A Theory of Textuality: The Logic and Epistemology

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SUNY Press, Jan 1, 1995 - Philosophy - 309 pages
This is the first comprehensive and systematic theory of textuality that takes into account the relevant views of both analytic and Continental thinkers and also of major historical figures. The author shows that most of the confusion surrounding textuality is the result of three factors: a too-narrow understanding of the category; a lack of a proper distinction among logical, epistemological, and metaphysical issues; and a lack of proper grounding of epistemological and metaphysical questions on logic analyses.

The author begins with a logical analysis of the notion of text resulting in a definition that serves as the basis for the distinctions he subsequently draws between texts on the one hand and language, artifacts, and art objects on the other; and for the classification of texts according to their modality and function. The second part of the book uses the conclusions of the first part to solve the various epistemological issues which have been raised about texts by philosophers of language, semioticians, hermeneuticists, literary critics, semanticists, aestheticians, and historiographers.

 

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Contents

INTENSION
3
I Elements in the Definition of Texts
4
B Signs
7
C Specific Meaning
14
D Intention
23
E Selection and Arrangement
24
F Context
26
II The Conventionality of Texts
30
1 Essential and Accidental Differences in Meaning
110
2 Meaning and the Implications of Meaning
111
3 Meaning and Intentions
112
B Factors That Establish the Limits of Meaning
114
2 Audience
116
3 Context
117
5 Language
118
6 Text
119

III Conclusion
36
EXTENSION
41
I Texts and Language
42
II Texts and Artifacts
44
III Texts and Art Objects
52
IV Texts and Works
59
V Conclusion
70
TAXONOMY
73
I Modal Classification
74
2 Contemporary Text
75
3 Intermediary Text
76
C Ideal Text
83
II Functional Classification
86
A Linguistic Functions
87
3 Expressive Texts
88
B Cultural Functions
89
2 Literary Texts
90
4 Scientific Texts
91
5 Religious Texts
92
6 Historical Texts
93
7 Political Texts
94
10 Entertaining Texts
95
III Conclusion
97
THE EPISTEMOLOGY OF TEXTS
99
UNDERSTANDING
101
I Understanding versus Meaning
103
II Number of Understandings
104
III Understanding and Textual Identity
106
IV Limits of Understanding
107
A Limits of Meaning
108
7 Cultural Function
123
C Limits of Textual Understanding
127
D Legitimacy of Understanding Texts Differently Than Their Historical Authors
136
V Truth Value and Objectivity of Understandings
141
VI Conclusion
143
INTERPRETATION
147
II Interpreters Dilemma and Function of Interpretations
152
A Historical Function
155
B Meaning Function
160
C Implicative Function
161
Textual versus Nontextual
164
IV Number Truth Value and Objectivity of Interpretations
168
2 Truth Value
171
3 Objectivity and Subjectivity
173
B Of Nontextual Interpretations
175
V Understanding Meaning and Interpretation of Interpretations
176
VI Conclusion
177
DISCERNIBILITY
181
I How Do I Know That Something Is a Text?
182
II How Do I Learn the Meaning of a Text?
189
III How Can I Be Certain That I Know the Meaning of a Text?
193
B Objections
196
C The Role of Tradition in the Discernibility of Texts
207
IV Conclusion
212
A THEORY OF TEXTUALITY LOGIC AND EPISTEMOLOGY
215
NOTES
235
SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY
269
INDEX OF AUTHORS
301
INDEX OF SUBJECTS
305
Copyright

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About the author (1995)

Jorge J. E. Gracia is Professor in the Department of Philosophy at State University of New York at Buffalo. His other works include Philosophy and Literature in Latin America: A Critical Assessment of the Current Situation (with Mireye Camurati); Individuality: An essay on the Foundations of Metaphysics; Philosophy and Its History: Issues in Philosophical Historiography; Individuation in Scholasticism: The Later Middle Ages and the Counter-Reformation, 1150-1650; and Individuation and Identity in Early Modern Philosophy: Descartes to Kant (with Kenneth F. Barber), all published by SUNY Press.

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