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Art

1974

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Full-Text Articles in Philosophy

Intention And Interpretation In Art: A Semiotic Analysis, Gary Shapiro Oct 1974

Intention And Interpretation In Art: A Semiotic Analysis, Gary Shapiro

Philosophy Faculty Publications

Kant was perhaps the first philosopher to note the distinctive puzzle, verging on paradox, which marks our dealings with art. Works of art seem to place us under an obligation to interpret them and yet we are convinced that our interpretations will never be exhaustive. Kant attempts to account for this peculiar phenomenon by talking of "purposiveness without purpose" or of the aesthetic idea as "a representation of the imagination to which no concept is adequate." We are constrained to see some pattern or organization in a work of art and this is typically understood as a teleological or purposive ...