SOPhiA 2021

Salzburgiense Concilium Omnibus Philosophis Analyticis

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Programm - Vortrag

Social Ontology of Bands and Other Musical Groups
(Workshop 3 (Hybrid), )

Listen to The Band! The Philosophy of Pop Groups. A SOPhiA-Workshop on Social Ontology.

There is growing interest in the philosophy of popular music (see the articles collected in Gracyk/Kania 2011), and also growing interest in the ontology of social groups (for an overview, see Ritchie 2015, for in-depth discussion, see Jansen 2017), but only little work on the intersection of these topics: the ontology of pop groups, alias bands. This is an unfortunate lapse, as topics in the ontology of bands are vast.

Firstly, there is the continuity of bands, i.e. the question of how bands continue, or persist as bands. More specifically, one may want to know how bands persist despite of adding keyboard-players, firing singers, replacing drummers, and so on (see the pioneering work by Bremer/Cohnitz 2009 on Metallica, White's 2013 examination of the case of Black Sabbath sans Ozzy Osbourne, and the general discussion of Terrone 2017).

A related topic of interest concerns the identity of bands: what exactly are bands? And what is it that distinguishes pop groups from other musical entities, including solo artists, Jazz units and classical orchestras (as mentioned e.g. in Smith 2005)?

Third, there's the individuation of bands. How, for instance, are we to distinguish PINK FLOYD from THE BLACK ANGELS?

Finally, there's the question whether there are such things as pop groups, i.e. whether bands exist at all.

This workshop brings together five philosophers working on the ontology of bands. The main goal of our workshop is to establish the ontology of pop groups as a separate field of research. Additionally, we want to contribute to the wider field of social ontology, by considering whether our results apply to other groups (including other cultural groups, but also ethical, gender, and religious etc. groups) as well.

Daniel Cohnitz (Utrecht): "Is it Still Metallica? On the Identity of Rock Bands Over Time"

Ludger Janssen (Rostock/Münster): "The Will to Gig and The Ontology of Music Groups"

Thorben Petersen (Bremen) "Listen to The Band: An Introduction to The Ontology of Bands"

Enrico Terrone (Barcelona):"The Ship of Theseus: Social Individuals and Mental Files"

Julia Zimmerman (Siegen): "On The Persistence of Bands (qua Bundles of Properties)"


Bremer, Manuel/Cohnitz, Daniel. 2009: "Is It Still Metallica?" In Irwin, William. (ed.): Metallica and Philosophy: A Crash Course in Brain Surgery. Wiley-Blackwell. Gracyk, Theodore/Kania, Andrew. 2011. The Routledge Companion to Philosophy and Music. Routledge.

Jansen, Ludger. 2017. Gruppen und Institutionen. Springer.

Ritchie, Katherine. 2015: "The Metaphysics of Social Groups", Philosophy Compass 10.5: 310-321.

Smith, Thomas. 2005. "What is the Halle?", Philosophical Papers 34.1: 75-109.

Terrone, Enrico. 2017: "The Band of Theseus: Social Individuals and Mental Files", Philosophy of The Social Sciences 47.4/5: 287-310.

White, Mark. 2013. "The Name Remains the Same. But Should It?", in Irwin, William (ed.): Black Sabbath and Philosophy: Mastering Reality. Wiley-Blackwell.

Zeit: 16:30-20:00, 10. September 2021 (Freitag)
Ort: SR 1.004

Thorben Petersen
(Bremen, Bremen)


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