Johann Sebastian Bach, The Well-Tempered Clavier. // Fideism. The ontological argument for the existence of God

Andrey Velikanov’s Lecture Cycle: Ideas and Forms
24 September 2017


The lecture will analyze music as a type of philosophical language.

In his Philosophical Investigations, Ludwig Wittgenstein undertakes the analysis of language which makes possible, and meaningful the most diverse of its forms. Religious faiths can also be considered linguistic games, revealing their intention for rational, as well as transcendental cognition. Music is one such language, and one of the most well-known musical pieces, Bach’s Well Tempered Clavier, was composed as symbolic evidence of the perfection and harmony of the world—which, philosophically, is analogous to the ontological argument for the existence of God.

“If God had looked into our minds he would not have been able to see there whom we were speaking of.” (Ludwig Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations, 1954)

“The way you use the word 'God' does not show whom you mean—but, rather, what you mean.” (Ludwig Wittgenstein, Culture and Value, 1946)


Andrey Velikanov is a philosopher, art theorist, and artist. His publications on art and cultural theory include Am I a Trembling Simulacrum, or Do I Have the Right? (NLO, 2007). He has taught at the National Research University Higher School of Economics, Russian State University for the Humanities, UNIC Institute, Wordshop Communications Academy, Moscow 1905 Art Academy, MediaArtLab Open School, Center of Avant-Garde at the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center, and Free Workshops Art School, and regularly gives talks and takes part in discussions at various venues. He is also a recipient of several media art awards and prizes including Ostranenie (Germany), DADANET (Russia), Art on the Net (Japan), TrashArt (Russia), Southwest Interactive Festival (U.S.A.), and Split (Croatia).


Free admission

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