Direkt zum InhaltDirekt zur SucheDirekt zur Navigation
▼ Zielgruppen ▼

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Philosophy, Science and the Sciences

Sinem Derya Kılıç

Plato and music – the little connective ‘and’ hints at a relationship which has not been explored in its depth yet. In fact, none of Plato’s numerous works was entirely dedicated to the topic of music and therefore wears the title Περ μουσικς (“about music”) or is named after a famous musician. This indeed does not mean that the philosopher Plato did not think of music as playing an important role. Quite on the contrary, in almost every dialogue, mentions of μουσική can be found.

Although modern history made Plato’s thoughts on music reemerge both in theory, with Gioseffo Zarlino and Claudio Monteverdi, and in sound, with Leonard Bernstein’s Serenade after Plato’s “Symposium”, only parts of Plato’s works, such as the Politeia or the Nomoi, have been analysed solely with regard to certain aspects of his musical theory. What has not been done is to examine his complete works and to find out about his thoughts on music and how he defines the term μουσική for himself because, in fact, Plato’s idea of music is to be understood in a broader sense that cannot be restricted to the Latin concept of musica.

I dedicate my doctoral thesis to the study of Plato’s understanding of music, analysing the whole Corpus Platonicum by using transdisciplinary methods from musicology, philosophy, and classics. The second part of my thesis deals with the philosophy of music of the Renaissance by referring to Marsilio Ficino, Johannes Kepler, Robert Fludd, Marin Mersenne, and Athanasius Kircher. 

Areas of specialization

Philosophy of Music; Aesthetics; Ancient and Late Ancient Philosophy (Plato, Aristotle, Apuleius); Arabic Philosophy; Renaissance Philosophy; 19th- and 20th-Century Philosophy (Schopenhauer, Hegel, Nietzsche, Wittgenstein)


since 10/2015 Ph.D. Candidate in Philosophy, Research Training Group "Philosophy, Science and the Sciences" (supervisor: Prof. Dr. Bernd Roling, Freie Universität Berlin)

since 10/2015 Research Assistant at the Schopenhauer Research Centre, Johannes Gutenberg Universität Mainz

10/2014 – 07/2015 Teaching and Research Assistant at the Department of Philosophy, Johannes Gutenberg Universität Mainz

10/2014  Magistra Artium (M. A.) in Philosophy (major subject), Latin Philology and  Musicology (minor subjects); final mark: 1,0 “with distinction”

2011 – 2013 Collaborator in a research project on “Peter Cornelius as Music Theorist” at the Bern University of the Arts (HKB), Switzerland; research topic: The reception of Hegel’s philosophy in music theory

10–12/2011 Internship at the arts section of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (F.A.Z.)

02–03/2009 Internship at the Department of Music History of the Istituto Storico Germanico (DHI) in Rome

Publications & Conference Papers

For a full list of my publications and presentations, please click here.