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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

Chapter:
(p.198) 13 Relativism in Interpretation
Source:
Philosophical Perspectives on Art
Author(s):

Stephen Davies (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199202423.003.0014

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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