JPIC 2017 Speakers

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Director of Jazz Studies, Cal Poly
“When you come to a fork in the road, take it.” Yogi Berra (Yankee catcher, 1925-2015)

“When you come to a fork in the road, take it.”

Yogi Berra, Yankee catcher, (1925-2015)

Friday night’s opening Keynote speaker is Dr. Paul Rinzler, Director of Jazz Studies at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, CA.  His book The Contradictions of Jazz (2008) sets a standard for clarity in the philosophy of jazz.

Paul Rinzler joined the Cal Poly faculty in 1997 as Director of Jazz Studies after having taught jazz classes at U. C. Santa Cruz for twelve years. He received his doctorate in theory/composition with a secondary emphasis in jazz pedagogy from the University of Northern Colorado.

In October of 2008 Scarecrow Press published, The Contradictions of Jazz, Dr. Rinzler’s book about the oppositions that jazz musicians embrace, such as individualism/interconnectedness, tradition/creativity, freedom/responsibility, and/or assertion/openness. The book received rave reviews.

He was the accompanist for a jazz choir recording (“Hot IV”) that was nominated for a Grammy award. On his jazz piano trio CD, “Active Listening” (Sea Breeze Jazz 3039), Cadence magazine noted “impressive trio interplay” and “rich dialogues.”

Dr. Rinzler has been awarded several National Endowment of the Arts grants, including a Jazz Performance Grant.  Scarecrow Press re-released his Jazz Arranging and Performance Practice in paperback, and Hal Leonard Corporation published Rinzler’s, Quartal Jazz Piano Voicings.  

His articles on jazz have appeared in journals such as the Annual Review of Jazz Studies and Jazz Research, as well as the New Grove Dictionary of Jazz.  Wadsworth Publishing published his listening guide software that accompanies the jazz history text Essential Jazz: The First 10 Years.

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Philosopher, Ohio State University

Department of Philosophy

350 University Hall

Ohio State University

Columbus, Ohio 43210


As the closing speaker on Friday night at 8:30 pm, philosopher Dr. Robert Kraut from Ohio State University presents “A Short Course on Jazz and Aesthetic Theory: Cartography in the Philosophy of Jazz.”


  • Ph.D. University of Pittsburgh, 1976 (Philosophy)
  •     Dissertation: Objects (on the metaphysical foundations of modal semantics)

        Advisor: Wilfrid Sellars

  • M.A. University of Pittsburgh, 1973 (Philosophy)
  • B.A. Brooklyn College, 1969

        Ohio State University


  • Professor, Autumn 1993-present
  • Associate Professor, Autumn 1980-Autumn 1993
  • Assistant Professor, Autumn 1974-Autumn 1980
  •     University of Pittsburgh

  • Visiting Associate Professor, Autumn 1982-Spring 1983
  • Visiting Assistant Professor, Autumn 1975
  •     Rutgers University

  • Visiting Professor, Fall 1986
  • Visiting Professor, Winter-Spring l986
  •     Stanford University

  • Senior Fellow, Stanford Humanities Center: 1995-96 (affiliated with the Stanford Philosophy Department)

  • Invited Member, Reinventing Pragmatism Research Team. Coordinated by David MacArthur (University of Sydney) and Bjørn Ramberg (University of Oslo), 2015-16.
  • Rodica C. Botoman Award for Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching and Mentoring (College of Humanities, The Ohio State University), June 13, 2002.
  • Senior Fellow, Institute for Collaborative Research and Public Humanities (The Ohio State University), 2000-2001.
  • Marta Sutton Weeks Fellow in the Humanities: Stanford Humanities Center, 1995-96.
  • Faculty Professional Leave, The Ohio State University, 1985-86.
  • Visiting Scholar, Stanford University, Summer 1979.
  • Andrew Mellon Predoctoral Fellowship, University of Pittsburgh, 1973-74.
  • NDEA IV Fellowship, University of Pittsburgh, 1972-73.

    Metaphysics, Aesthetic Theory, and Philosophy of Language


      Philosophy Papers Online



    Artworld Metaphysics (Oxford University Press, 2007).

      Paperback edition (April 2010)

    “The discussions are smart and sharp, often doing much to clear the ground around these issues. . . . Its pace is brisk, but it remains lucid at speed.”

