Chapter 3 explores the principal theme of Jankélévitch’s philosophy of music: a fidelity to music’s inconsistency based in the a priori rejection of any kind of Versprachlichung (Wittgenstinian, Adornian, or otherwise). That is, if Bloch’s and Adorno’s conceptions of music’s ineffability were based in its vague shadowing of linguistic structure, Jankélévitch’s is based in its qualitative refusal of it. The first half of chapter 3 links Jankélévitch’s views of music with his enduring philosophical commitments: to Bergson, to the aporetic experience of the vanishing now, to key aspects of his moral philosophy, and to the metaphysical dynamism of the instant. The second half explains how Jankélévitch develops what I call a “speculative multiplicity” of philosophies of music that are united by their deliberate refusal of any kind of language-like character in music. It concludes by arguing that Jankélévitch’s philosophy is best described not as “antidialectical” but rather as practicing an “unwoven” dialectic that retains an attentive ethics to musical forms while dramatically slackening the criteria one would use to specify them.
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