D86serves, “it would only warrant anti-intentionalism with respect to onekind of artistic interpretation – viz., the literary intentionalism of wordsand word sequences.”
The worry is a worthy one; after all, the Inten-tional Fallacy has traditionally been entertained across the arts.
Thenagain, there’s something to be said for Beardsley’s gambit. For either theliterary arts are (let’s say) sufficiently analogous to the non-literary arts, orthey aren’t. If the former, then our resolutions concerning literary inten-tionalism will carry over to the non-literary arts, and Beardsley’s restric-tion is harmless; if the latter, then literary intentionalism ought to bestudied independently of the intentional question in the non-literary arts,and Beardsley’s boundary guards against treating dissimilar matters simi-larly. The foregoing argument, though, presupposes that the Identity The-sis aptly characterizes literary intentionalism. On this point, I disagree.(2) Our first clue that the Identity Thesis mischaracterizes Hirsch inparticular, and literary intentionalism in general, springs from an infor-mal philosophers’ heuristic: the Principle of Charity. Our reading of anopponent’s efforts, that is, “should minimize the assumption of falsebelief” – especially egregious howlers – on our opponent’s part. Rather,one’s reading should reflect “the standard practice of attempting to finda sympathetic reading of texts.”
Hence my brief project: to recount,first, how the Identity Thesis is vulnerable to an array of devastating counterexamples, and second, to show that (Hirsch’s) intentionalismplausibly admits a reading that evades the counterexamples. Charity,then, would entail that we need not read the (Hirschean) intentionalist ascommitted to the Identity Thesis.(a) If we grant broad scope to Beardsley’s phrase, “literary work,”and allow it to encompass workaday bits of speech, then the Identity
Noël Carroll, “The Intentional Fallacy: Defending Myself,”
Journal of Aesthet- ics and Art Criticism
55 (1997): 305-309, at p. 306.
E.g., painting and sculpture – see Nan Stalnaker, “Intention and Interpretation:Manet’s Luncheon in the Studio,”
Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism
54 (1996):121-134, Sidney Gendin, “The Artist’s Intentions,”
Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criti- cism
23 (1964): 193-196, and Isabel C. Hungerland, “The Concept of Intention in ArtCriticism,”
Journal of Philosophy
52 (1955): 733-742.
The foregoing quotes are from, respectively, Penelope Mackie, “charity, princi-ple of,” in
The Oxford Companion to Philosophy
, ed. Ted Honderich (New York: Ox-ford University Press, 1995), p. 130, and Daniel C. Dennett,
Darwin’s Dangerous Idea
(Boston: Little, Brown Publishers, 1995), p. 404n2.