    Zed Adams, Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism

    Reviews of Artworld Metaphysics:

  • MIND Review of Artworld Metaphysics
  • Jon Robson (University of Nottingham, U. K.) reviews Artworld Metaphysics
  • Guy Rohrbaugh (Auburn University) in his review of Artworld Metaphysics remarks “Each essay is as much an object lesson in philosophical practice as it is an investigation of some topic within it.”
  • Articles (relevant samples):

  • Critical Notice: Art and Art-Attempts by Christy Mag Uidhir (Oxford University Press), Analysis 75 (October 2015), pp. 668-675.
  • “Pragmatism Without Idealism” (with Kevin Scharp), in Christopher Daly (ed.), The Palgrave Handbook of Philosophical Methods (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015), pp. 331-360.
  • Review of Christy Mag Uidhir (ed.), Art and Abstract Objects (Oxford University Press, 2012); forthcoming in Mind.
  • “The Metaphysics of Artistic Expression: a Case Study in Projectivism,” in R. Johnson and M. Smith (eds.), Passions and Projections: Themes from the Philosophy of Simon Blackburn (Oxford University Press, 2015), pp. 85-105.
  • “Aesthetic Theory for the Working Musician,” American Society for Aesthetics Newsletter Volume 32, Number 2 (Summer 2012).
  • “Ontology: Music and Art,” The Monist 95 (October 2012), pp. 684-710.
  • Jazz and Language,” in Goldblatt and Brown (eds.), Aesthetics: A Reader in Philosophy of the Arts, Third Edition (New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 2010).
  • “Universals, Metaphysical Explanations, and Pragmatism,” Journal of Philosophy CVII (November 2010), pp. 590-609.
  • “Aesthetic Theory and Artistic Practice: Danto’s Transfiguration of the Artworld,” Online Conference in Aesthetics: Arthur Danto’s Transfiguration of the Commonplace— 25 Years Later (January 2007;
  • “Why Does Jazz Matter To Aesthetic Theory?,” Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 63:1 (Winter 2005), pp. 3-15.
  • “Perceiving the Music Correctly,” in Michael Krausz (ed.), The Interpretation of Music Philosophical Essays (Oxford University Press, 1993), pp. 103-116.
  • “The Possibility of a Determinate Semantics for Music,” in Jones and Holleran (eds.) Cognitive Bases of Musical Communication (American Psychological Association, 1992), pp. 11-22.
  • “Understanding Art,” Journal of Comparative Literature and Aesthetics, Vol. IV, Nos. 1-2 (1981), pp. 59-69.

  • “Aesthetic Testimony: Grounds for Optimism” (with Allison Massof) review of Robert Brandom, Reason in Philosophy: Animating Ideas, invited by History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences.
  • “Relation(s) between Artistic Practice and Aesthetic Theory,” invited by Leitmotiv: Topics in Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art (an online journal).
  • No Exit: Essays in Pragmatist Metaphysics (book manuscript, 3/4 complete).
  • PRESENTATIONS (relevant samples):

  • “The Metaphysics of Artistic Expression,” invited lecture; The OSU/Maribor/Rijeka Conference on Analytic Philosophy: Art and Reality, Inter University Center, Dubrovnik, Croatia, June 2013.
  • “Cause vs. Content: Semantic Considerations on the Blues,” Invited Symposium paper, American Philosophical Association, Pacific Division Meetings (San Francisco), March 2013.
  • “Expression in Art: What It Is, Why It Matters,” invited lecture, Muskingum University, February 2013.
  • “Stravinsky and the Anti-Expressionist Tradition,” invited seminar, Department of Musicology, University of Amsterdam (Netherlands), September 2010.
  • “Pragmatism and the Ontology of Art,” invited lecture, Department of Philosophy, University of Amsterdam (Netherlands), September 2010.
  • “What is Artworld Ontology?,” Invited Symposium paper; American Philosophical Association, Eastern Division Meetings (New York City), December 2009.
  • “Expressivism about Ontology,” invited paper; Conference on Expressivism, Pluralism, and Representationalism; University of Sydney (Australia), July 2009.
  • “Playing and Saying: The Language of Jazz Performance,” Philosophy Department Colloquium; in conjunction with music clinic and concert performance; Morehead State University, October 2008.
  • “Remarks on Artworld Ontology,” American Society for Aesthetics, Eastern Division Meetings (Philadelphia), April 2008.
  • “Ontology and Artworld Interpretation,” Philosophy Department Colloquium, Vanderbilt University, March 2008.
  • “Music Does Not Express Emotions,” Philosophy Department Colloquium, St. Louis University, July 2006.
  • “Emotions in the Music,” invited paper; Conference on Mind and Music, Columbia University, March 2006.
  • “Why Does Jazz Matter to Aesthetic Theory?,” presented to the Department of Philosophy/Department of Music at Illinois State University (Normal, IL.); in conjunction with concert performance at “Jazz Under the Stars” concert, January 30-31, 2003.
  • “Legitimate Criticism in the Arts,” presented to the Department of Philosophy/Department of Music at Knox College in conjunction with concert performance at the Galesburg, IL. Jazz Festival, March 2001.
  • “Philosophical Reflections on Jazz Performance,” Institute For Cooperative Research and Public Humanities (Ohio State University), May 30, 2001.
  • “Metaphysics and Modern Art,” Department of Art History Colloquium; Ohio State University, April 1979.
  • “Modern Art and Modern Philosophy: Some Parallels,” Department of Philosophy, University of Tennessee, March 1979.
  • “The Subject Matter of Twentieth Century Art,” Public Lecture, Department of Art History Ohio State University, January 1979.
  • “Understanding Art,” American Society for Aesthetics, New York, October 1978.
  • Kraut_playing


