Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The genetic fallacy

~From Roots of the Classicalby Peter Van der Merwe, page 230:

Next to snobbery and ethnic prejudice, the greatest barrier to recognizing these patterns is what philosophers call the 'genetic fallacy', the feeling that everything somehow carries the taint of its origins. Compositions that draw on trivial sources must themselves be trivial; Oriental patterns must go on sound Oriental--or so we tend to think. The greater the composer, the more triumphantly will such notions be refuted.

Not that I've met anyone who actually disagreed with this, but I think it's an important thing to keep in mind, and worthy of being quoted for at least my own remembrance.



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