Julia Mindt

Power of Interpretation and Music

At present, the philosophy of music is treated as an interesting enrichment, though peripheral subject in the field of science; it is said to be in lack of philosophical gravity and reach. The dissertation project aims at highlighting that the philosophical consideration of music is not only a meditation about music, but that it is also interwoven with and contributes to other philosophical disciplines as ethics, theory of cognition and anthropology. Furthermore, music is able to incent reflectiveness that affects the everyday living environment and creates an empowered self and relation to the world. My working title demonstrates the potential of music as a contribution to the understanding of world and self. It is composed of a connection between the airy-fairy play of music and the portentous-momentous concept „Deutungsmacht“ (power of interpretation). In addition to the “legibility of world” (“Lesbarkeit der Welt”, Blumenberg), its audibility will be established in a newly accentuated philosophy of music. Thus it appears that the dissertation project requires a programmatic and methodologically reflecting approach, that not only allows to cope with the multitude of questions that emerge out of music but also to be sensible for them.

Different (philosophical) methods and concepts will be included to counter with the problem of description that is especially recurrent in the philosophy of music. The power of interpretation is not considered to be manipulative or to be imposed due to its status quo, but to be something that is and will be.

To put it in a nutshell, music is a “Bemächtigungsweise” (a way of obtaining power), equal to language and other symbolic systems. Hence, the project focuses on the specific functional principle of music and its distinct quality of cognition. In other words, the 'how' of music is prioritized over its hardly definable 'what' in this dissertation project.