    Dr. Kraut is an active jazz musician on guitar and has been playing since he was nine years old. He has recorded three albums with the Tony Monaco Trio, alongside organist Tony Monaco and drummer Louis Tsamous, a group he has been part of since 1994. The trio has toured extensively.

    Another highlight in Kraut’s jazz career was playing with renowned jazz organist Brother Jack McDuff.

    “When I started listening to jazz, I knew that there was something special there that was going to be a part of the rest of my life,” Kraut reports. “I knew I wasn’t going to stop anytime soon.”


  • Kraut on Jazz and Aesthetics in his “Aesthetic Theory for the Working Musician”
  • Research Associate, The New Centre for Research & Practice

    “Don’t play the music, let the music play you.”

    Sonny Rollins, jazz saxophonist, (1930 – )

    Saturday morning, Dr. Martin E. Rosenberg, Research Associate with The New Centre for Research and Practice, speaks on “Between Memory and Creativity: The Neuroscience of Time Cognition During Jazz Improvisation.”  


    In 1990 Dr. Rosenberg earned his Ph.D. in English from the University of Michigan with his dissertation “Being and Becoming: Physics, Hegemony, Art and the Nomad in the Works of Ezra Pound, Marcel Duchamp, Samuel Beckett, John Cage and Thomas Pynchon.”  This was a first look at the cultural work of the distinction between time-reversible and time-irreversible models from the philosophy of science in aesthetics and political philosophy, and across the arts.  


    Dr. Rosenberg has taught as a graduate assistant at the University of Michigan, a Faculty Associate at Arizona State University, visiting Assistant Professorships at the University of Kentucky and Texas A&M University, before taking tenure-track jobs, first at Eastern Kentucky University, and then at Kettering University.  

    Since 2002, he has been an independent scholar in Pittsburgh, where his wife Elizabeth Mazur has tenure at Penn State University–Greater Allegheny.  He remains active, recently holding a fellowship in Art and Cognition through The Center For Transformative Media, Parsons–The New School of Design (2013-14); serving as Graduate Faculty at the Global Center for Advanced Studies, 2014-15, where he team-taught a colloquia on philosophy, politics and the future of democracy with Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, among others; and joining The New Centre For Research and Practice in 2015, where he gave a seminar on the aesthetic and political implications of the processes of cognition during jazz improvisation, and plans to offer in the future courses on philosophy and aesthetics, as well as on theories of metaphor.


    Dr. Rosenberg researches Science, Technology and Culture, focusing mainly on the cultural history of the scientific concept of “emergence” or “self-organization.”  Early on, he addressed the Nobel work of Ilya Prigogine in chemistry and physics, interviewing him on several occasions; as well as on the neurobiology, cybernetics and cognitive science  of Humberto Maturana and Francisco Varela, as well as the anthropology and cognitive science of Edwin Hutchins.  

    He has used this research to focus especially on  concepts from physics and cognitive science applied to the philosophy of Gilles Deleuze, and on the role that the concept of “emergence” has played in the polemics and work of artists since the turn of the 20th Century: Poincaré, Bergson, Duchamp and the Emergence of Emergence; Ezra Pound, the aesthetics of Fascism and the scapegoat; the relationships among Duchamp, Beckett and Cage with respect to chess, and “chance”; the novels of Thomas Pynchon; a groundbreaking essay on contending tropes of thermodynamics in Freud and in Deleuze and Guattari (1993); as well as the first academic article on the cultural implications of the new paradigm of embodied cognition, for the modernist avant-garde artist Duchamp, and the postmodern novelist Pynchon “Portals in Duchamp and Pynchon” (1994).  

