In this master essay, Wimsatt and Beardsley call out readers who just go through texts hoping to figure out what their authors really meant. According to these. In Aesthetics, Beardsley develops a philosophy of art that is sensitive .. In “The Intentional Fallacy,” he says that the intentions of the artist are. Intentional Fallacy. William K. Wimsatt Jr. & Monroe C. Beardsley., revised in. The claim of the author’s “intention” upon the critic’s judgement has been chal-.

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For that falpacy, Beardsley once again is driven back in the direction of ontological pluralism: The conviction may grow as one reads Eliot’s next note: But it is a very abstract sense.

Knowing how an author is apt to use a word or phrase may be beneficial in finding unifying structures and themes in a piece of literature. But we maintain that 2 need not be moral criticism: In a sense, attempting to learn what a particular image is alluding to is an attempt to find out the author’s intention.

Aesthetic objects are a subset of perceptual objects. Perhaps a knowledge of Donne’s interest in the new science may add another shade of meaning, an overtone to the stanza in question, though to say even this runs against the words.

Wimsatt and Beardsley argue that even details about the work’s composition or the author’s intended meaning and purpose that might be found in other documents such as journals or letters are “private or idiosyncratic; not a part of the work as a linguistic fact” and are thus secondary to the trained reader’s rigorous engagement with the text itself.

However, because such observation does not involve assessing the form of a work, such evidence is not “a part of the work as a linguistic fact” Beardsleey an formalist approach makes literary meaning accessible to any reader. Beardssley arguments against intentionalism in interpretation are of a variety of sorts.

I know two golden rules from ethics, which are no less golden in Composition, than in life. A presentation of an aesthetic object is defined as the object as experienced by a particular person on a particular occasion. The poem belongs to the public. Iintentional There is criticism of poetry and there is author psychology, which when applied to the present or future takes the intentiknal of inspirational promotion; but author psychology can be historical too, and then we have literary biography, a legitimate and attractive study in itself, one approach, as Professor Tillyard would argue, to personality, the poem being only a parallel approach.


Sentence meaning is primary on this theory, and word meaning secondary and derivative, since it’s defined in terms of a intenitonal contribution to the speech act potential of the sentences into which it can figure.

Brardsley New Criticism made the literary work the center fsllacy critical attention, and denied, or at least greatly fallcy, the relevance of facts about the origin of literary works, their effects upon individual readers, and their personal, social, and political influence.

It can be said in favor of this plan that at least the notes do not pretend to be dramatic, as they would if written in verse. For transcription and typesetting, authorial intentionality can be considered paramount. Horace’s rule, Si vis me flereis applicable in a wider sense than the literal one.

A reader may be mislead into going outside of the original text in order to gain information that may intetnional may not reveal the author’s intention. Bartram’s Travels contains a good deal of the history of certain words and of certain romantic Floridian conceptions that appear in ” Kubla Khan. Rather, what strongly suggest is intentionxl a work of art is a physical object: The irony is completed by the quotation itself; had Eliot, inrentional is quite conceivable, composed these lines to furnish his own background, there would be no loss of validity.

What is said about the poem is subject to the same scrutiny as any statement in linguistics or in the general science of psychology. Academic Tools How to cite this entry.

Beardsley’s Aesthetics (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

In all three cases, the parts exist and are what they are independently of the artificers, and the artifacts are to be judged—and interpreted—on the basis of their intentionql. There is a sense in which an author, by revision, may better achieve his original intention. Beardslry also doesn’t say that a work of art doesn’t or can’t have a utilitarian function, in the everyday sense of the term. Beardsley is best known for his work in aesthetics—and this article will deal exclusively with iintentional work in that area—but he was an extremely intellectually curious man, and published articles in a number of areas, including the philosophy of history, action theory, and the history of modern philosophy.

The meaning of words is the history of words, and the biography of an author, his use of a word, and the associations which the word had for him, are part of the words history and meaning. The then-current and still widespread view that philosophy is a second-order, meta-level, and essentially linguistic activity, taking as its object of study the pronouncements of first-order activities, such as chemistry, religion, or history, is reflected in Beardsley’s view on the nature of aesthetics.


Matthiessen believes the notes were the price Eliot “had to pay in order to avoid what he would have considered muffling the energy of his poem by extended connecting links in the text itself.

Coomaraswamy”Intention,” in American Bookman, I On the other hand, the notes may look like unassimilated material lying loose beside the poem, necessary for the meaning of the verbal symbol, but not integrated, so that the symbol stands incomplete.

Authorial intent

They believe that meanings are always meanings for people—albeit the relevant people, whether authors or readers. External evidence—anything not contained within the text itself, such as statements made by the poet about the poem that is being interpreted—does not belong to literary criticism. Weak intentionalism combines intentionalism with insights from reader response.

Alston believes that the meaning of a sentence is the sentence’s speech act potential, its potential for performing all of the various speech acts it can be used to perform.

One may wish to argue whether Longinus should be called romantic, but there can hardly be a doubt that in one important itnentional he is. Therefore, textual meaning is not identical to the authorial meaning. What Beardsley has in mind is the kind of verbal mistake made at a publishing house, or by a computer in scanning a document.

The second part of the definition picks up those objects that definitely are works of art, but were created in a mechanical, almost an assembly-line fashion, or as just another instance of its kind.

Authorial intent – Wikipedia

But this may mean that the earlier attempt was not successful in objectifying the self, or “it may also mean that it was a successful objectification of a self which, when it confronted us clearly, we disowned and repudiated in favor of another.

Mirror Sites View this site intentiohal another server: Is Prufrock thinking about Donne? The same distinctions hold across the arts, though differently in different arts, and somewhat more naturally in some than others.

That Beardsley’s does in spades, directly defining art in terms of the aesthetic as it does. And if we become beardsleey of astronomical ideas and see Donne only against the background of the new science, we may believe that he did.