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Melody and metaphorical movement
British Journal of Aesthetics
  • Rafael DE CLERCQ, Institute of Philosophy, University of Leuven, Belgium
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Journal article
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In recent issues of this journal, Roger Scruton and Malcolm Budd have debated the question whether hearing a melody in a sequence of sounds necessarily involves an ‘unasserted thought’ about spatial movement. According to Scruton, the answer is ‘yes’; according to Budd, the answer is ‘no’. The conclusion of this paper is that, while Budd may have underestimated the viability of Scruton's thesis in one of its possible interpretations, there is no good reason to assume that the thesis is true. Very briefly, the argument for the second part of the conclusion is that we can account for all the data adduced by Scruton in favour of his hypothesis by means of hypotheses that are far less daring.

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De Clercq, R. (2007). Melody and metaphorical movement. British Journal of Aesthetics, 47(2), 156-168. doi: 10.1093/aesthj/ayl053