LAW214-LAWS805_TBa_45-86.pdf

Concepts 59 l pursue one set of themes or visions or

Info icon This preview shows pages 16–18. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
CONCEPTS 59 L pursue one set of themes or visions or purposes, one point, rath er than another, ^ his structure is required of an inter- ^fetatioiTeven when the material to be interpreted is a social practice, even when there is no historical author whose his- torical mind can be plumbed. An interpretation of courtesy, in our imaginary history, will wear an intentional air even though the intention cannot belong to anyone in ^grticular or even people in general. This structural requirement, taken to be independent of any further requirement tying inter - pretation to a particular author s intention, provides an ex - citing challenge, which will occupy us later, mainly in Chapter 6. What could be the point of insisting on the for - mal structure of purpose, in the way we explain texts or legal institutions, beyond the goal of retrieving some actual histor - ical intention? Intention and the Value of Art I said, just now, that the author s-intention method of artis - tic interpretation is disputed even in its most plausible form. Many critics argue that literary interpretation should be sensitive to aspects of literature the emotional effects it has on readers or the way its language escapes any reduction to one particular set of meanings or the possibility it creates for dialogue between artist and audience, for example whether or not these are part of its author s intention even in the complex sense we have been noticing. And even those who still insist that the artist s intention must be decisive of what the real work is like disagree about how that inten - tion should be reconstructed. These various disagreements about intention and art are important for us not because we should take sides that is not necessary here ^but because we should try to understand the character of the argument, what the disagreements are really about. Here is one answer to that question. Works of art present themselves to us as having, or at least as claiming, value of the particular kind we call aesthetic: that mode of presenta -
Image of page 16

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
6 o INTERPRETIVE CONCEPTS tion is part of the very idea of an artistic tradition. But it is always a somewhat open question, particularly in the gen - eral critical tradition we call modernist, where that value lies and how far it has been realized. General styles of inter - pretation are, or at least presuppose, general answers to the question thus left open. I suggest, then, that the academic argument about author s intention should be seen as a par - ticularly abstract and theoretical argument about where value lies in art. In that way this argument plays its part, along with more concrete and valuable arguments more directed to particular objects, in the overarching practices that provide us with the aesthetic experience.
Image of page 17
Image of page 18
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

{[ snackBarMessage ]}

What students are saying

  • Left Quote Icon

    As a current student on this bumpy collegiate pathway, I stumbled upon Course Hero, where I can find study resources for nearly all my courses, get online help from tutors 24/7, and even share my old projects, papers, and lecture notes with other students.

    Student Picture

    Kiran Temple University Fox School of Business ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    I cannot even describe how much Course Hero helped me this summer. It’s truly become something I can always rely on and help me. In the end, I was not only able to survive summer classes, but I was able to thrive thanks to Course Hero.

    Student Picture

    Dana University of Pennsylvania ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    The ability to access any university’s resources through Course Hero proved invaluable in my case. I was behind on Tulane coursework and actually used UCLA’s materials to help me move forward and get everything together on time.

    Student Picture

    Jill Tulane University ‘16, Course Hero Intern