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Metaphysical Graffiti 

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ISBN 978-0-8126-9964-7


xx + 396 pages


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Metaphysical Graffiti

Deep Cuts in the Philosophy of Rock

Randall E. Auxier

Is it possible for philosophy to make sense of music? After all, music is magical, and philosophy is rational. Even so, Auxier brings the two together into a harmony that not only reveals a great deal about the most mysterious of all human arts, but also helps us understand a bit about philosophy. This wonderful book provides insight into two dissonant arts as only one written by a philosopher-musician can.”

—Nicolas Michaud, editor of Discworld and Philosophy

 “Dr. Auxier’s book covers two subjects he’s spent his life immersed in—rock music and philosophy. The winding threads between the two feel organically generated—he’s conversant in both disciplines—and the tension between what had seemed disparate fields sets up a third vibration which feels something like the presence of history. His analysis of The Rolling Stones’ musical and interpersonal dynamic is nothing short of brilliant. The philosophical grace told in Phil Lesh’s approach to the bass is enlightening in more ways than one.”

— Andrew Calhoun, singer-songwriter, founder of Waterbug Records

“Randy Auxier reaches here for new ways to write philosophy and new things to write philosophy about. It’s all in the same flow: the autobiography, the ratiocination, and the music. What I like best about this book—aside from the rollicking prose—is the way the thought emerges from the music, rather than being imposed on it. The life, the politics, memory, philosophy, and melody are effortlessly and fully integrated. Metaphysical Graffiti shows that profound thought can be a kind of music.”

— Crispin Sartwell, author of Six Names of Beauty and Against the State

 “Look, these are great essays. I’ve read them. At the end of the day, they won’t put food on your table or anything, but to some of us music-lovers, there’s some solace in the act of reflection. . . . If you love music and have wondered even a little about why you love it so much, turn up your brain to eleven and listen to this record.”

— From the Foreword by Luke Dick

Randall E. Auxier is a musician and professor of Philosophy and Communication Studies at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. He wrote Time, Will, and Purpose: Living Ideas from the Philosophy of Josiah Royce. Luke Dick is a songwriter and co-editor of The Rolling Stones and Philosophy. Bruce Chandler, who took the photographs, is a drummer, recording engineer, and producer.

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