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The meaning of intention and meaning in Mark Bevir and Vivienne Brown

Connelly, James


James Connelly


Bevir's weak intentionalism construes meanings consisting in the understanding of a specific individual and they are identifiable solely by reference to that individual, by contrast with strong intentionalism, whereby a text expresses prior purposes of the author and a text has meaning only by virtue of the determining will of its author, so that to understand what a text says, we must recover what its author meant. Bevir's approach is to focus on what is actually written, on the product of the act of expression, rather than on what an author might have antecedently said (or somehow otherwise stated) they would write. A third possibility is to reject intentions altogether, and the paper explores the debate between Bevir and Brown over whether any theory of intentionality can be coherent. ©2011 International Society for Intellectual History.


Connelly, J. (2011). The meaning of intention and meaning in Mark Bevir and Vivienne Brown. Intellectual History Review, 21(1), 95-104.

Journal Article Type Review
Publication Date Mar 1, 2011
Deposit Date Nov 13, 2014
Journal Intellectual History Review
Print ISSN 1749-6977
Electronic ISSN 1749-6985
Publisher Routledge
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 21
Issue 1
Pages 95-104
Keywords History and Philosophy of Science; History
Public URL
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