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Musical VitalitiesVentures in a Biotic Aesthetics of Music$
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Holly Watkins

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780226594705

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226594842.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 20 November 2019



(p.1) Introduction
Musical Vitalities

Holly Watkins

University of Chicago Press

The Introduction presents the rationale of the book and defines musical vitality in relation to music’s ability to both stimulate and simulate life—whether human, nonhuman, or some indeterminate mixture of the two. It outlines a biotic aesthetics that engages with thought spanning the humanities and the sciences and discusses the book’s indebtedness to the theory and philosophy of embodied cognition, systems theory, biosemiotics, animal studies and critical plant studies, and contemporary philosophy and aesthetics. The Introduction summarizes the six chapters and positions the book with respect to posthumanism, ecomusicology, and studies of nineteenth-century music and aesthetics. Finally, it explores the thought of Friedrich Nietzsche as a predecessor to approaches that question that boundaries between the human and the nonhuman and between culture and nature.

Keywords:   vitality, aesthetics, nineteenth-century music, embodied cognition, systems theory, biosemiotics, animal studies, critical plant studies, Friedrich Nietzsche, nonhuman

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