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Is there an author in this text? : a re-evaluation of authorial intent pursued as ontological disclosing the being of the entity of the composition in understanding an author's communication

Sutcliffe, Peter Anthony (2012) Is there an author in this text? : a re-evaluation of authorial intent pursued as ontological disclosing the being of the entity of the composition in understanding an author's communication. PhD thesis, Prifysgol Bangor University.

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Abstract

The assertion that God inspired human authors to write, hence speaking through them, and still speaks to readers by means of the biblical text they had written, raises three primary hermeneutical issues, if it is to have any validity within hermeneutics. These are firstly authorial intentionality, secondly the nature of a text and thirdly that of understanding and meaning in interpretation of the text. However, the following issues create a problematic for the author or reader holding to such an assertion. The assertion of intentionality, as an aspect of an author's psyche, effecting an inter-subjectively with interpreters has been epistemologically exposed as insupportable. The categorization of being as either personal or impersonal has denuded the text of being as a composition to leave it an impersonal stretch of language, whose meaning is an assertion in re-animation by readers. Meaning itself has been recognized as a reflective task whose reference point is the individual reflecting, hence disclosing a relativization of meaning that excludes an individual being able to assert an absolute meaning. The way forward for the individual desiring to retain the value of Scripture, without opting out of hermeneutical debate to take refuge in a special hermeneutic, which leaves them marginalized in general debate, lies in a re-evaluation and review of the arguments and philosophical perception underlying these issues. This is the subject matter of this work. The act of parole in using language is a willful, hence intentional act. Intention remains an aspect of an author's psyche and intentionality describes the event producing the text. However, what is produced is intentioned and must retain that intentioned-ness, hence conferring being on what is produced, whether a work of art or composition. The categorization of being as personal and impersonal is inadequate for intentioned being, which has aspects of both. This raises ontological issues that have been missed or ignored and must be investigated. The very act of communication involves forms of knowledge that defy the categorization as rational knowledge, e.g. in the domains of subjectivity and belief. Yet all forms of knowledge in a text are communicated in the composition. Hence a text must undergo not only epistemological evaluation but also ontological evaluation. These issues and their impact on understanding and meaning are explored leading to a new approach to hermeneutics. Whilst the writer holds beliefs within the Christian community, the approach considers the issues from the point of view of any literary text, as an aspect of human-being.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Subjects: Degree Thesis
Departments: College of Arts and Humanities > School of Philosophy and Religion
Degree Thesis
Date Deposited: 20 Aug 2015 14:45
Last Modified: 22 Mar 2016 16:11
URI: http://e.bangor.ac.uk/id/eprint/5115
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