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The Senses of the Text: Intensional Semantics and Literary Theory

The Senses of the Text: Intensional Semantics and Literary Theory (Paperback)

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Synopsis

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 differance, reader-response criticism, and "ideological" approaches proclaiming meaning to be no more than a site of political contestation. 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 "close reading" 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 "Chomskyan revolution" in linguistic theory and to major issues in the philosophy of language, including the work of Frege, Wittgenstein, Quine, Carnap, Kripke, and Davidson.

Essays & WritingLiterary CriticismLiterary theoryLanguages with Grant & CutlerLinguisticsHistorical & comparative linguistics Publisher: University of Nebraska Press Publication Date: 01/04/1999 ISBN-13: 9780803266179  Details: Type: Paperback Format: Books
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William C. Dowling is a professor of English at Rutgers University. He is the author of, most recently, Literary Federalism in the Age of Jefferson.

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