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Philosophical Perspectives on Art$
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Stephen Davies

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199202423

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199202423.001.0001

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Relativism in Interpretation

Relativism in Interpretation

(p.198) 13 Relativism in Interpretation
Philosophical Perspectives on Art

Stephen Davies (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Joseph Margolis argues that literary interpretations allow of contrary and conflicting interpretations that can be equally plausible. In doing so, he opts for a relativistic multivalent logic allowing for truth-like contradictions. Against this view, it is argued that an interpretation is true just in case the work can be read meaningfully as it proposes; that is, can be read in a manner making the work as coherent as possible while respecting its identity, and so on. ‘ The work is p’ is true if ‘the work can be read as p’ is true. Judged this way, it can be true that a given work can be interpreted as p and also true that a given work can be interpreted as not-p.

Keywords:   Joseph Margolis, literary interpretations, relativistic multivalent logic, truth

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