    Current research interests involve comparing theories of emergence in cognitive science in terms of natural and artificial intelligence, as well as examining the possible relationship between embodied and distributed cognition through research on parallel processing computers, jazz improvisation, cinema and the architecture of Arakawa and Gins.

    As a theorist interested in the problem of rigor in trans-disciplinary inquiry, he has also written several articles on the relationship of metaphors (tropes generally) and epistemology, and on the cultural work or agency of metaphors, in science, technology and philosophy.  Several of his publications have been translated into other languages (Spanish and Portuguese).


    In addition to publishing over two dozen articles, some of Dr. Rosenberg’s research on jazz and emergence was published in the journal Inflexions, Vol. 4, November, 2010, as “Jazz and Emergence–Part One: From Calculus to Cage, and from Charlie Parker to Ornette Coleman: Complexity and the Aesthetics and Politics of Emergent Form in Jazz.”  This 94 page essay explores the history of jazz from Be-Bop composing practices of the 1940’s to the development of Free Jazz in the 1960’s in terms of the concepts of “complexity” and “emergence” in physics and cognitive science.  His current research on jazz addresses both embodied and distributed cognition more directly and will result in a book-length study entitled Jazz and Emergence

    Dr. Rosenberg has given a number of invited lectures and conference plenaries internationally, including:

  • Universidade de Sao Paolo (1999 and 2000)
  • University of Bergen, Norway (1998)
  • Trent University Ontario CA, (2005)
  • University of Cologne, Germany (2009)
  • University of Warwick, GB (1994)
  • Free University of Brussels–Flemish (2000)
  • The Sense Lab, Concordia University, Montreal (2010)
  • Harvard University (1999)
  • Art Institute of Chicago: E. Kac’s Biology and Art Seminar (1999)
  • Texas Tech University (1998 and 2001)
  • Center for Nano-Technology and Society and the NSF, ASU (2006)
  • Arlington Arts Center DC (2010)
  • The Slought Foundation, U. Pennsylvania (2008)
  • In March 2010, Rosenberg served as Conference Co-Director for AG3Online: The Third International Arakawa and Gins Architecture and Philosophy Conference, with concluding celebrations on March 12-26, 2010 at Barnard College/Columbia U., (April 30th), which he was master of ceremonies, and the Solomon Guggenheim Museum (May 1), where he gave the inaugural keynote. This was the first completely digital global academic conference, with over 450 participants on six continents. Dr. Rosenberg also contributed three papers, one on embodied cognition; one on metaphor; and one comparing Marcel Duchamp and Arakawa and Gins, in terms of how their works and writings reflect paradigm shifts within physics, and within cognitive science.

    He has also offered a number of talks and lectures recently on his current research on jazz and cognition:

    • “Jazz Improvisation and the Architectural Theories of Arakawa and Gins: Towards a Theory of Projective Apprehension.”  Third International Conference on Gilles Deleuze, Amsterdam, July 12-14, 2010.
    • “Jazz Improvisation and Collective Intelligence: From Embodied to Distributed Cognition.”  SEP-PEP (Society for European Philosophy) Conference, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, UK, Sept 4-7, 2012.
    • “What Does Ergonomics Have to Do With Guitar Design: Fretboard Cognition between Embodiment and Collective Intelligence.”  Invited Lecture: The Center For Transformative Media, Parsons-The New School of Design, Dec. 2, 2013.
    • “From Projective Apprehension to Proprio-Sentience: Embodied AND Distributed Cognition During Jazz Improvisation.”  University of Utrecht, Society for European Philosophy, September 4, 2014.
    • “A Workshop On Top-Down and Bottom-Up Processes of Cognition During Jazz Improvisation in Light of Recent Work on Cognitive Capitalism.”  The New Centre For Research and Practice, April 4, 2015: online video lecture.
    • “From Projective Apprehension to Proprio-Sentience: Top-Down and Bottom-Up Embodied Cognitive Processes Involved in Jazz Improvisation.”  University of Chicago, The Second Biennial Performance Philosophy Conference, April 10, 2015.


    Originally trained in classical composition and jazz arranging and performance at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Dr. Rosenberg has authored over thirty jazz compositions, and, despite having quit for thirty years, once again performs several times a week in Pittsburgh.  He is currently recording his first album since returning to music, an album of guitar duets of classic standards with Pittsburgh great Eric Susoeff, including Susoeff’s arrangement of “Joy Spring,” Bill Evans and Toots Thieleman’s arrangement of “Days of Wine and Roses,” and original arrangements of “Alone Together,” “Dolphin Dance,” a BeBop version 0f “My Funny Valentine,” Horace Silver’s “Nica’s Dream,” and ECM gems “Falling Grace” and “Memories of Tomorrow,” with others yet to be recorded.

