Philip Pettit

Philip Pettit

Laurence Rockefeller University Professor of Politics and Human Values, Princeton University


PHILIP PETTIT is L.S.Rockefeller University Professor of Human Values, Princeton, and Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, Australian National University. Raised in Ireland, he has held positions on both sides of the border as well as in a number of other countries. He is best known for his articulation and defence of civic republican ideas, building carefully on the history of the tradition. Republicanism (Oxford 1997) has been translated into over a dozen languages and has been followed up by other works that develop the core ideas, most recently Just Freedom (Norton, 2014). President Zapatero of Spain embraced republican principles in his first term of government, 2004-08, and invited Pettit, in a public exchange in Madrid, July 2004, to do a review before the subsequent election of how far his administration had conformed to those principles. This review, presented publicly in July 2007, and published in Spanish in 2008, is included in a joint book with the Spanish legal theorist, Jose Marti, A Political Philosophy in Public Life: Civic Republicanism in Zapatero’s Spain (Princeton 2010). Pettit works in a wide range of philosophical areas and his other books include The Common Mind (1993,) ; The Economy of Esteem (2004) with G.Brennan; Group Agency (2011) with C. List ; On the People’s Terms (2012); and The Robust Demands of the Good (2015). Common Minds: Themes from the Philosophy of Philip Pettit , ed G.Brennan et al, appeared from Oxford in 2007. Philip Pettit – Five Themes from his Work, ed S.Derpmann and D.Schweikard , appeared from Springer in 2016.

composed by Arswain
machine learning consultation by Anna Tskhovrebov
commissioned by the Berggruen Institute
premiered at the Bradbury Building
downtown Los Angeles
april 22, 2022

Human perception of what sounds “beautiful” is necessarily biased and exclusive. If we are to truly expand our hearing apparatus, and thus our notion of beauty, we must not only shed preconceived sonic associations but also invite creative participation from beings non-human and non-living. We must also begin to cede creative control away from ourselves and toward such beings by encouraging them to exercise their own standards of beauty and collaborate with each other.

Movement I: Alarm Call
‘Alarm Call’ is a long-form composition and sound collage that juxtaposes, combines, and manipulates alarm calls from various human, non-human, and non-living beings. Evolutionary biologists understand the alarm call to be an altruistic behavior between species, who, by warning others of danger, place themselves by instinct in a broader system of belonging. The piece poses the question: how might we hear better to broaden and enhance our sense of belonging in the universe? Might we behave more altruistically if we better heed the calls of – and call out to – non-human beings?

Using granular synthesis, biofeedback, and algorithmic modulation, I fold the human alarm call – the siren – into non-human alarm calls, generating novel “inter-being” sonic collaborations with increasing sophistication and complexity. 

Movement II: A.I.-Truism
A synthesizer piece co-written with an AI in the style of Vangelis’s Blade Runner score, to pay homage to the space of the Bradbury Building.

Movement III: Alarmism
A machine learning model “learns” A.I.Truism and recreates Alarm Call, generating an original fusion of the two.

Movement IV: A.I. Call
A machine learning model “learns” Alarm Call and recreates A.I.Truism, generating an original fusion of the two.