Interpretation in Art

Gregory Currie

in The Oxford Handbook of Aesthetics

Published in print January 2005 | ISBN: 9780199279456
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Philosophy

 Interpretation in Art

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Interpretation requires some degree of thought rather than the operation of merely subpersonal level processes, as with understanding literal meaning. It requires judgement applied to the object of interpretation. It requires creativity on the part of the interpreter. But the kind of creativity that contrasts with the application of mechanical procedures must be distinguished from the kind that contrasts with discovery. Some theorists have wanted to insist that interpretation creates meaning for the work rather than discovering meaning in it. So interpretation is meaning-assignment brought about in the right way, and we cannot tell whether an assignment of meaning is an interpretation without inquiring into its antecedents.

Keywords: interpretation; object of interpretation; meaning-assignment; antecedents; subpersonal level; judgement

Article.  7644 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art

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