A song is like mallards

Thu 30 Jun 2011 03:36 PM

Last month I was at a conference on metaphysics and the philosophy of science. The plenary session on the final day was about general issues of methodology, and someone made the qualifying remark that really this was just about the metaphysics of science and that it's not like we had anything to say about the ontology of (for example) art.

My own work is not so well partitioned. For example, I've written on the ontology of musical performance. I've also coauthored a paper using lessons from philosophy of science to say something about the nature of art. And my task since the conference has been to finish and revise a new paper on the ontology of musical works.

In the new paper, I suggest treating musical works (as historical or conventional art) as homeostatic property clusters. I also get to do some work in proper philosophy of science, arguing for a rapprochement between the species-as-individuals thesis and the HPC view of species.