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Brief History of Authorial Intent

Many critics suggest that the intentions Hirsch recovers in intrinsic genres are really his own, rather than those of the author, because no one, including Hirsch, can escape his or her historically conditioned frame of reference when developing interpretations of literature. Hirsch's recent books, including Cultural Literacy , are seen as proof of those flaws by those who are troubled by the history and values of the dominant culture that Hirsch insists is the only culture.

A Mind for Madness

Hirsch argues that "common knowledge" is being denied minority students and others by feminists and other "radicals" who have undermined the authority of its great texts. Validity in Interpretation.

Reliability & Validity Explained

Eric Donald Hirsch. By demonstrating the uniformity and universality of the principles of valid interpretation of verbal texts of any sort, this closely reasoned examination provides a theoretical foundation for a discipline that is fundamental to virtually all humanistic studies. It defines the grounds on which textual interpretation can claim to establish objective knowledge, defends that claim against such skeptical attitudes as historicism and psychologism, and shows that many confusions can be avoided if the distinctions between meaning and significance, interpretation and criticism are correctly understood.

It provides perhaps the first genuinely comprehensive account of hermeneutic theory to appear in English and the first systematic presentation of the principles of valid interpretation in any language.

Validity in Interpretation by E.D. Hirsch Jr.

Viewing this subject within the tradition of hermeneutics, Mr. Hirsch is able to trace its origins and development with brilliant insight.

The result is a lucidly systemic and authoritative account of the premises and procedures applicable to the interpretation of a literary text. The object of criticism, on the other hand, is that meaning in its bearing on something else standards of value, present concerns, etc.

A Mind for Madness

No one would bother seriously to discuss such a protean object. Anything not sharable in this sense does not belong to the verbal intention or verbal meaning. As used by literary critics the term refers to a purpose which may or may not be realized by a writer. As used by Husserl the term refers to a process of consciousness.

Thus in the literary usage, which involves problems of rhetoric, it is possible to speak of an unfulfilled intention, while in Husserl's usage such a locution would be meaningless" n.