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Subjectivism

Re: Subjectivism
November 01, 2006, 07:29:47 PM
Indeed, and a tight connection makes for great pop music, I'm sure.

So now, we ask, what is the subject matter you're dealing with? The greater the subject matter, the greater the work of art.

Re: Subjectivism
November 01, 2006, 07:30:50 PM
What about science? We have to rely on our senses to collect data from the world. Is all science opinion then?

Re: Subjectivism
November 01, 2006, 07:34:39 PM
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In response to My Man Mahmoud:

So, if it is only possible to subjectively perceive metal, how can it be factually true that it is a superior work? How did you even come upon the knowledge that it is factually true when all you have are your tools of subjective perception?


How do you know the sky is blue?  Observation - objectivity - is itself inherently subjective.  Anti-foundationalism is something to keep in mind, but if it becomes a paralyzing fatalism, it has lost its utility.  Can we absolutely know with certainty?  Of course not.  But better minds aren't troubled by this - they understand that reality is out there and that we can observe its edges even if we cannot know the whole.  If you prefer to sit in the darkness and complain about the lack of proof, that's your option.  But don't complain when other people leave you behind.

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You said that "In Burzum, there is a close relationship between the subject matter and its manner of presentation".

This is exactly the case in almost every idiot-pop band I've ever heard- Whether expressing hedonism through bubble-gum vocals, or every other imaginably trivial contemporary motif through equally uninspired work, there is a close link between their subject matter and deliverance.


And you're missing the obvious here: a work will only be as good as the ideas it expresses.   Burzum has good ideas, Britney Spears has shit ideas.  Duh.

Re: Subjectivism
November 01, 2006, 07:45:07 PM
I applaud My Man Mahmoud for his response; I yield.

Though I'm still slightly troubled by what seems like the adoption of an arbitrary principle to explain greatness. Perhaps three hours of immersion in Burzum and Tangerine Dream will clear my head.

Re: Subjectivism
November 01, 2006, 08:07:27 PM
I don't know how arbitrary it is, considering we can't just up and decide "x is great" or "x contributes to greatness". It does seem to more naturally pertain to certain things... perhaps to take a stab at it:

One road to greatness - the difficult subject matter, that which seems to elude artistic symbolization. This would push away things that are common and familiar, tame and easy.

I think built into greatness is a certain notion of specialness, and I think that will also want to push away the common.

Also to avoid confusion: Someone says "that was a great pop song", as to be distinguished from speaking about the greatness of the subject matter that inspired the work.

Re: Subjectivism
November 02, 2006, 03:46:47 PM
but not all songs/pieces have a theme (or an expressed one. What of all the baroque period music that had no words within it and the composer had no intention of saying anything other then to write a piece of music (such as Hayden)

Re: Subjectivism
November 02, 2006, 08:03:23 PM
In those cases, my instinct is to chase after a different kind of subject matter, namely, the inspiration that the composer had (whether that be some melody that came to him, or an idea for how a song could go, or whatever). A great genius composer will have inspirations of a much greater nature then a lesser man simply by virtue of his higher intellect.

Re: Subjectivism
November 03, 2006, 01:04:26 AM
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And you're missing the obvious here: a work will only be as good as the ideas it expresses.   Burzum has good ideas, Britney Spears has shit ideas.  Duh.


What "ideas" are you referring to here? If you're talking about ideas with respect to creativity in application of music theory, then I would agree but any other idea (conceptual, metaphysical) has to be considered extraneous to the music.

Overall I agree with Josef_K. No one has explained why, for instance, Suffocation is better than 2pac by reference to ideas embedded within the music itself. After all, by abandoning melody, Suffocation emphasises pure rhythm which is exactly what rappers do. Only difference is that they do it with guitars.

Re: Subjectivism
November 03, 2006, 08:26:22 AM
Aesthetic form is the outward expression of inner concept.  You can't seperate the musical content of, say, Burzum, from its conceptual and metaphysical basis.

Music is more than sound.

