Proceedings of the European Society of Aesthetics (2013)

Maria Elisabeth Reicher
Aachen University of Technology
ABSTRACT. In this paper, I defend a strong version of actual intentionalism. First, I argue against meaning subjectivism, conventionalism and contextualism. Second, I discuss what I take to be the most important rival to actual intentionalism, namely hypothetical intentionalism. I argue that, although hypothetical intentionalism might be acceptable as a definition of the concept of utterance meaning, it does not provide an acceptable answer to the question of what determines an utterance’s meaning. Third, I deal with the most serious objection against actual intentionalism, namely the failure objection. I argue that the failure objection can be overcome within a framework of full-blown actual intentionalism if one distinguishes between categorial and semantic intentions. Moreover, I show how this version of actual intentionalism accounts for the possibility of innovative metaphors and other implicatures. Finally, I demonstrate that actual intentionalism – thus construed – makes it possible to distinguish between communicative failures and the intentional breaking of conventions.
Keywords intentionalism  meaning  conventionalism  contextualism  hypothetical intentionalism  implicatures  metaphors
Categories (categorize this paper)
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Authors' Intentions, Literary Interpretation, and Literary Value.Stephen Davies - 2006 - British Journal of Aesthetics 46 (3):223-247.
When Artists Fail: A Reply to Trivedi.Sheila Lintott - 2002 - British Journal of Aesthetics 42 (1):64-72.
Historical Interpretation, Intentionalism and Philosophy of Mind.Vivienne Brown - 2007 - Journal of the Philosophy of History 1 (1):25-62.
Actual Intentionalism Vs. Hypothetical Intentionalism.Gary Iseminger - 1996 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 54 (4):319-326.
Authorial Declaration and Extreme Actual Intentionalism: Is Dumbledore Gay?William Irwin - 2015 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 73 (2):141-147.
Moderate Actual Intentionalism Defended.Robert Stecker - 2006 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 64 (4):429-438.
Defending Hypothetical Intentionalism.Jerrold Levinson - 2010 - British Journal of Aesthetics 50 (2):139-150.
The Conversation Argument for Actual Intentionalism.A. Huddleston - 2012 - British Journal of Aesthetics 52 (3):241-256.
Intentionalism About Moods.Angela Mendelovici - 2013 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 2 (1):126-136.
Pictorial Experience and Intentionalism.Alon Chasid - 2014 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 72 (4):405-416.
Intentionalism and the Inverted Spectrum.Michael Watkins - 2008 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 8 (3):299-313.
Intentionalism and Computational Psychology.Alan Zaitchik - 1980 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 10 (1):149-166.


Added to PP index

Total views
61 ( #185,352 of 2,499,034 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
7 ( #101,998 of 2,499,034 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes