Intentionalism and the Arts

               Intentionalist Interpretation by Professor William Irwin


Intentionalist Interpretation by William Irwin


The tension between the roles of authorial intention and the "text itself" is a basic concern of contemporary hermeneutics. Challenging much of the current thinking in the field, this volume argues that the "text itself," in its various forms, is an untenable criterion for correct interpretation, and through compelling moral and epistemological arguments defends an intentionalist approach to interpretation. After discussing the shortcomings of earlier intentionalist theories, Irwin proposes a new, normative approach, "urinterpretation," which is based on an author construct, the "urauthor," that includes several elements traditionally seen as separate from the author. The book closes with a theoretical application of intentionalism to philosophical, literary, and legal texts.