Sir Richard Sorabji

Sir Richard Sorabji

Professor of Philosophy Emeritus, King's College London


Richard Sorabji, is Honorary Fellow of Wolfson College, Oxford. He enjoys teaching and has had many doctoral students and postdoctoral colleagues, while Professor of Philosophy at Cornell University and King’s College, London, Director of the Institute of Classical Studies in the University of London, Gresham Professor of Rhetoric, Global Distinguished Professor in Classics at NYU and repeatedly visiting Professor of Philosophy at the Graduate Center of the City University, New York, and at Austin Texas. He is interested in the history of philosophy partly for the contribution it makes to philosophical issues of the present. His 15 books include, besides two biographies, three books on ideas concerning the physical universe, Necessity, Cause and Blame; Time, Creation and the Continuum; Matter, Space and Motion. Others books are concerned with mind and ethics, Animal Minds and Human Morals; Emotion and Peace of Mind (From Stoic Agitation to Christian Temptation); Self (Ancient and Modern Insights about Individuality, Life and Death); Gandhi and the Stoics (Modern Experiments on Ancient Values); Moral Conscience through the Ages (Fifth Century BCE to the Present). Starting from an interest in Aristotle, he has moved to an interest in the next thousand years of Ancient Greek Philosophy, and has edited a series of over 100 volumes of English translation of this later Greek Philosophy, involving collaborators in 20 countries, together with 6 edited volumes explaining this period of thought. He is also interested in the spread of Greek Philosophy to other cultures, through Persian and Syriac to Arabic and back to the Latin-speaking world. He has for some time and increasingly worked with experts in Islamic and Indian Philosophy comparing ideas from the Greek and from some of the subsequent Western tradition. His interest in the Philosophy of other cultures is represented in his co-edited, The Ethics of War (Shared Problems in Different Traditions) , as well as in his book on the ethical views of Gandhi. Two books edited in 2016 describe some of the spread of Greek Philosophy to other cultures: Aristotle Re-Interpreted (New Findings) and Priscian, Answers to King Khosroes of Persia, a translation by many hands. He was knighted in 2014 for services to philosophical scholarship.

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.