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 Post subject: Re: The topic of 'judging'/'evaluating' pianists' playing
PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2011 10:04 pm 
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musical-md wrote:
Except for mathematics, no?

I did my graduation in a mathematics institute. I'm no specialist in both philosophy or mathematics, but I'd say that not even maths skip.

For example... it has been proved that it's not possible to build a whole mathematic theory based in axioms. No matter which axioms you set, there will always be some truth which is impossible to prove from them. So if this "truth" becomes an axiom, you will find another truth which is also impossible to prove, and so on.

Given this, the decision of what is an axiom and what is not is not objective (it's political!).

musical-md wrote:
Hey Felipe, how about adding a location to your profile? I like to know where in the world everybody is. Thanks for signing with your actual name too.

I didn't even know there is a function like that in the profile. Any way, it is in my bio page here in PS.

musical-md wrote:
Thanks for signing with your actual name too.

How are you so sure this is my actual name? :D

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 Post subject: Re: The topic of 'judging'/'evaluating' pianists' playing
PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2011 10:11 pm 
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johnlewisgrant wrote:
More on "objectivity" in music evaluation: no doubt "pure" objectivity is impossible, but only God (metaphorically or literally speaking--take your pick) is capable of that. A useful definition of the word might be one that allows for something less than perfection or absolutism. Again, I think it is useful to notice that "objectivity," meaning here "an evidence-based attitude towards the search for truth," is actually possible in the history of music, music performance and musical interpretation in particular. Evaluation of the "aesthetic" (vs technical) merits of a piano performance seems, in contrast, to be something much more subjective. Not only is "pure" objectivity impossible in the aesthetic evaluation of a musical performance; perhaps any kind of objectivity is!

I think this "evidence-based..." is not purely objective.
but objectiveness, though not completely possible, should be sought, as an ideal. (there are people who think "since this is not possible, I should not try at all". I don't mean this.)

saying that God thing (not speaking religiously)... we will never know as much as God, or be as perfect as Him. but we must get as close as possible to this Ideal.

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 Post subject: Re: The topic of 'judging'/'evaluating' pianists' playing
PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 12:37 am 
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felipesarro wrote:
johnlewisgrant wrote:
More on "objectivity" in music evaluation: no doubt "pure" objectivity is impossible, but only God (metaphorically or literally speaking--take your pick) is capable of that. A useful definition of the word might be one that allows for something less than perfection or absolutism. Again, I think it is useful to notice that "objectivity," meaning here "an evidence-based attitude towards the search for truth," is actually possible in the history of music, music performance and musical interpretation in particular. Evaluation of the "aesthetic" (vs technical) merits of a piano performance seems, in contrast, to be something much more subjective. Not only is "pure" objectivity impossible in the aesthetic evaluation of a musical performance; perhaps any kind of objectivity is!

I think this "evidence-based..." is not purely objective.
but objectiveness, though not completely possible, should be sought, as an ideal. (there are people who think "since this is not possible, I should not try at all". I don't mean this.)

saying that God thing (not speaking religiously)... we will never know as much as God, or be as perfect as Him. but we must get as close as possible to this Ideal.

Said as a card-carrying philosophical sceptic! :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: The topic of 'judging'/'evaluating' pianists' playing
PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 1:16 am 
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musical-md wrote:
Said as a card-carrying philosophical sceptic! :wink:

Yes! I said that as an skeptical, so that it would sound more rational and trusting! :D

But I do believe in God, quite in the way of the quantum physicist Amit Goswami. Lots of religious beliefs from the past have been proved by the science of nowadays.

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 Post subject: Re: The topic of 'judging'/'evaluating' pianists' playing
PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 1:39 am 
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musical-md wrote:
felipesarro wrote:
I believe there is no pure objectivity at all, ...
Except for mathematics, no?


Yes and no. There is objectivity as to whether something is correct. But when you ask which parts of mathematics are beautiful or interesting, you will find a lot of disagreement amongst mathematicians.

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 Post subject: Re: The topic of 'judging'/'evaluating' pianists' playing
PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 1:43 am 
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johnlewisgrant wrote:
Not only is "pure" objectivity impossible in the aesthetic evaluation of a musical performance; perhaps any kind of objectivity is!


