Author (Your Name)

Zhengzhou LiFollow

Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Thesis (Open Access)


Colby College. Philosophy Dept.


Lydia Moland

Second Advisor

Steve Saunders


For early Wittgenstein, and perhaps the early analytic tradition, the scope of philosophy is almost synonymous with the limit of language. The quietist doctrine thus abandons all metaphysical inquiry. In the history of philosophy, some German philosophers around the 19th century showed us how we can arrive at the ontological truth in ways other than with language. For these German philosophers, aesthetics and art are vital tools in searching for truth. In response to the Wittgensteinian quietism and in search of other ways of philosophizing besides through the use of language, my thesis focuses specifically on the art of music and aims to explore how music can help us arrive at truth. Looking at Kant, the Romantics, Hegel, Schopenhauer, and Mahler's music, I hope to demonstrate how people might philosophize, or gain access to truth, through music.


Aesthetics, Philosophy of Art, Philosophy of Music, German Idealism