Metaphilosophy 50 (4):503-515 (2019)

Robbie Kubala
University of Texas at Austin
In the philosophical debate about literary interpretation, the actual intentionalist claims, and the anti-intentionalist denies, that an acceptable interpretation of fictional literature must be constrained by the author’s intentions. I argue that a close examination of the two most influential recent strands in this debate reveals a surprising convergence. Insofar as both sides (a) focus on literary works as they are, where work identity is determined in part by certain (successfully realized) categorial intentions concerning, e.g., title, genre, and large-scale instances of allusion, allegory, and irony and (b) allow that works can acceptably be interpreted for unintended meanings—since an intentional act can, under a different description, exhibit unintended features—then they turn out to share the same interpretive policy concerning authorial intention. This suggests that philosophers should shift the interpretation debate away from issues of authorial intention and toward issues about the aims of interpretation.
Keywords aesthetics  authorial intention  intentionalism  interpretation  literature  philosophy of literature
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DOI 10.1111/meta.12369
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References found in this work BETA

Art, Intention, and Conversation.Noël Carroll - 1992 - In Gary Iseminger (ed.), Intention and Interpretation. Temple University Press. pp. 97--131.
Against Theory.Steven Knapp & Walter Benn Michaels - 1982 - Critical Inquiry 8 (4):723-742.
Validity in interpretation.E. D. Hirsch - 1967 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 160:493-494.

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Citations of this work BETA

Aesthetic Practices and Normativity.Robbie Kubala - 2021 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 103 (2):408-425.
Aesthetic Obligations.Robbie Kubala - 2020 - Philosophy Compass 15 (12):1-13.

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