[Smt-talk] Advocating for the humanities

Whitcomb, Benjamin D whitcomb at uww.edu
Mon Apr 7 17:44:49 PDT 2014


Alas, the joke is on you. My point in making my political argument was precisely to demonstrate the sort of discussion that I hope we all think does not belong on the SMT list, which is why I ended my email by saying "Again, how about saving SMT list for the discussion of music theory?"


Dr. Benjamin Whitcomb
Professor of Cello and Music Theory
University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
From: smt-talk-bounces at lists.societymusictheory.org [smt-talk-bounces at lists.societymusictheory.org] on behalf of Charles J. Smith [cjsmith at buffalo.edu]
Sent: Sunday, April 06, 2014 1:20 PM
To: Smt-talk at lists.societymusictheory.org
Subject: Re: [Smt-talk] Advocating for the humanities

Unfortunately, Benjamin, I think you've missed my point, and presumably therefore also the irony of the situation, which in a dark way is actually rather funny...

You can't make a political argument exhorting folks not to make political arguments, any more than you can invoke logic to "prove" there is no such thing as rationality, or to invoke morality to "justify" the emptiness of moral standards.

Asserting that your argument is reasonable and appropriate amounts to a claim that you are the only one who should be allowed to argue politically—or perhaps that only arguments that you would agree with should be allowed. This is the sort of thing we hear from certain contemporary sources all the time, but I would be sorry to see such a claim appearing on our list-serv without being challenged. As indeed it has been.


Exactly! Thank you for seeing my point, Charles. It sounds like you agree that SMT list is not an appropriate forum for such discussions.


Sent from my iPhone

On Apr 6, 2014, at 8:25 AM, "Charles J. Smith" <cjsmith at buffalo.edu<mailto:cjsmith at buffalo.edu>> wrote:

And here we have submitted to the list an overtly political argument, couched in articulate and persuasive terms, for keeping political arguments off the list...hmmm...



Charles J. Smith
Slee Chair of Music Theory & Director of Graduate Studies
Department of Music, 220 Baird Hall
University at Buffalo
Buffalo, NY 14260
716-645-0639 [academic office]
716-645-3824 [fax]
cjsmith at buffalo.edu<mailto:cjsmith at buffalo.edu>

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