Technicity, consciousness, and musical objects

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

3 Scopus citations


This chapter considers the topics of music, consciousness, technique, and technology from the perspective of deconstruction. A deconstructive philosophy of technology (informed variously by the work of Edmund Husserl, Martin Heidegger, Jacques Derrida, and Bernard Stiegler) complicates a phenomenological way of understanding conscious experiences of musical objects. In arguing that technology is not something that is exterior to humans, but is something that is intrinsic to life itself, this idea (called constitutive technicity) throws a sceptical light on any effort to secure a 'transcendental' or phenomenological description of what it means to experience music as an object. In fact, several arguments in this line of thinking go so far as to claim that a musical object may be, in a strict ontological sense, impossible. The chapter attempts to sustain the logic of these ideas long enough for them to be understood clearly. The first two sections are exclusively philosophical, engaging in a demonstration of how thinkers in the tradition of deconstruction understand technology to be integral to life. Questions specifically relating to music and consciousness turn up in the following three sections, where an attempt is made to relate the idea of constitutive technicity to issues in the phenomenology of music.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMusic and Consciousness
Subtitle of host publicationPhilosophical, Psychological, and Cultural Perspectives
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9780191728617
ISBN (Print)9780199553792
StatePublished - Jan 19 2012


  • Consciousness
  • Constitutive technicity
  • Deconstructive
  • Music
  • Phenomenology
  • Technique
  • Technology


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