C.S. Peirce, mechanicalism, and music
Stewart, Arthur Franklin
MetadataShow full item record
C.S. Peirce, Mechanicalism, and Music is an interdisciplinary study which principally involves ideas drawn from music and philosophy. These ideas, as explored, propose useful interconnections between these areas of study. As the main point of philosophical reference, this examination uses aspects from the system of the eminent nineteenth-century American mathematician, scientist, and founder of philosophical pragmatism, Charles Sanders Peirce (1839-1914). Using the method of pragmatism as an overall guide, the present essay proposes the construction of a conceptually developed investigatory instrument to examine and test certain implications of the mechanical and anti-mechanical schools of thought found in the phenomenology of music, and to present from this examination a line of reasoning useful to the musical artist who seeks a rational choice between these schools. Writings by the pianists/teachers Walter Gieseking (1895-1956) and Artur Schnabel (1882-1951) are among the sources employed to illustrate aspects of the mechanical and anti-mechanical positions in music. Extra-musical materials are used to form structural models of these two musical positions, models by which the examinations and tests of these positions are conducted. These materials include items from the subjects of formal logic, mathematics, mathematical logic, and machine computability. Among the selected figures whose efforts illustrate these subjects are, respectively, Alan Marquand (1853-1924), David Hilbert (1862-1943), and Alan Turing (1912-1954). Published and unpublished materials by Peirce are used throughout.