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In his essay "Understanding Music," Roger Scruton has argued for a nonreductionist approach to aesthetics, emphasizing the contextually rich language and grammar that structure discourse about various forms of art. This accords with Wittgenstein's series of "reminders" about the importance of finding philosophical footholds in ordinary language. However refined artistic taste and aesthetic judgment may become, their fundamental source is in ordinary discourse about what surprises, pleases, and moves us. In what follows I will try to amplify these remarks and map the outlines of a conceptual investigation of the grammar of musical understanding. I will be less interested in an account of how we hear music than in an examination of the idea that we hear music.

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Journal of Aesthetic Education

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Philosophy Commons