Do you know of some good classical books on the question "what is music and art"

Hi Hank,

Thanks for the question.

There are many good classics on this subject. The first two that come to my mind are Tolstoy's "What is Art?" and Nietzsche's "The Birth of Tragedy". Plato's "Republic" addresses these issues . . . and there's also Aristotle's "Poetics". Schopenhauer addresses art and especially music throughout his writings, especially in "The World as Will and Representation". Then there's Kant's "Critique of Judgment" and a slew of German writings from the 18th and 19th Centuries -- Schlegel, Lessing, Schiller, Goethe . . . you might pop a few terms into Google in order get specific titles or anthologies. Then there's Oscar Wilde . . .

A couple of contemporary works I've enjoyed include "Nietzsche: Life as Literature", by
Alexander Nehamas and "Touched with Fire: Manic-depressive Ilness and the Artistic Temperament", by Kay Redfield Jamison.



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Michael J. Motta


Existentialism, existential psychology, political philosophy; some value theory and ethics. Interdisciplinary approach to the social sciences and humanities: some background in abnormal psychology, expressionist art, and modern literature. I'd defer to other experts especially in areas such as analytic philosophy and philosophy of science.


Tutor, Michigan State University, Student-Athlete Support Services, 2002-2005. Teaching Assistant, Binghamton University, Department of Philosophy, 1995.
American Civil Liberties Union

American Civil Liberties Union Michigan Audubon Society

The Society for Laingian Studies (giardino delle parole), Lansing State Journal, Grand Ledge Independent,, Property Investor Magazine, Grand Rapids Press,

Graduate study, Binghamton University, Department of Philosophy, 1993-95. MA in Philosophy, Michigan State University, College of Arts and Letters, 1991. Master's thesis: "Nietzsche's 'Hothouse For Strange And Choice Plants'". BA in Social Science, Michigan State University, James Madison College, 1989. Study abroad: Cambridge University, Trinity College, Cambridge, England, 1988.

Awards and Honors
Clifford D. Clark Fellow, Binghamton University, 1993-95. Department of Philosophy Fellowship, Michigan State University, 1991. National Merit Scholar, Michigan State University, 1985-1989.

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