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Music, Affect, Method, Data: Reflections on the Carroll Versus Kivy Debate

Vladimir J. Konečni
The American Journal of Psychology
Vol. 126, No. 2 (Summer 2013), pp. 179-195
DOI: 10.5406/amerjpsyc.126.2.0179
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.5406/amerjpsyc.126.2.0179
Page Count: 17
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Music, Affect, Method, Data: Reflections on the Carroll Versus Kivy Debate
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Abstract

The comprehensive exchange between Noël Carroll and Peter Kivy, which took place in 2007, addressed key issues in the relationship between music and affect. More than in any prior philosophical debate on this topic, experimental psychologists' methods and data played a significant role. However, to a nontrivial extent, the findings-perhaps especially the dubious-were misconstrued or misused, usually without acknowledging the existence of contrary data-based opinion within the psychology of music itself. Therefore, one objective of the present article is to identify the specific problematic features and shed light on the broader context shared by the two disciplines. A complementary goal is to examine contributions to philosophers' transgressions by music psychologists' insufficiently conscientious reporting, frequent overgeneralizations, and unawareness of philosophers' critical arguments. Another objective is to examine the current status of key concepts-the relevant music, basic emotions, mood, expression, induction, movement and dance, and methods (including introspection and experimental procedures)- thus perhaps enabling the discussion of music and affect to proceed with fewer misunderstandings. Finally, the article moves beyond the initial debate and builds on a remarkable agreement of philosophical and psychological opinion on a key issue (the induction of non-basic emotions by absolute music) to reach a new conceptual ground.

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