Nelson Goodman on Music: Assessment of a Controversy
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Nelson Goodman's Languages of Art is an attempt to make some logical distinctions between different types of art. Goodman's first distinction is between autographic and allographic arts, that is, between arts whose works can be forged (like painting) and arts whose works cannot be forged (like music). He further says that roughly speaking, the difference between the two kinds of arts is that allographic ones can be notated in a "notational system," a term for which he provides a technical definition. There is some dispute as to whether music answers his criterion for "notation". This paper, then, is an attempt to critically asses the controversy.