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Conferenza ART - Lisa Giombini (Università di Roma Tre) - Torino 25 febbraio 2019

Pubblicato: Martedì 19 febbraio 2019 da Alessandro Giovanni Bertinetto

The next lecture of ART (Aesthetics Research Torino) Philosophical Seminar will be delivered by Dr. Lisa Giombini on February 25th at 2 p.m.

Location: Università di Torino, Aula Guzzo, Via Po 18 - Torino

Lisa Giombini

Too Good to be True. Music, plagiarism and the ‘Hatto Scandal’


When she died of cancer in June 2006, English pianist Joyce Hatto was hailed as a musical genius by the press. In the previous thirty years, despite illness, she had proven capable of mastering an incredible repertoire, encompassing nearly the entire literature ever composed for piano. Prodigy of old age, she was thought to deserve a place of honour in the annals of classical music. Which, indeed, she obtained – as a plagiarist, though. Hatto’s fake recordings, all stolen from other interpreters, have given rise to one of the greatest scandals in music history.

But why do we oppose to plagiarism in the first place? The topic has been to the core of a long-standing philosophical debate, significantly started with Goodman’s discussion of authenticity in Chapter III of his Languages of Art (1968). Some theoreticians (Goodman 1968; Danto 1981; Sagoff 1978) have argued that the value our culture places on originality is justified, since authenticity is essential to an artwork’s identity and a prerequisite for it to have aesthetic significance. Other (Lessing 1965; Zemach 1989; Jaworski 2013) have retorted that the great store we set by originality is just fetishism, sentimentalism, or even plain snobbery. If we could ever get rid of these irrational presuppositions we might come to accept plagiarism as a normal practice – we might, that is, enjoy Hatto’s recordings just like those of anyone else.

More than being just a matter of cultural or sentimental values, in this paper I argue that our interest in originality has to do with the idea of art itself as a special form of human accomplishment. One fundamental intuition in this regard is the assessment of the artwork as the result of a unique creative human act. Similarly, Dutton (1979, 2003, 2009) has contended that people assess all artworks as the end-point of human performances. From this perspective, art is like any sort of performing activity, including sport: we care how the obtained results have been achieved; if they have come out from natural vs artificial skill, for instance (Newman and Bloom, 2012). Unrevealed forgery and plagiarism trigger our admiration through a form of deception: they disguise the accomplishment. There might, however, be increasing confusion in the future over what counts as a fake. Given the advances in the field of audio-visual material digital alteration, is our view of artistic authenticity going to change?


Lisa Giombini is a Research and Teaching Assistant at the University of Roma Tre (Italy), Department of Philosophy, Communication and Visual Arts. In 2015 she was awarded a PhD in Philosophy by the University of Lorraine (France) and the University of Roma Tre (Italy), with a focus on music ontology and meta-ontology. She was subsequently DAAD post-doctoral fellow at Stuttgart National Academy of Fine Arts (2016) and at the Institute of Philosophy of Freie Universität Berlin (2017/2018). She is the author of the volume Musical Ontology. A guide for the Perplexed (2017). Aside from the philosophy of music, her research interests include the philosophy and ontology of art conservation and restoration with a particular emphasis on notions of identity, authenticity and originality in art-related practices. She presented papers at several international conferences both in Europe and in the U.S.


ART (Aesthetics Research Torino) is a periodic philosophical seminar organized by the Department of Philosophy and Educational Sciences of the University of Turin and the PhD Program FINO. It is coordinated by Prof. Alessandro Bertinetto.

ART addresses different topics of the contemporary debate in Aesthetics: philosophy of beauty, philosophy of the arts, theory of sensory experience, philosophy of image and imagination, and history of aesthetics.

ART is supported by:
Centro Interuniversitario di Ricerca sulla Morfologia Francesco Moiso (CIM)
Centro di Ricerca Interdipartimentale di Logica, Linguaggio e Cognizione (LLC)
Centro Studi Arti della Modernità

Centro Studi Filosofico-religiosi "Luigi Pareyson"
Laboratorio di Ontologia (Labont)


ART is sponsored by: 
Italian Society for Aesthetics (SIE) 
European Society for Aesthetics (ESA)


Ultimo aggiornamento: 25/02/2019 12:42

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