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    Philosopher, Trinity University

    On Saturday morning philosopher Andrew Kania from Trinity University in San Antonio, TX, addresses ontological questions in the philosophy of jazz.

    Andrew Kania’s principal research is in the philosophy of music, film, and literature. He is particularly interested in how the nature of different kinds of artistic entities (e.g. musical works, performances, and recordings; or narrative literature and film) affects our appreciation of them.

    He has a subsidiary interest in the philosophy of sex, gender, and sexuality and is also a faculty member in Women and Gender Studies at Trinity University.

    He has written extensively on aesthetics and musical ontology, and you can see a list with abstracts of many of Dr. Kania’s publications at Philpapers or read his articles at Trinity University’s Digital Commons.

    Here’s some notable publications with a select list following EDUCATION.

  • “Philosophy of Music” in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
  • The Routledge Companion to Philosophy and Music, co-edited with Theodore Gracyk, (Routledge, 2011)
  • Memento (Philosophers on Film), (Routledge, 2009)

  • Ph.D. (Philosophy),
    University of Maryland, College Park (2005).  Dissertation: “Pieces of Music: The Ontology of Classical, Rock, and Jazz Music”
  • M.A. with first class honours (Philosophy), University of Auckland, New Zealand (1999).  Thesis: “Not Just for the Record: A Philosophical Analysis of Classical Music Recordings”
  • AIKOM Study Abroad Program, University of Tokyo, Komaba (1996)
  • B.A. (Philosophy and English), University of Auckland, New Zealand (1996)
  • PUBLICATIONS (very partial list):

  • “An Imaginative Theory of Musical Space and Movement,”British Journal of Aesthetics, Vol. 55, 2015, pp. 157-172.
  • “Platonism vs. Nominalism in Contemporary Musical Ontology,” in C. M. Uidhir (ed.), Art and Abstract Objects, Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2013, pp. 197-212.
  • “All Play and No Work: An Ontology of Jazz,” The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, Vol. 69, 2011, pp. 391-403.
  • “Silent Music,” Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 68 (2010): 343-53.
  • “New Waves in Musical Ontology,” in K. Stock & K. Thomson-Jones (eds.), New Waves in Aesthetics, 2008, pp. 20-40.
  • “The Methodology of Musical Ontology: Descriptivism and Its Implications,” British Journal of Aesthetics, Vol. 48, 2008, pp. 426-444.
  • “Works, Recordings, Performances: Classical, Rock, Jazz,” in M. Doğantan-Dack (ed.), Recorded Music: Philosophical and Critical Reflections, London, England: Middlesex University Press, 2008, pp. 3-21.

  • 2011 Trinity University Junior Faculty Award for Distinguished Teaching and Research
  • Awarded the 2008 Inaugural British Society for Aesthetics (Annual Conference) Essay Prize for “The Methodology of Musical Ontology: Descriptivism and its Implications”
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    Philosopher, University Of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
    University of Hawaiʻi System motto: Maluna aʻe o nā lāhui a pau ke ola ke kanaka (Above all nations is humanity)

    University of Hawaiʻi System motto:

    Malinda aʻe o nā lāhui a pau ke ola ke kanaka.

    (“Above all nations is humanity.”)

    At JPIC 2017, Dr. Steve Odin, philosopher from the University of Hawaii and an expert on Japanese philosophy, explains on Saturday afternoon how jazz relates to the Lotus Sutra, Nichiren Buddhism & Tendai Philosophy as found in the work of Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter.

    Dr. Odin specializes in Japanese Philosophy, Comparative Philosophy, American Philosophy, Metaphysics, Phenomenology, and Aesthetics.

    He joined the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa philosophy department in 1982 after completing his Ph.D. degree in philosophy from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

    He has taught as a visiting professor at Boston University (1989), Tohoku University (1994-95) and the University of Tokyo (2003-04). His research and teaching areas include Japanese philosophy, East-West comparative philosophy, American philosophy, Whitehead’s process metaphysics, phenomenology, environmental ethics, and aesthetics.


    Among his publications are:

  • Process Metaphysics and Hua-Yen Buddhism (1982)
  • The Social Self in Zen and American Pragmatism (1994)
  • Artistic Detachment in Japan and the West: Psychic Distance in Comparative Aesthetics (2001)

    Dr. Odin has had several one-year grants for teaching and research in Japan, including two Fulbright Awards (1994-95 and 2003-04), a Japan Foundation Award (2001-92) and a National Endowment for the Humanities award (1987-88).