I think competition judges have a responsibility to strive for the sort of objectivity that says "I don't enjoy music by composer X, but I can still tell the difference between a good and bad performance of their work" as opposed to "contestant A played a piece by my least favourite composer X so I won't let them through to the next round." Or "I personally never use the pedal when playing Bach, but I acknowledge that some very good pianists do so and this contestant did it tastefully" as opposed to "They used the pedal in Bach so they are automatically eliminated." And so on.

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 Post subject: Re: The topic of 'judging'/'evaluating' pianists' playing
PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 12:46 pm 
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felipesarro wrote:
Given this, the decision of what is an axiom and what is not is not objective (it's political!).

IMHO, the definition of what constitutes a mathematical proof is also not objective (though probably not political). I remember reading lengthy proofs which are peppered with expressions like "therefore", "hence", "it is clear that", "obviously", "clearly", and so on. These steps can be quite big sometimes, and it can be a leap of faith to follow them. So I am always a bit skeptical whenever something has been "proven". Especially when it is something really arcane like proving that something is unprovable. Maybe things like that had better be postulated as axioms :D

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 Post subject: Re: The topic of 'judging'/'evaluating' pianists' playing
PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 2:41 pm 
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Je pense, donc, je suis!

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 Post subject: Re: The topic of 'judging'/'evaluating' pianists' playing
PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 2:48 pm 
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That, certainly, is an axiom. Or else prove it :mrgreen:

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 Post subject: Re: The topic of 'judging'/'evaluating' pianists' playing
PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 3:15 pm 
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I'm thinking (which is always a dangerous thing to do):
If anything is knowable, then something is objective.
If nothing is knowable with certainty, then it is not possible to say "There is no objectivity," because that statement is a universal claiming knowledge, and is self-refuting.

Le philisophe. Eddy du Fleuve

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 Post subject: Re: The topic of 'judging'/'evaluating' pianists' playing
PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 4:03 pm 
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techneut wrote:
I remember reading lengthy proofs which are peppered with expressions like "therefore", "hence", "it is clear that", "obviously", "clearly", and so on. These steps can be quite big sometimes, and it can be a leap of faith to follow them.

Ah, but you must bear in mind that words like "obviously" and "clearly" don't mean the same thing to mathematicians as they do to non-mathematicians. "Clearly X" to a mathematician means something like "I don't feel like demonstrating/proving X right now, but feel free to verify it yourself if you don't believe me". It's like "left as an exercise to the reader". The implication of course being that if it isn't clear to you, you have no business reading the paper. :)

It's like the joke about the mathematics professor giving a lecture. He writes "it is obvious that X" on the board. Then he goes quiet. He stares at the board in silence for a few minutes, then vanishes into a back room. Half an hour later he returns, says "Yes. It is obvious." and carries on where he left off.


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 Post subject: Re: The topic of 'judging'/'evaluating' pianists' playing
PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 4:17 pm 
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jim_24601 wrote:
Ah, but you must bear in mind that words like "obviously" and "clearly" don't mean the same thing to mathematicians as they do to non-mathematicians. "Clearly X" to a mathematician means something like "I don't feel like demonstrating/proving X right now, but feel free to verify it yourself if you don't believe me". It's like "left as an exercise to the reader". The implication of course being that if it isn't clear to you, you have no business reading the paper. :)

Now he tells me :roll:

jim_24601 wrote:
It's like the joke about the mathematics professor giving a lecture. He writes "it is obvious that X" on the board. Then he goes quiet. He stares at the board in silence for a few minutes, then vanishes into a back room. Half an hour later he returns, says "Yes. It is obvious." and carries on where he left off.

:lol:
As this thread has so spectacularly and irrevocably gone OT, I may as well post this splendid joke from "Why Teachers Drink".

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 Post subject: Re: The topic of 'judging'/'evaluating' pianists' playing
PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 7:01 pm 
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Image

and there is Pigs in Mathematics:
http://pigsinmath.blogspot.com/2011/01/152.html

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Last edited by felipesarro on Wed Feb 09, 2011 7:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: The topic of 'judging'/'evaluating' pianists' playing
PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 7:08 pm 
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Chris and Felipe,
Are you guys Real or Imaginary? :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: The topic of 'judging'/'evaluating' pianists' playing
PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 7:42 pm 
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musical-md wrote:
Chris and Felipe,
Are you guys Real or Imaginary? :wink:

That would be too easy... Complex, of course :P

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