Historiographic debates keep returning to issues of authorial intention in the interpretation of texts. This paper offers a response to these debates by differentiating between two versions of intentionalism, termed 'substantive intentionalism' and 'formal intentionalism', according to two different senses of 'identity' in the thesis that assigned meaning is identified with authorial intention, such that these two versions of intentionalism imply different ontological commitments to what are construed as the relevant authorial intentions. These distinctions and arguments are then related to the 'historical intentionalism' of Quentin Skinner and Mark Bevir. The paper argues that in practice historical intentionalism ends up reproducing the arguments of formal intentionalism, and it concludes by raising questions about the value of intentionalism for historians.
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DOI 10.1163/187226307X176767
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References found in this work BETA

The Logical Analysis of Psychology.Carl Hempel - 1980 - In Ned Block (ed.), Readings in Philosophy of Psychology. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. pp. 1--14.
Art, Intention, and Conversation.Noël Carroll - 1992 - In Gary Iseminger (ed.), Intention and Interpretation. Temple University Press. pp. 97--131.
Against Theory.Steven Knapp & Walter Benn Michaels - 1982 - Critical Inquiry 8 (4):723-742.
Intention and Interpretation: A Last Look.Jerrold Levinson - 1992 - In Gary Iseminger (ed.), Intention and Interpretation. Temple University Press. pp. 221--56.

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Intentionalism, Intentional Realism, and Empathy.Karsten Stueber - 2009 - Journal of the Philosophy of History 3 (3):290-307.
On the Difference Between a Pupil and a Historian of Ideas.Jeffrey Edward Green - 2012 - Journal of the Philosophy of History 6 (1):84-110.

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