    Teaching wise, Dr. Odin received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching at the University of Hawaii in 1986 and has long been a member of the University of Hawaii (UH) for Japanese Studies.


    An exciting new publication for Dr. Odin is his 2016 Tragic Beauty in Whitehead and Japanese Aesthetics that explains how the traditional Japanese Buddhist’s views on beauty and evanescent beauty relates to Alfred North Whitehead’s process aesthetics.

    The book takes into account how best to think about Whitehead’s axiological process metaphysics, including his theory of values, concept of aesthetic experience, and doctrine of beauty, but especially focuses on two of Whitehead’s aesthetic categories, the penumbral beauty of darkness and the tragic beauty of perishability, and shows parallel relations in the two Japanese aesthetic categories of yûgen and aware.

    Dr. Odin shows how both Alfred North Whitehead and the Buddhist Japanese tradition have articulated a poetics of evanescence that celebrates the transience of  aesthetic experience and the ephemerality of beauty. Finally it is argued that both Whitehead and a Buddhist Japanese traditional aesthetics develop an aesthetics of beauty as perishability culminating in a religio-aesthetic vision of tragic beauty and its reconciliation in the supreme ecstasy of peace or nirvana.  

    The book may be available from Roman and Littlefield at a 30% discount until May 31, 2017 using discount code: LEX30AUTH16 .

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    Philosopher, University of Victoria

    “The wise in every age conclude,
    What Pyrrho taught and Hume renewed,
    That dogmatists are fools.”

    Thomas Blacklock, Scottish poet, (1721-91)

    Dr. James O. Young, philosopher at the University of Victoria in British Columbia, CANADA and elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (FRSC) in 2015, discusses ontological questions in the philosophy of jazz Saturday afternoon. Click on his C. V. to see his course of life.


    Dr. Young works on both philosophy of language, focusing on theories of truth and the debate between realists and anti-realists, and in philosophy of art, particularly music. He investigates art as a source of knowledge, and reflects on ontological and moral questions raised by the arts.

    He is currently working on relativism and realism about the truth values of aesthetic judgements and on a project on intellectual property in the arts.


    Dr. Young is the author of:

    Global anti-realism

  • Global Anti-realism (Avebury, 1995)
  • Art and Knowledge cover

  • Art and Knowledge (Routledge, 2001)
  • Cultural Appropriation and the Arts cover

  • Cultural Appropriation and the Arts (Wiley-Blackwell, 2008)
  • Critique of Pure Music

  • Critique of Pure Music (Oxford, 2014)
  • Charles Batteaux cover

  • He has translated, annotated and introduced Charles Batteux: The Fine Arts Reduced to a Single Principle (Oxford, 2015).
  • Aesthetcs: Critical Concepts in Philosophy

  • He edited the four-volume collection Aesthetics: Critical Concepts in Philosophy (Routledge, 2005)
  • The Ethics of Cultural Appropriation cover

  • Co-edited The Ethics of Cultural Appropriation (Wiley-Blackwell, 2009) with Conrad Brunk.
  • Semantics of Aesthetic Judgements fake book cover

  • An edited collection, The Semantics of Aesthetic Judgements is forthcoming from Oxford and available for pre-order from Amazon.
  • In addition to his books, Dr. Young has written over fifty articles in refereed journals, including:

  • The British Journal of Aesthetics
  • The Canadian Journal of Philosophy
  • Dialogue
  • Erkenntnis
  • The Journal of Aesthetic Education
  • The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism
  • The Journal of Philosophical Research
  • Metaphilosophy
  • The Monist
  • Philosophy
  • Philosophy and Phenomenological Research
  • The Southern Journal of Philosophy
  • Synthese
  • Ratio
  • and other philosophical journals.
  • He has also published in journals of archaeology, musicology and psychology.  Several of his articles have been reprinted.  Some of his work has been translated into Chinese, Korean, Spanish and Russian. His contribution to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy was an article on the “Coherence Theory of Truth”.


    Professor James Young, FRSC has been awarded the Faculty of Humanities Research Excellence Award for 2015. The award recognizes demonstrated excellence in research and world-class scholarship during the past five academic years.


    Dr. Young has a practical as well as a philosophical interest in music. He is a (bad) harpsichordist and has been Artistic Director of the Early Music Society of the Islands for many years.

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    Philosopher, Director of Institute for Public Life of Arts & Ideas


    “There is a curious yet enormously fruitful duality in the way that improvisation plays on our expectations and perspectives.”

