Francis Wolff is currently Full Professor in the Department of Philosophy of the École Normale Supérieure in Paris. His past research has been on Ancient Philosophy and the works of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. His work is now focused on contemporary metaphysics, philosophy of language, and aesthetics. His latest book is on music and the arts in general: Pourquoi la musique? (Fayard, 2015).



What is Music?
When Wolff was a child, he learned with delight that “music is the art of sounds.” In a way, this was his introduction to philosophical problems. He rapidly discovered the trap of definitions: They seem to give us an acceptable answer to one “what is?” but they actually force us to ask new, unanswered questions such as, “What is an art?” and “What is a sound?” Philosophers are usually tempted by the first (misleading) question. Wolff will follow the second: “What is a sound?” And through the definition of a sound as a sign of an event, he will suggest that music is the representation of an ideal world of pure events.

Time: 10 pm
Location: Ukrainian Institute of America / Concert Hall