Friday, March 15, 2013

Reading Notes – Rosen (2)

"Analysis is a mode of cognition, and is therefore regulated by the judgment, intuition, or sensibility of the analyst.  Knowing how to carry out a sequence of analytical operations is not the same as knowing the appropriate domain of application, nor is it the same as knowing how to start and when to stop the sequence." (p.3)
"Even if obedience to rules is social or political, the 'we' of society or the political community is unintelligible except as an assemblage of 'I's.' The analysis of what I know is incomplete, and indeed, meaningless, if it makes no reference to how I know it, or that it is I who know it, namely, that meanings mean something only to knowers.  Hence I become a problem in the attempt to establish the public or universal status of what I know.  This problem is not resolved by pretending that it does not exist.  In terms going back to Plato, the 'What is X?' question cannot be totally severed from the 'Who am I?' question." (p.6)
"According to Kant, every analysis depends upon a prior synthesis. If there had not first been a 'putting-together' (whether by nature or the analyst), there could be no 'taking-apart.' This is so obvious that we may well ask why analytical philosophy tends to undervalue, and even to ignore, synthesis." (p.7) 
Stanley Rosen


Carrying out a sequence of analytical operations in a domain inappropriate to its application cannot be taken to imply that the sequence per se is "incorrect" or inapplicable in an "appropriate place."  It would be the application, not the analytical routine that is "wrong."  Like it or not, judging whether or not an analysis is "appropriate" unavoidably involves an analysis of the intentions of the analyst.

It's still an open question (to me) whether the composer – the one who "composes" or "draws together" – is engaged in an act of synthesis (as the job title implies) or analysis.  The simple (simplistic) answer is that obviously the composer "creates" a synthesis of materials.  But the selection – the sorting through –  of materials to synthesize/compose (what the composer deems appropriate musical materials) appears to be an analytical act.  So we race blindly, deafly backward toward the "intuition" – but do we ever get there?

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