This post was originally posted on Phil Ford’s blog, Dial “M” for Musicology: Music, Musicology, and Related Matters. This is re-posted with permission from Phil, an associate professor of musicology at the Indiana University. Phil is the author of Dig: Sound and Music in Hip Culture (Oxford University Press, 2013), and articles the Journal of Musicology, Jazz Perspectives, Musical Quarterly, among other scholarly journals.
Warning: this post is very long, rather serious, and takes a break from my ongoing series on Sun Ra’s Space is the Place. I will get back to that forthwith. But today, though, I want to write about something else, namely mental illness.
A talk by Peter Railton has been making the philosophy social-media rounds lately. The talk (“Innocent Abroad: Rupture, Liberation, and Solidarity”) deals with a familiar theme, the relationship of social engagement and the life of the mind, and develops it through a series of autobiographical vignettes. Some of these take place against the background of large public events — Sputnik, the civil rights movement, the Columbia student strike — and some of them belong to the more private domain of student advising, collegial conversation, and committee service. The common thread that runs through them all is the sense that, when we meet a moment of moral challenge, we cannot evade the responsibility to…
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