March 9, 2023
100 W 10th Ave.
Eugene, OR 97401
Community Philosophy Circle: Music
Thursday, March 9, 2023
Gather for a facilitated exploration on the topic of "Music."
Explore big philosophical questions in a community conversation facilitated by philosopher-educators Paul Bodin and Caroline Lundquist. This month, the topic is Music. If you like, bring a brief selection of music that is meaningful to you (audio file on phone or notebook computer, or CD).
This monthly forum for people of all ages and backgrounds offers an opportunity to share opinions and ideas in a structured setting to explore challenging topics with civility and consideration. With a different theme each month, the conversations will address deep and universal questions about life, identity, community, and responsibility.
About the March topic:
Imagine you are evaluating a society of people who lived in the distant past. What would you focus on? You could imitate traditional histories by examining the lives of famous people of the period, as well as key conflicts, technologies, and maybe even popular philosophical beliefs. But would you stop to think about the society's music?
This thought experiment raises some interesting questions: Is music an important part of being human, or of the character of a human society? In the grand scheme of things, and in our personal lives, how much does music matter?
We'll consider questions including:
What happens inside of you when you experience music?
What causes people to have strong emotional states (happiness, joy, fear, melancholy, etc.) when they hear a song or an instrumental piece?
How do our musical tastes change as we grow older?
Where do composers or performers draw their inspiration?
What makes one example of music profoundly moving, even life-changing; while another example of music comes across as dull and uninspired?
Are there important differences between live music and recorded music?
Can we evaluate music using some universal guidelines? Or is all music either worthy or unworthy based on the individual tastes of the listener?
How important is performance technique in determining the value of a musical experience? How important is the venue?
What makes someone a great musical artist? A great composer?
Do musical tastes change over time? Are there some kinds of music that have lasting value across centuries?
Should music make the world a better place?
Are there examples of songs that have helped propel social movements for change?
Is the role of a musician or a composer/songwriter to force us outside of our comfort level?
Is there such a thing as music in the natural world? Or is music something uniquely human?