The Philosophy of Philosophy

I’ve been having a load of fun over the last few days recovering from a fluey bug I caught last week (thanks dad) and doing my references for a philosophy essay. I’m determined that this time I’ll actually know what the references are about rather than just skimming the first page like I usually do, so I’ve been reading all the way through and making notes to refer to for the essay. It’s 100% coursework, OK, there isn’t an exam for this module (!!!) so I really need to do well.

I think my least favourite part of it was the part where two of the books only exist as hard copies in the library at RHUL, 40 minutes away from home. Thank god I realised before I went up to Yorkshire, because there’s just something about a 4 hour drive to the library that doesn’t appeal, you know? As it was I had to spend half an hour checking the same damn shelf because I’d mixed the two books up and I was looking for the wrong three letter code.

Anyway, the question I’ve chosen is about knowledge in art. Can art give us knowledge? My instinctive answer is, of course it can! But I’m starting to think that maybe that knee-jerk reaction might not be entirely correct. In fact – and this is a good one, I’m thinking I might throw something like this in – the mere assumption that artistic quality has to be associated with cognitive brilliance is indicative of the privileging of intellectuality inherent in European society. This elitism regarding standards of media possibly limits our appreciation of art to that which is ‘traditionally’ cognitively brilliant. tl;dr: we think stuff has to be clever to be high quality, but maybe it doesn’t.

Wow that paragraph was a mouthful. almost as much of a mouthful as some of these readings. Well, I’d better get back to it. Lamarque isn’t going to read himself…


Deadline Day, the last lecture, and potentially too much sushi

Yesterday was deadline day! Some departments have lots of days where they have to hand essays in, but the music department just simplifies things. “everything in on the last Wednesday of term, kids” they say. “Two hard copies and submit in online and WRITE YOUR CODE ON THE COVER SHEET WITH YOUR CANDIDATE NO. THAT CHANGES EVERY YEAR. what are you talking about this is easy stop crying”

I mean, there’s also my composition techniques exercise which is due on the first day after the Easter holidays. And the philosophy essay that’s due in on the day of my first exam. Apart from that, we’re done.

Oh, and of course options selection day on Friday. For those not in the know, the options selection form must be submitted by email at 8.30. Attempts to submit the form before 8.30 will be met with your form being sent to the back of the queue. ??? Its a baffling system to me, particularly as the form itself is approximately 50 miles away from a sensible format. And of course all the lectures are on a ‘first come first serve’ basis, which doesn’t really work if everyone’s frantically submitting the damn things at 8.30 in the morning. I digress.

Oh, not to forget handing in the accompaniment for my recital! Yet another thing to have to photocopy and sellotape together, because paper & ink & sellotape are cheap.

Fortunately, today was my absolute last lecture of the year, so we celebrated afterwards with some sushi rolls and a cup of chai latte.

Procrastination is my final destination

Yes, I admit it. I chose that title purely because it rhymes. I’m a terrible person, I know.

You know what I should be doing right now? My assignments, that’s what. I hate to admit it, but one of them is due in on Tuesday. Tuesday. What have I become? What manner of evil have I stooped to that means I’m writing blog posts instead of doing work? What strange being does laundry and cleans the kitchen instead of doing their assignment?

Admittedly, that’s my general life ethic. When I write essays, things like this happen

The Protestant Reformation impacted all aspects of life throughout Europe, including the ways in which music was performed and written. from the strict Protestant regime of Edward VI, to the devoutly Catholic Mary I, and back to the moderately Protestant Elizabeth I.

What is that last sentence even doing? I don’t know, it’s like the time I randomly wrote ‘coul’ on an assignment and couldn’t remember why. Why, coul. ‘Coulson’? ‘Could’? ‘Couscous’?

Problem number 2: Capital letters.

What do I do. How do I do? Do I capitalise ‘Church’? ‘Protestant’? ‘High Church’? I don’t even knooow

Also, it’s very easy to waffle. All you really have to to is add extraneous unnecessary words and before you know it the word count has leapt sky high.

(not literally, I haven’t been throwing my laptop around)

I hate the abuse of adjectives, but I find myself writing about the ‘strength and warmth’ of the bass line, the ‘haunting’ soprano, and the ‘magnificent echoing effect’. That’s another word I’ve abused. ‘Effect’. Poor thing. I bet it doesn’t even know what it means anymore.