This thesis defends an intentionalist account of interpretation, specifically a version of Extreme Actual Intentionalism, which claims that the meaning of an artwork is determined by its makerâs communicative intentions guiding its production. Starting from the observation that works of art regularly evoke a feeling of puzzlement, it is assumed that art interpretation is a practice aimed at grasping the meaning of and, therefore, understanding a work. It is argued that while there is a variety of properties glossed under the umbrella term âmeaningâ, individual accounts of such properties should not be independent of each other but rather continuous with a general account of meaning. On this basis, Griceâs (1957) account of utterer meaning as determined by communicative intentions is introduced as a basic model, which is then exemplarily applied to three different modes of meaning common in the arts: depictive content, fictional content, and formal properties. Extreme Actual Intentionalism based on the Gricean model is then defended against two common objections: the accusation that it would grant artists arbitrary control over the meaning of their works (the âHumpty Dumpty Objectionâ) and the complaint that it would make artworksâ meanings unknowable (the âEpistemological Objectionâ). It is concluded that given its explanatory power and its ability to meet said objections, Extreme Actual Intentionalism is superior not only to anti-intentionalist accounts of interpretation but also to its intentionalist rivals Moderate Actual Intentionalism and Hypothetical Intentionalism.
How To Mean Things with Art
Walgenbach, S. (Author). 1 Aug 2022
Student thesis: Phd