New research article: Can we buy virtue?

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Recent world developments have put a strain on the humanities in general, and higher education music performance study degree-programmes in particular. In an educational system currently promoting consumer-product relationships where the music performance teacher is very much accountable for the students’ development into professional musicians and, recently, also sustainable world citizens, we must give more attention to what, whom and why we educate? This chapter is an armchair analytical philosophical continuation of a paper published elsewhere (Rolfhamre, 2020). Taking the lead from Julia Annas’ (2011) virtueas-skill, I will, here, elaborate on what implications the Norwegian state higher education funding system may have on the higher education music performance teacher’s perceived mandate from the perspectives of music pedagogy, rhetoric and virtue ethics. First, I pursue three different usages of the verb “to buy” to exemplify why I find the chapter’s title to be relevant and valid. This sets the premises for the following turn to rhetoric to highlight the starting point’s persuasive functions and incentives. Subsequently, I briefly relate the argument to Butlerian performativity to emphasise its relation to normativity, inclusion-exclusion and the theoretical possibility of “breaking free”. From this position, I draw on Aristotelian phronesis, mainly through the position held by Hansen (2007) to sketch up an ecology in which I ask how this all affects the teacher’s mandate?

Keywords: higher education, music performance, teacher’s mandate, virtue, rhetoric, pedagogy

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