Intentionalist Interpretation

Overview

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,...

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Overview

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.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Finding the primary conflict in contemporary hermeneutics to be between a normative and a descriptive approach, Irwin (philosophy, King's College, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania) argues that the choices necessary to establish the normative criteria turn out to be ethical ones, whereas the descriptive task<-->especially as articulated by Gadamer<-->is a phenomenology of understanding. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780313311512
  • Publisher: ABC-Clio, LLC
  • Publication date: 12/30/1999
  • Series: Contributions in Philosophy Series
  • Pages: 152
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

WILLIAM IRWIN is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at King's College in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.

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Table of Contents

Preface

Normative and Descriptive Approaches to Hermeneutics: How Should We Interpret? How Do We Interpret?

A Critical Survey of Author Constructs: Does It Matter Who Is Speaking?

A Defense of an Intentionalist Approach: Urinterpretation

Gadamer's Hermeneutics: Descriptive and Normative

Conclusions and Implications

Selected Bibliography

Index

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