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Jerrold Levinson

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Name  Jerrold Levinson

Jerrold Levinson httpshiwkuleuvenbeengimageseventslevinsonJPG
Education  University of Michigan, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Books  Music - art - and metaphysics, The Oxford Handbook of Aesthet, Contemplating Art, Aesthetics and Ethics, Music in the Moment

What is beauty jerrold levinson wikistage escp europe

Jerrold Levinson (born 11 July 1948 in Brooklyn) is Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the University of Maryland, College Park. He is particularly noted for his work on the aesthetics of music, as well as for his search for meaning and ontology in film, art and humour.



Levinson started his studies in 1965 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he gained a BS Degree in Philosophy and Chemistry in 1969. He continued his studies at the University of Michigan. There he achieved his doctorate in philosophy in 1974.

During 1974-1975, Jerrold Levinson was visiting assistant professor at SUNY Albany. In 1976 he became assistant professor at the University of Maryland, was promoted to associate professor in 1982 and full professor in 1991. In 2004 he was accorded the title of Distinguished University Professor.

Levinson has been visiting professor at several universities in the U.S., such as the Johns Hopkins University and Columbia University. He has also held visiting appointments in other countries, such as England (University of London and [University of Kent]), New Zealand (University of Canterbury), France (Université de Rennes), Belgium (Université Libre de Bruxelles), Portugal (Universidade de Lisboa) and Switzerland (Conservatorio della Svizzera Italiana). During 2010-2011 he held an International Francqui Chair at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium), and in 2011 received the Premio Internazionale of the Società Italiana d'Estetica.

In 2003 Levinson co-directed a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute, Art, Mind, and Cognitive Science, and during 2001-2003 was President of the American Society for Aesthetics.


Levinson's interest in the aesthetics of music has led to an examination of musical ontology from a historical-contextual perspective, and of performance with an emphasis on performing means. He has posited theories of evaluating music and has considered the legitimacy of emotional response in musical appreciation. Within his study of performance he has also examined the distinctness of performing and critical interpretation.

Levinson advocates the position that music has the same relation to thought as does language; i.e., if language is an expression of thought, so is music. This is particularly revealed in his analysis of Wittgenstein's ideas on the meaning in music:

What Wittgenstein is underscoring here about the appreciation of music is this. Music is not understood in a vacuum, as a pure structure of sounds fallen from the stars, one which we receive via some pure faculty of musical perception. Music is rather inextricably embedded in our form of life, a form of life that is, as it happens, essentially linguistic. Thus music is necessarily apprehended, at least in part, in terms of the language and linguistic practices that define us and our world.

This raises interesting points in the debate on absolute music.


Jerrold Levinson Wikipedia

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