By Jorge J. E. Gracia
This can be the 1st entire and systematic thought of textuality that takes under consideration the appropriate perspectives of either analytic and Continental thinkers and in addition of significant old figures. the writer exhibits that the majority of the confusion surrounding textuality is the results of 3 elements: a too-narrow figuring out of the class; a scarcity of a formal contrast between logical, epistemological, and metaphysical matters; and a scarcity of right grounding of epistemological and metaphysical questions about logical analyses. the writer starts with a logical research of the thought of textual content leading to a definition that serves because the foundation for the differences he thus attracts among texts at the one hand and language, artifacts, and artwork gadgets at the different; and for the class of texts in accordance with their modality and serve as. the second one a part of the ebook makes use of the conclusions of the 1st half to resolve some of the epistemological matters that have been raised approximately texts by means of philosophers of language, semioticians, hermeneuticists, literary critics, semanticists, aestheticians, and historiographers.
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Extra info for A Theory of Textuality: The Logic and Epistemology
The view I present here entails only that for something to be a text it must be able to produce, or be intended to produce, understanding, not that this is all it produces. 30 Nor does this view entail that only texts produce understanding; all sorts of other things may also produce understanding, but that is of no concern to us here. Note, moreover, that the three theories of meaning mentioned earlier could be accommodated by this view. Indeed, one may hold the meaning of a text to be both what is understood when a text produces understanding and also that to which the text refers, and, moreover, that a text is understood precisely because its meaning is that to which the text refers.
The case with which we are concerned is the intention by an author to convey a specific meaning to an audience. Our object of study, then, is an activity, to X, that is the goal or end intented. Moreover, that goal or end consists in conveying a specific meaning, and the specificity of the meaning, as already noted, entails that there are limitations to that meaning. Thus, it would seem appropriate to conclude that the intention is directed to the conveyance of a meaning that is determinate. These considerations prompt an important question, namely, whether authors of texts need to be fully aware of the determinate meanings they intend to convey in virtue of the fact that they intend to convey them.
This degree of complexity is lacking in signs; signs tend to express simple meanings that are generally accessible and not difficult to grasp. Texts, by contrast, are more intricate complexes whose import is not so clear and that require attention and a certain conceptual sophistication and analysis. Yet, one can easily find objections to this line of reasoning, first, from the side of signs and, second, from the side of texts. Beginning with an objection from the side of signs, there are cases where relatively simple signs are used to convey complex meanings, and so the question arises as to whether the signs used in this way are texts or not.
A Theory of Textuality: The Logic and Epistemology by Jorge J. E. Gracia