Seminar Series in Analytic Philosophy 2022-23: Session 22

Musical Works, Nested Types and Modal Claims

Nemesio García-Carril Puy (Complutense University of Madrid)


5 May 2023, 16:00 (Lisbon Time – WET)

Faculdade de Letras de Lisboa

Sala Mattos Romão (Departamento de Filosofia)


Abstract: Guy Rohrbaugh and Allan Hazlett have provided an argument against the thesis that musical works are types. In short, they assume that, according to our modal talk and intuitions, musical works are modally flexible entities; since types are modally inflexible entities, musical works are not types. I argue that the argument fails, and that the type/token theorist can preserve the truth of our modal claims and intuitions even if types are modally inflexible entities. I focus on the premise that musical works are modally flexible entities. A deeper analysis of musical practice will show that this premise is not true: our modal claims do not imply that musical works could have had different intrinsic but, instead, extrinsic properties. Finally, I show how the nested types theory may offer a satisfactory explanation of this fact and that it captures the truth of our modal talk about musical works.