    Tracey Nicholls, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Lewis University

    “Improvisation implies a deep connection between the personal and the communal, self and world. A “good” improviser successfully navigates musical and institutional boundaries and the desire for self-expression, pleasing not only herself but the listener as well.”

    Rob Wallace, improvising drummer

    On Saturday afternoon the conference’s final speaker is philosopher Eric Lewis from McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, CANADA. He presents “My Favorite Things: Performance, Paraphrase and Representation,” a chapter from his forthcoming book titled Intents and Purposes: Afrological Aesthetics and Improvisation . This chapter argues that the best model for capturing the relationship of performances to works of music with improvised performances is not any sort of type/token model, but one should instead draw upon the visual arts and theories of representation. John Coltrane is not instancing “My Favourite Things,” in his song of the same name, rather he is representing it.


  • Dr. Lewis earned honors B.A.’s in the history of philosophy and classical Greek literature at Cornell University.
  • Ph.D. in the history of philosophy at the University of Illinois in Chicago.

  • Associate Professor of Philosophy at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, CANADA.
  • Director of the Institute for the Public Life of Arts and Ideas (IPLAI)
  • McGill Site coordinator for International Institute for Critical Studies in Improvisation (IICSI)
  • Former McGill site coordinator for Improvisation, Community and Social Practice (ICASP), a major international research project with primary funding from the SSHRC MCRI program

    Current research focuses on the philosophy of improvised music.

  • Presently completing two book projects:

    — one on the ontology of improvised music titled Intents and Purposes: Afrological Aesthetics and Improvisation.

    — a second edited collection: Improvisation and Social Aesthetics (with Georgina Born and William Straw), Duke University Press, 2017.

  • Proactively involved in the creation and curation of improvised art exhibits.
  • An active improvising musician on trumpet in Montreal’s flourishing improvised music scene.
  • Broader research interests include the philosophy of music more generally, aesthetics, philosophy of copyright, and a host of interdisciplinary approaches to art, culture and society. Dr. Lewis’s research focuses on the intersection of the aesthetics, metaphysics and ethics of improvised music.

  • “Ontology, Originality and the Musical Work: Copyright Law and the Status of Samples” in New Perspectives on Copyright (2007) in: Intellectual Property at the Edge: New Approaches to Intellectual Property in a Transsystemic World, Éditions Yvon Blais, 2007.
  • “Appel, Ellington, and the Modernist Cannon,” Review/article of ‘Jazz Modernism, From Ellington and Armstrong to Matisse and Joyce,’ Alfred Appel Jr., Critical Studies in Improvisation, No. 2, 2005
  • “We Won’t Get Fooled Again – Music and Politics in Paris and Woodstock the Summer of ‘69” in Proceedings of the 12th Biennial International Association for the Study of Popular Music (2003).
  • SELECT INVITED PRESENTATIONS since 2003 (a sampling):

