[lit-ideas] Intentional Fallacy, Not One

  • From: Jlsperanza@xxxxxxx
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 16 Aug 2013 10:55:20 -0400 (EDT)

In a message dated 8/14/2013 5:27:33 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time,  
donalmcevoyuk@xxxxxxxxxxx writes in the "agree to disagree"  post:

"Unfortunately the answer is rather involved and so cannot be given  in 
full here. Suffice it to say..."
that it should run along Popperian lines.

OTOH, needless to disimplicate (I find the phrase, "needless to say" in  
need of correction) runs along Griceian lines.

"Why are we moved by Karenina's tears?" (strictly  “Why should we  be moved 
by the fate of Anna Karenina?”) addresses aesthetics from H. P. Grice's  
perspective starting with the slogan,
The intentionalist fallacy, not a fallacy.
the intentionalist 'fallacy', not one.
intentional fallacy, term used in 20th-century literary criticism to  
describe the problem inherent in trying to judge a work of art by assuming the  
intent or purpose of the artist who created it.

Introduced by W.K.  Wimsatt, Jr., and Monroe C. Beardsley in The Verbal 
Icon (1954), the approach  was a reaction to the popular belief that to know 
what the author intended—what  he had in mind at the time of writing—was to 
know the correct interpretation of  the work. Although a seductive topic for 
conjecture and frequently a valid  appraisal of a work of art, the 
intentional fallacy forces the literary critic  to assume the role of cultural 
historian or that of a psychologist who must  define the growth of a particular 
artist’s vision in terms of his mental and  physical state at the time of his 
creative act. 

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