I propose the following possible continuations of the research here presented:

  1. Put Eidsheim 2015 and O'Callaghan 2007 in dialogue with each other.
  2. Analyze dances along similar lines to Dodd 2007.
  3. Investigate further into issues of semiotic theory and dance/music
  4. Discuss performance and composition practice that breaks already-presented analyses

Proposal 5

Critique Dodd 2007, Elder 2004, and O'Callaghan 2007.

The philosophy Dodd and Elder (and O'Callaghan to a lesser extent) are doing often uses appeals to "natural language" and "intuition" as a starting point, and frequently aims not only to understand but to justify "our" "intuitive" understandings of the world. For example, Dodd's opening statement that "works of music exist" is solely justified by a list of true English sentences which seem to utilize works of music as objects. The obvious problem with this approach is: whose language and intuition, exactly? In Hilder's essay discussing virtuality and Sámi cosmology, he points out that in the Sámi joik music practice "one does not joik about someone, one joiks someone." For these musicians, the semiotic distance presumed by the typical English construction of a song "about" something is false; a joik is truly an aspect of its subject's existence, and its performance really creates the presence of that subject. If we are to avoid treating the Sámi language and culture as fundamentally less able to understand, portray, and evaluate the world than Western English, we must demand and evaluate explicit argument and justification from any philosopher who wishes to treat these models differently in his analysis. Eidsheim 2019 provides a very useful example of the dangers of naturalizing our intuitive statements about the world even within our own culture, particularly regarding dense nexuses of cultural meaning and associations. The mere commonality and seeming sensicality of common statements about the voice does not necessarily imply their abstract sensibility or philosophical usefulness.

This project would entail first elaborating and sharpening the above critique of philosophical methods applied to sound and musical works, then reviewing current philosophical work on dance and comparing its methods and ideas to those of Dodd, Elder, and O'Callaghan to either extend or reinforce the critique, and finally proposing a study of dance and movement which might avoid these philosophical pitfalls.