The Philosophy of Music and the Attunement of the Soul with Jack Bagby


In this episode we speak with Philosophy, Cosmology and Consciousness core faculty, Jack Bagby about his engagement with the philosophy of music, from Socrates, to Schopenhauer, and Bergson. We discuss Jack’s recent PCC class called The Philosophy of Music and the Attunement of the Soul and dive into the complex ideas of these thinkers regarding the transformative powers of music. Jack explains how the ancient Greek’s developed a complex set of tuning systems and alternative temperaments with powerful attributes and psychic properties, in which one can attune themselves to through the development of an affective psychology. Jack, and myself have been experimenting composing and improvising in these these modes and we share 3 pieces based on ancient Greek modes.

PCC Forum with Jack Bagby: Tuning, Caring for, and Recollecting the Soul in Socrates' Swansongs

Musical Compositions in the Episode by Jack Bagby and Jonathan Kay

1. A Paean of Apollo the Healer in Archytas' Dorian Diatonic

2. Ptolemy soft diatonic

3. A prelude to the compromises of universality. Ptolemy's Even Diatonic

John (Jack) Bagby received his PhD. in philosophy from Boston College in 2021, and a B.A. in philosophy and ancient Greek language, from the Pennsylvania State University in 2013. Professor Bagby conducts research on the history of philosophy, focusing on problems related to consciousness, nature, and evolution. He has published in Epoché and Journal for the British Society of Phenomenology, on ancient Greek philosophy and phenomenology (especially Henri Bergson) and has strong research interests in Baruch Spinoza, 19th-20th century European philosophy, process philosophy, philosophy of music, and aesthetics. He is currently working on a translation of Bergson's 1902-3 Lectures at the Collège de France The History of The Idea of Time (Bloomsbury Press), and finishing up the manuscript of his monograph Integrals of Experience: Aristotle and Bergson. When thinking about complex concepts or solving textual problems, Jack loves to construct diagrams and concept maps. Between 2016-2018 he combined his love for creating visualizations with his love of Spinoza to create a website that maps the complex textual citations used in his magnum opus, the Ethics.

The EWP Podcast credits

Your Host

Stephen Julich and Jonathan Kay

Stephen Julich has worked as an adjunct instructor in History and Anthropology at the City College of New York, as a lecturer in Jungian Studies at the University of Philosophical Research in Los Angeles, and as an adjunct instructor at the California Institute of Integral Studies where he has taught classes on ensouled writing and Western Esotericism.

Jonathan Kay is a professional musician, and is currently a PhD student in the department of East-West Psychology at California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco under the mentorship of Dr. Debashish Banerji.

View Profile