  • “Diaspora, Migration and Borders—the Roled of Improvising Artists”, OCC, Athens, Greece, 2016
  • “Improvising Labour—Experimental Music in Montreal”, Music and Labour Conference, McGill University, 2016
  • “Music, Motion, Mind”, Rice University, 2016
  • “John Zorn, at the Crossroads of Musical Genres”, CIRMMT, McGill University, 2016.
  • “The Future of the Humanities Doctoral Dissertation”, Conference on the future of the Humanities Ph.D., Montreal, 2015 (workshop co-leader)
  • “Do We Ever Really Improvise with Others? What Machines Tell us about Improvisation and Imagination”, UBC, 2015
  • “Back To the Future: Creativity in Music in our (perhaps) Post-Humanist Age”, Keynote, Creativity in Music Conference, University of Toronto, 2015.
  • “Interdisciplinarity as a model of Improvisation”, Queens University, Faculty of Law, Belfast, 2014.
  • “AI, Improvisation and Imagination—The Case of Improvising Machines”, Goldsmith’s College, London, 2013.
  • “Performance, Bodies and Improvisation”, Electric Nights, Beton 7, Athens, Greece, 2012
  • “What if the Ghost in the Machine…Is A Machine?”, CIRMMT Inaugural Talk, McGill University, 2012.
  • “Human—Machine Improvisations: Some Philosophical Problems and Perspectives,” Across The Great Divide, Human—Machine Improvisations, Onassis Cultural Centre, Athens, Greece, 2012
  • “Towards a Representation Theory of Improvised Performance,” Perspectives on Musical Improvisation Conference, Oxford University, 2012
  • “Human—Machine Improvisations: Some Thoughts on the State of the Art,” Concordia University, 2012.
  • “What was Coltrane Doing When He Performed My Favorite Things?” Amherst College/Five College Consortium on Music and Philosophy, 2012.
  • “Irony in Jazz, the Case of Mingus”, IPLA Irony in the Arts International Conference, 2012.
  • “New Frontiers in Improvising Technologies: What are These Softwares Doing?,” University of Sao Paolo, Brazil, Dept. of Music, 2011
  • “Improvising Machines: The case of Voyager,” Guelph Jazz Festival and Colloquium, 2011
  • “Across the Great Divide, Xenakis and Wright on Improvisation, Composition and Architecture,” CCA, 2010
  • “Copyright and Improvised Music,” Woodrow Wilson Center, Princeton University, 2010
  • “Improvisation as Representation,” Queen’s University, 2009
  • “Improvisation and Philosophy,” Cornell University, Society of the Humanities 2008
  • “What is Jazz?” SUNY Stony Brook, 2008
  • “The Work Concept and Improvisation—Is Music Just Melody, Harmony and Rhythm?” University of East Anglia, 2007
  • “Originality and Musical Works in the Digital Age—What is a Sample a Sample of?”, Meredith Memorial Lectures, Intellectual Property at the Edge: New Approaches to Intellectual Property in a Transsystemic World”, McGill University, Faculty of Law, 2006
  • “Why I Hate World Music—Expression, Culture and Improvisation’, Unik
  • “Ontology, Originality, and the Musical Work—The Law on Improvisation and Composition”, Dept. of Philosophy UQAM, 2005
  • “Musical Works, The Law, and the Tyranny of the Score”, UCLA, Dept. of Music, May, 2005
  • “The Sounds of Silence: Cage, Smith and Oliveros”, Guelph Jazz Festival and Colloquium, Depts. Of English and Theatre Studies, University of Guelph, 2004
  • “What is a Musical Work? James Newton vs. The Beastie Boys”, McGill Faculty of Law, Intellectual Property Colloquium Series, 2003
  • “Improvisation and Composition, Some Thoughts,” Chapelle historique du Bon-Pasteur, Montreal, 2003
  • “The Right to Improvise—Memory Construction, Improvisation and Morality,” Guelph Jazz Festival and Colloquium, Depts. Of English and Theatre Studies, University of Guelph, 2003
  • FILMS:

  • Koumaria: Improvising New Media Art and Community, executive producer, co-director and video artist, 2014.
  • From Both Sides Now—Improvising Across Communities, Hour-long documentary on trans-art improvisation. Created, directed, shot, edited and produced, 2009.

  • “If You Have to Ask”: The Cultural, Cognitive and Neural Underpinnings of ​​Improvisatory Behavior in the Arts and Beyond, 2016
  • Improvisation, Migration and Multiculturalism, 2016 (Athens, Greece)
  • Jazzing the Data, On Digital Jazz Discographies, 2016
  • Improvisation and Community health, 2015
  • Improvisation and the Politics of Everyday Sounds: Cornelius Cardew and ​​​Beyond: 2014
  • Improvising Community, 2014 (Athens, Greece)
  • Time Forms: The Temporalities of Aesthetic Experience, 2013
  • Skin-Surface- Circuit: Embodying the Improvisatory, 2012
  • Across the Great Divide, Machine—Human Improvisations, 2012 (Athens, ​​​Greece)
  • The Ghost in the Machine: Technologies, Performance, Publics, 2011
  • Improvisation and Social Aesthetics, 2010
  • Lex Non Scripta, Ars not Scripta, 2009
  • Text, Media and Improvisation, 2008
  • Improvisation and Architecture, 2007 (with the CCA)
  • New Frontiers of Improvisation, 2006

  • An active brass and electronics improviser who has performed with Pauline Oliveros, Joe McPhee, Jean Derome, Lori Freedman, Matana Roberts, Malcolm Goldstein, Roger Dean, Joe Girudullo, among many others.
  • Regular member of: The Murray Street Band, The Ratchet Orchestra, The Instant Synthesis Ensemble, and Medea Electronique.
  • Performs regularly and leads workshops on improvising.
  • Help run and organize the annual Koumaria improvising arts residency under the auspices of Medea Electronique, in collaboration with the Onassis Cultural Center.
  • Performed at international festivals such as The Sunni per Il Popolo, FIMAV, The Guelph Jazz Festival, Sound Symposium, Electric Nights, and Sights and Sounds, among others.