Pragmatic intentionalism: A new look at art interpretation

Date

2015-05

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Abstract

This paper considers the problem of interpretation in art, and offers a new solution to determining the meaning of an artwork. The meta-theory pragmatic intentionalism guides the use of interpretational theories as is appropriate for the purpose of the artwork. The purpose of the artwork is determined by the artist’s original intentions when creating the work, called antecedent intentions. This paper examines purpose and intention in art, develops a tool for determining possible meanings in artworks using contextual constraints, and offers an argument for and applications of the new meta-theory of pragmatic intentionalism.

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Keywords

Aesthetics, Intentionalism, Philosophy of Art, Interpretation

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