Relativism and Intentionalism in Interpretation: Davidson, Hermeneutics, and Pragmatism

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Lexington Books, 2011 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 191 pages
The question of the relativity of interpretations and the relevance of the author's intentions for interpretation has been at the center of controversy for the past century in different philosophical traditions, but there has been very little effort to examine the different ways this question has been addressed in contemporary philosophy within the space of a single book. Relativism and Intentionalism in Interpretation. Davidson, Hermeneutics, and Pragmatism brings diverse philosophical viewpoints to bear on these issues, addressing them through analytic philosophy, hermeneutics, and pragmatism. Kalle Puolakka develops a view of interpretation drawing on Donald Davidson's late philosophy of language and mind defending the role of authorial intentions against criticisms intentionalist views have received particularly in hermeneutics and pragmatism. In addition to relativism and intentionalism, the book discusses such issues as the role of imagination and aesthetic experience in interpretation, and it presents a thorough critique of hermeneutic conceptions of interpretation which emphasize the essential historical nature of our understanding. Relativism and Intentionalism in Interpretation shows how it is possible to combine a pluralistic attitude towards art without resurrecting the role of the author's intentions in interpretation.

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Ch01 Does Joseph Margoliss Defense of Relativism Fall into an Impasse?
Donald Davidsons Late Philosophy and the Question of Intention
Ch03 A New Look at Hermeneutic Criticisms of Intentionalism
Ch04 Richard Rortys Pragmatist Challenge to Intentionalism
How to Be a Pluralist without Being a Relativist
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About the author (2011)

Kalle Puolakka is postdoctoral researcher of aesthetics at the Palmenia Centre for Continuing Education at the University of Helsinki.

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