In this master essay, Wimsatt and Beardsley call out readers who just go through texts hoping to figure out what their authors really meant. According to these. In Aesthetics, Beardsley develops a philosophy of art that is sensitive .. In “The Intentional Fallacy,” he says that the intentions of the artist are. Intentional Fallacy. William K. Wimsatt Jr. & Monroe C. Beardsley., revised in. The claim of the author’s “intention” upon the critic’s judgement has been chal-.

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If there was nothing “haphazard or fortuitous” in the way the images returned to the surface, that may mean 1 that Coleridge could not produce what he did not have, that he was limited in his creation by what he had read or otherwise experienced, or 2 that having received certain clusters of associations, he was bound to return them in just the way he did, and that the value of the poem may be described in terms of the experiences on which he had to draw.

A recent critic in an elaborate treatment of Donne’s learning has written of this quatrain as follows: In the public realm of criticism, though, there is not room for such an approach. What Beardsley has in mind is the kind of verbal mistake made at a publishing house, or by a computer in scanning a document. Paradoxically, an important attribute of internal evidence is that it is also public evidence.

It can be said in favor of this plan that at least the notes do not pretend to be dramatic, as they would if written in verse. Because a literary work’s language, semantics, grammar, and imagery are public knowledge and available to the common reader, this internal evidence is of particular value in discovering the meaning determined by the text.

The question of “allusiveness,” for example, as acutely posed by the poetry of Eliot, is certainly one where a false judgment is likely to involve the intentional fallacy. There were certainly other combinations, other poems, worse or better, that might have been written by men who had read Bartram and Purchas and Bruce and Milton.

The Ontology of Art 4.

And, last, it doesn’t say that the primary intention behind the creation of the artifact is an aesthetic one. Given the wide range of topics covered in Aestheticsthe intelligent and philosophically informed treatment accorded them, the historically unprecedented nature of the work, and its effect on subsequent developments in the field, a number of philosophers, including some of Beardsley’s critics, have argued that Aesthetics is the most impressive and important book of 20 th century analytic aesthetics.


In Aestheticsthe attack is a little different. It is embodied in language, the peculiar possession of the public, and it is about the human being, an object of public knowledge. The latter pair of propositions a sort of Hartleyan associationism which Coleridge himself repudiated in the Biographia may not be assented to. A presentation may be illusory; that is, some of the characteristics of the presentation may fail to correspond to the characteristics of the aesthetic object.

The proof of 6 is that An author does not perform illocutionary acts, IJand K in uttering writing, dictating, signing, etc.

Beardsley’s Aesthetics

Matthiessen believes the notes were the price Eliot “had to pay in order to avoid what he would faplacy considered muffling the energy of his poem by extended connecting links in the text itself.

It’s not a presentation or class of presentations, and it’s not the artifact—Beethoven’s 9th Symphonyfor example. The upshot of Croce’s system is an ambiguous emphasis on history.

Then I knew that not by wisdom do poets write poetry, but by a sort of genius and inspiration. The following instance from the poetry of Eliot may serve to epitomize the practical implications of what we have been saying.

The task is always thus: A presentation of an aesthetic object is defined as the object as experienced by a particular person on a particular occasion. In a sense, attempting to learn what a particular image is alluding to is an attempt to find out the author’s intentiona. External evidence—anything not contained within the text itself, such as statements made by the poet about the poem that is being interpreted—does not belong to literary criticism.

Alston believes that the meaning of a sentence is the sentence’s speech act potential, its potential for performing fallcy of the various speech acts it can be used to perform.

The argument is plausible and rests on a well substantiated thesis that Donne was deeply interested in the new astronomy and its repercussions in the theological realm. If the aesthetic object were the artifact, it would have contradictory characteristics, since different recordings of the 9th have different, incompatible characteristics: Eliotand others, argued that authorial intent is irrelevant to understanding a intentoinal of literature.

Some members of the reception theory group Hans Robert Jaussin particular have approximated the Marxist view by arguing that the forces of cultural reception reveal the ideological positions of both author and readership.


But it seems doubtful if this claim and most of its romantic corollaries are as yet subject to any widespread questioning.

Authorial intent – Wikipedia

Such biographical information doesn’t necessarily entail intentionalism; instead it may clarify the meanings of the words, the nuances of imagery, within the literary text. The first most reliable and most accessible type of evidence for the meaning of a piece of literature is fallact evidence that is “discovered through the semantics and syntax” of the work See, for instance, Rosamond E.

There is criticism of poetry and there is author psychology, which when applied to the present or future takes the form of inspirational promotion; but author psychology can be historical too, and then we have literary biography, a legitimate and attractive study in itself, one approach, as Professor Tillyard would argue, to personality, the poem being only a parallel approach.

For Marxists especially those of the Soviet realism typeauthorial intent is manifest in the text and must be placed in a context falalcy liberation beardsle the materialist dialectic.

But the author cannot change his meaning after beadsley has died. A reader may be mislead into going outside of the original text in order to gain information that may or may not reveal the author’s intention. Forbidding Mourning” illustrates this falllacy. Sentence meaning is primary on this theory, and word meaning secondary inntentional derivative, since it’s defined in terms of a word’s contribution to the speech act potential of the sentences into which it can figure. Not all the arts could be covered in detail in even so long a book as Aesthetics —it’s over pages—so Beardsley had to content himself with concentrating on three relatively disparate arts: This method of inquiry may lead to the conclusion that the given resemblance between Eliot and Donne is without significance and is better not thought of, or the method may have the disadvantage of providing no certain conclusion.

The last of the books, The Aesthetic Point of Viewis intentiomal collection of papers, most old, some new. V If the distinction between kinds of evidence has implications for the historical critic, it has them no less for the contemporary poet and his critic.