Objects of Interpretation

Peter Lamarque

in Work and Object

Published in print June 2010 | ISBN: 9780199577460
Published online September 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191722998 | DOI:
Objects of Interpretation

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This chapter examines the relation between interpretation and the objects of interpretation. Several theses are defended: that interpretation cannot proceed without prior determination of the kind of thing being interpreted; that the mode of interpretation is determined by the nature of its object; that interpretation, of a meaning-determining rather than generic kind, focuses at the level of works, not descending to a bedrock of ‘mere objects’; and that, given the nature of works, no clear line can be drawn between properties ‘in’ a work and those ‘imputed to’ it through interpretative procedures. The debate over constructivism or ‘imputationalism’ between Joseph Margolis and Michael Krausz, on the one hand, and Robert Stecker and Jerrold Levinson, on the other, is engaged showing the core of truth on each side once the right distinction between object, work, and interpretation is in place.

Keywords: interpretation; constructivism; imputationalism; Margolis; Krausz; Stecker; Levinson

Chapter.  13288 words. 

Subjects: Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art

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