Re: Subjectivism
November 03, 2006, 08:55:40 AM
My Man Mahmoud takes a very authoritative approach to his answers, so I urge you on behalf of esoteric, rather than respond in the cryptic, explicate why Suffocation is greater than 2Pac.

It seems that a personal derivation plays the integral role in a work's meaning. Make explicit the distinction here, for I'm certain that intellectuals could argue both sides of the spectrum without reaching a definite conclusion. And therein lies the strangling subjectivism that plagues the redundant elitism adopted by some on this forum.

Re: Subjectivism
November 03, 2006, 09:50:47 AM
You're missing the point.  Our entire experience of reality is inherently subjective - there is no such thing as objectivity in a world perceived entirely through the senses of individuals.  The error you continue to fall into is drawing a distinction between the 'subjective' (which you systematically devalue) and the 'objective' (which doesn't exist).

It is, at its base, fundamentally arbitrary to say that a piece of fresh, wild caught salmon makes for a 'better' meal than a Big Mac, but you're still not going to find a wise man at MacDonald's.



Re: Subjectivism
November 03, 2006, 01:02:01 PM
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You're missing the point.  Our entire experience of reality is inherently subjective - there is no such thing as objectivity in a world perceived entirely through the senses of individuals.  The error you continue to fall into is drawing a distinction between the 'subjective' (which you systematically devalue) and the 'objective' (which doesn't exist).


I don't agree. While it is true that our senses are subjective, we observe objectivity from our subjective senses objectively because, like science, it's about patterns. And so, if we continue to see that the sun rises from the east day in and day out, we will come to a known rule stating that the sun always rises from the east, for example. While it would continue to be our subjective senses observing the sun doing the same thing, after a while, it will be known as a truth because there is nothing to hint that it won't happen the same way again day in and day out.

Re: Subjectivism
November 03, 2006, 02:39:46 PM
You're still not talking about 'objectivity' though.  When we see 'patterns' what we're doing is imposing a subjective interpretation on our subjective experience.  

I'm not saying that this has no value - just that it isn't really 'objective' in the sense of getting beyond our personal perceptive/interpretive space.

Re: Subjectivism
November 03, 2006, 05:56:45 PM
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You're still not talking about 'objectivity' though.  When we see 'patterns' what we're doing is imposing a subjective interpretation on our subjective experience.  

I'm not saying that this has no value - just that it isn't really 'objective' in the sense of getting beyond our personal perceptive/interpretive space.


But it's not personal, because everyone see's that the sun rises from the east. There is no one alive who see's it otherwise. This is why stoplights work. If it wasn't an objective truth that people stop on red lights and go on green lights, there would obviously be many more traffic accidents than there are now.

We all observe the world the same way, the only difference is that each person interprets the meanings of the actions in the world emotionally, meaning it's seperate from the act itself.

This is why saying that Britney Spears is better or worse than Burzum is pointless. If I place more value on pop beats and sexual connotations, i'm going to observe the music of Britney Spears as having more value than that of Burzum, and vice versa. This isn't an objective truth, this is a judgement based on emotion, which is completely seperate from acknowledging the musical sounds themselves.

Re: Subjectivism
November 03, 2006, 06:23:10 PM
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You're still not talking about 'objectivity' though.  When we see 'patterns' what we're doing is imposing a subjective interpretation on our subjective experience.  

I'm not saying that this has no value - just that it isn't really 'objective' in the sense of getting beyond our personal perceptive/interpretive space.


To provide an example of what My Man is saying, let's analyze this linguistically.

"The subject sees an object."

What does the subject see? He sees an object of sight.

However, the object is known to exist only subjectively, that is, through the seer's sight. The object is not said to exist objectively, because perception is intrinsically a subjective phenomenon, requiring a subject to perceive object.

The thread title has been misleading. Subjectivism is the epistemelogical doctrine that all knowledge is limited to experiences by the self; it denies any transcendent knowledge or universality. Note how this is different from objectivism, a philosophical doctrine which doesn't make sense for the very fact that it denies the subjective interpretation that inevitably occurs through the filtration of any given stimulus. It is, also, completely misinformed of the ability to which empiricism can accurately guage reality, a fact demonstrated by the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle.