Publication 3849

Alward P. (2014) Butter knives and screwdrivers: An intentionalist defense of radical constructivism. The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 72(3): 247–260. Fulltext at
Robert Stecker has posed a dilemma for the constructivist theory of interpretation: either interpretations consist of statements with truth values or they do not. Stecker argues that either way, they cannot change the meaning of an artwork. In this article, I argue contra Stecker that if interpretations consist of meaning declarations rather than statements, they can change the meanings of the objects toward which they are directed, where whether they so consist is largely a function of the interpreter’s intentions. Hence, the second horn of Stecker’s dilemma is defeated.


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