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Reading: Interpretation, Intentions, and Responsibility


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Research Article

Interpretation, Intentions, and Responsibility


Peter Alward

Department of Philosophy, University of Saskatchewan, 9 Campus Dr, Saskatoon, SK, S7N 5A5, CA
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In this paper, I defend a contextualist account of the role of authors’ intentions in interpretation, according to which their role depends on readers’ interpretive interests. In light of a general discussion of intentions and responsibility, I argue that insofar as readers are interested in attributing authorial responsibility for interpretations of fictional works, authors’ intentions need to play a central role in those interpretations. And I investigate the implications of this account for ‘accidental authorship’, cases in which interpretations of a work are neither intended nor reasonably foreseen by the author.
How to Cite: Alward, Peter. “Interpretation, Intentions, and Responsibility”. Estetika: The Central European Journal of Aesthetics 55, no. 2 (2018): 135–54. DOI:
Published on 01 Sep 2018.
Peer Reviewed


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