotions accurately follow suit and will be destructive.

Greg, a better explanation you might not be familiar with in The Virtue of Selfishness, from which this comes:

"Man has no choice about his capacity to feel that something is good for him or evil, but WHAT he will consider good or evil, what he will love or hate, desire or fear, depends on his standard of value.

If he chooses irrational values, he switches his emotional mechanism from the role of his guardian to the role of his destroyer.

The irrational is the impossible; it is that which contradicts the facts of reality; facts cannot be altered by a wish, but they can destroy the wisher."

The irrational, for Rand then, is not the emotional (or vice-versa) - it's the impossible or unreal.

And again the emotional is not 'subjective' - unless you made it so.

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That's insightful, but do you wonder 'why'?

There is no split between mind and emotions - unless one makes it so.

Indeed, Tony.

People are only primitive creatures of feelings until they make the conscious choice to become a being of thought, or even of Conscience.

Case in point, if one consciously places high value in what's overtly and clearly "ugly", one's emotions accurately follow suit and will be destructive.

I believe that low grade choice could only be made made unconsciously. :laugh:

Greg, a better explanation you might not be familiar with in The Virtue of Selfishness, from which this comes:

"Man has no choice about his capacity to feel that something is good for him or evil, but WHAT he will consider good or evil, what he will love or hate, desire or fear, depends on his standard of value.

I'd take her statement even further. The "feeling that something is good for him or evil" cannot be trusted.

"If he chooses irrational values, he switches his emotional mechanism from the role of his guardian to the role of his destroyer.The irrational is the impossible; it is that which contradicts the facts of reality; facts cannot be altered by a wish, but they can destroy the wisher."

That's simply beautiful. She acknowledges the truth that emotions are not an end in themselves, but serve something greater than themselves... values... which can be good or evil, as freely determined by the wish of the wisher.

The irrational, for Rand then, is not the emotional (or vice-versa) - it's the impossible or unreal.

Yes. Subjective emotions can be highly rational... when they serve rationality. :smile:

And again the emotional is not 'subjective' - unless you made it so.

While the functional end results can be the same... I have a different view concerning my relationship to objectivity. I see myself as a wholly subjective being. I can never be objective... not by subjective thought... not by subjective emotion. However, I can choose to subjectively agree with objectivity in thought and emotion...

...and as a result of that choice, act in harmony with it.

Greg

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