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For centuries, philosophers have got music wrong by making it mysterious, says Lydia Goehr, professor of philosophy at Columbia University in New York. What really matters is what we do with the music. In this Aeon interview, Goehr explains how understanding music’s functions gives insights into its power without diminishing its beauty.
Interviewer: Nigel Warburton
Producer: Kellen Quinn
Editor: Adam D’Arpino
Stories and literature
What makes John Keats’s ‘Ode on a Grecian Urn’ so enduringly powerful?
Dance and theatre
How a Noh mask-maker summons a lifelike face from a single block of wood
The ancient world
What wine vessels reveal about politics and luxury in ancient Athens and Persia
David Goldblatt captured the contradictions of apartheid in stark black and white
Philosophy of mind
Do we have good reasons to believe in beliefs? A radical philosophy of mind says no
Philosophy of religion
How a devout Catholic philosopher approaches the problem of evil
Love and friendship
When drawing your muse hundreds of times becomes an exercise in love
Thinkers and theories
Is simulation theory a way to shirk responsibility for the world we’ve created?
A dazzling slice-by-slice exploration of wood exposes hidden patterns and hues