The Senses of the Text

The Senses of the Text

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In recent years the notion of determinate meaning?the idea that a word or a line in a literary text means one thing rather than another thing, X rather than Y?has been widely rejected in the name of Derrida and diffAcrance, reader-response criticism, and qideologicalq approaches proclaiming meaning to be no more than a site of political contestation. Ac Yet determinate meaning, says William C. Dowling, cannot be rejected in this way. Like the ratio named by p or the primeness of prime numbers in mathematics, it has been there all along, waiting for our theories to catch up. The proof that this is so, he argues, is today most compellingly available in the New Intensionalism of Jerrold J. Katz, which provides a powerful demonstration that the method of qclose readingq developed by New Criticism remains the only valid basis for higher-order interpretation. For readers with no technical background in linguistics or logic, The Senses of the Text provides a clear and easily-understood introduction to the qChomskyan revolutionq in linguistic theory and to major issues in the philosophy of language, including the work of Frege, Wittgenstein, Quine, Carnap, Kripke, and Davidson.Superordination is at the heart of Katza#39;s theory of decompositional sense structure. ... The whole point of such examples is to show that object is aquot;inaquot; the sense structure of such terms or concepts as furniture, chair, and rocking chair, so that just as Wittgenstein, had ... The following is Katza#39;s aquot;standardaquot; diagram of such relations.

Title:The Senses of the Text
Author:William C. Dowling
Publisher:U of Nebraska Press - 1999


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