Constructive Thoughts on Pierre Menard

Philosophy and Literature 35 (2):338-347 (2011)
Abstract
Interpretational monists and pluralists most often accept contextualism. At the same time, most of them resist constructivism, which takes all interpretations of artworks to be separate artworks. However, one of the central arguments to establish contextualism, based on Borges’ story of Pierre Menard, is so formulated that using it can force all contextualists into accepting constructivism. This paper points out the under-specification present in the philosophical use of the Pierre Menard example to then combine it with arguments presented by contextualists themselves and show that without a more careful look at the example discussed, accepting all those arguments entails constructivism.
Keywords aesthetics  interpretation  contextualism  constructivism
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