Date of Degree
Esthetics | Philosophy of Language | Philosophy of Mind | Philosophy of Science
meaning, interpretation, intention
Interpretation is the process by which we find meaning in the things in the world around us: clouds on the horizon, bones, street signs, hairbrushes, uniforms, paintings, letters, and utterances. But where does that meaning come from and on what basis are we justified in saying a particular meaning is the right meaning? Drawing from debates in the philosophy of language, I argue that a complete theory of meaning and interpretation must be grounded in intentions. My argument employs research in the philosophy of language, aesthetics, linguistics, and cognitive science to develop a general framework of interpretation. This framework is then broadly applied to objects of interpretation across a range of fields: legal theory, history, art history, theology, literature, and archaeology.
Johnson, Marilynn, "Meaning Through Things" (2017). CUNY Academic Works.