Volume 1, 2008
Aesthetics and Philosophy of Arts
Three Arguments against Intentionalism in Interpretation
Some philosophers identify the meaning of a work of art with what the artist intended the work to mean. Other philosophers think that although an artist’s intentions don’t fully determine a work’s meaning, they are a partial determinate of it. Last, there are philosophers who think that an artist’s intentions have no bearing on a work’s meaning. This paper is an examination of several arguments for the last of these three positions. In particular, it is a critical examination of three arguments advanced by Monroe Beardsley in his earlier writings in aesthetics.