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Authors, Intentions and Literary Meaning



This article discusses the relationship (or lack thereof) between authors’ intentions and the meaning of literary works. It considers the advantages and disadvantages of Extreme and Modest Actual Intentionalism, Conventionalism, and two versions of Hypothetical Intentionalism, and discusses the role that one's theoretical commitments about the robustness of linguistic conventions and the publicity of literary works should play in determining which view one accepts.