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Music and Morality

The ways of poetry and music are not changed anywhere without change in the most important laws of the city. So wrote Plato in the Republic (4.424c). Music, for Plato, was not a neutral amusement. It could express and encourage virtuenobility, dignity, temperance, chastity. But it could also express and encourage vicesensuality, belligerence, indiscipline.

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Farewell to Judgment

The sciences aim to explain the world: they build theories that are tested through experiment, and which describe the workings of nature and the deep connections between cause and effect. Nothing like that is true of the humanities.

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Praying With Mozart and China

Much of the world is looking to the Olympics in Beijing next month as the major 2008 landmark in Chinas relationship with the West. But for me, that landmark already came.

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