Ep. 2 Notes (“Every Breath You Take,” by the Police)

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The Song

And here are the lyrics.

I also referred to Pharrell’s “Happy” . . .

. . . and to Puddle of Mudd’s “Control”:



In the episode, I drew on information you can find at the following links.

The Wikipedia Article on the song

The Week-by-Week List of Billboard Hot 100 #1 Songs for 1983

The Billboard Hot 100 Year-End Chart for 1983

Billboard’s Top 20 Hot 100 Hits of the 80s

Billboard All Time Top 100 Songs

Philosophical Sources

I also drew on the following texts.

The Danger of Music

Plato’s Republic, book III

Parts and Wholes in Romantic Love

Plato’s Symposium

Genesis 2:24

1 Corinthians 6:15-20

Parts and Wholes in Property

John Locke, Second Treatise of Civil Government, chapter 5

Being With and Being Together

A lot of this discussion is inspired by Heidegger’s description of being human as being with others in Being and Time.

It is even more significantly inspired by Guy Mansini’s article, “Aristotle on Needing Friends,” American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 72, no. 3 (1998): 405-17. Compare Mansini’s friend, Robert Sokolowski, on “The Phenomenology of Friendship,” The Review of Metaphysics  55 (2002): 451-70.

Comments, Corrections, and Feedback

I said things in this episode. Maybe some of them were wrong. Maybe some them were right. Maybe I just missed something I should have said. You should help put things to rights by leaving a comment below.


Featured image by Elvire.R. Provided under a CC Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

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2 thoughts on “Ep. 2 Notes (“Every Breath You Take,” by the Police)

  • To answer your last question, lets assume that one of the purposes of music is to evoke emotions.

    Let’s also define “great” to mean succeeding at the thing it’s intended to do.

    Since the song evokes a creeped-out feeling, and that was in part Sting’s intention, the song is great because it succeeds (ar least for some people) at evoking a creepiness.

    If we don’t want to define great that way, but instead, for this narrow case–music, as “creating a desire to listen”, it’s sill reasonable that the song is both great and creepy-inducing.

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