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Single Idea 20399

[catalogued under 21. Aesthetics / C. Artistic Issues / 1. Artistic Intentions]

Full Idea

'Actual intentionalism' holds that work's meaning is what its author intended, ...while 'moderate actual intentionalism' allows that the author's intention determines the work's meaning only if that intention is carried through successfully.

Gist of Idea

Intentionalism says either meaning just is intention, or ('moderate') meaning is successful intention


Stephen Davies (The Philosophy of Art (2nd ed) [2016], 5.3)

A Reaction

[He cites Noel Carroll for the moderate version] D.H. Lawrence, probably with a dose of Freud, said 'trust the work, not the artist' (of Moby Dick, I think). The thought is that authors only half know intentions, and works reveal them.

Book Reference

Davies,Stephen: 'The Philosophy of Art (2nd ed)' [Wiley Blackwell 2016], p.111