[ExI] Objective standards?

Dan TheBookMan danust2012 at gmail.com
Wed Sep 30 01:04:12 UTC 2015

On Tue, Sep 29, 2015 at 3:38 PM, William Flynn Wallace <foozler83 at gmail.com>

> Dan - ​Probably an issue of exposure and guidance and maybe self-control.
> But if it's all a matter of tastes, why care so much about it?​
> ​Because I am a teacher - to the bone!  Teachers are sharers and if I love
> something I want to share it.  That's what psych 101 does, isn't it?
> Present a large number of areas in a rather shallow way to see if some are
> drawn to one or another and want to follow it up somehow.
> As for music, it's not presented in school in most places, and so most
> people don't even have the chance to see what they might like, and I think
> that's sad.​  Also sad is the fact that they might use it as sonic
> wallpaper, just for background and never hear that there is anything more
> to it because they don't just sit and listen, and because if they did
> they'd still not get all of it because of their untrained ears.
> Now - I went to concerts with a chemistry teacher and he knew nothing
> about music but he knew he liked some classical.  I argue that his
> enjoyment might equal mine, and that he really doesn't need any more
> knowledge than he has.  But if he did, he would enjoy it on a more complex
> level and on more levels, just as good English teachers can do with books.
> No, I did not try to teach him.  I thought it might be perceived as
> patronizing.
> I have pointed out the donkey imitation in Midsummer Night's Dream, and
> that's not essential to the enjoyment, but it's interesting, eh?
> Take Huckleberry Finn - the symbolism taught is that the river is a good
> place and the shores are bad places etc.  Interesting even if not what
> Twain had in mind.  True, as Terry Pratchett said, for a given value of
> true.

Doesn't much of this seem to answer your question about literary and art
analysis and criticism?

Also, if it all comes down to pure tastes and also tastes are irreducible
and have no other significance, then it still seems to be pointless. In
fact, one might argue this distracts from more important things. So, having
music only as decoration would be good so that people don't focus too much
on it, no? Of course, if there's more to it than tastes or if tastes are
not irreducible and do matter (as in one can have bad or the wrong tastes),
then it might matter a whole lot. One person might be better off than
another simply because she or he has better, more informed, wider, or more
refined tastes, for example. Or art (including literature and music) might
have a bigger, more important role to play in life than just tastes.


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