Epistemological realism and the indeterminacy of meaning. Is systematic interpretation possible?

Summary This paper tries to show how the irreducible indeterminacy of textual meanings can be reconciled with epistemological realism which normally presupposes independently existing but determinate objects of knowledge. E.D. Hirsch's project of objective interpretation, including his most recent attempts to show that meanings, in spite of their openness to future modifications, are historically determined objects of knowledge, is being criticized. The paper argues that his use of the semantics and the reference theories of Kripke, Putnam, and others forces him to give up, against his own intention, his methodologically important distinction between meaning and significance. Within such theories a strict separation of linguistic knowledge of meaning and world knowledge can no longer be upheld. Since the application of individually and historically variable world knowledge is unavoidable in the process of understanding texts, the textual meanings reconstructed by readers will always remain indeterminate
Keywords realism  interpretation  meaning  object of knowledge  explanation  indeterminacy
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/BF01801209
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 15,865
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

10 ( #227,548 of 1,724,882 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

2 ( #268,588 of 1,724,882 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.