“The Intentional Fallacy” was published by W.K. Wimsatt, Jr. and Monroe C. Beardsley in their book The Verbal Icon in It is widely considered a landmark. Intentional Fallacy. William K. Wimsatt Jr. & Monroe C. Beardsley., revised in. The claim of the author’s “intention” upon the critic’s judgement has been chal-. Introduced by W.K. Wimsatt, Jr., and Monroe C. Beardsley in The Verbal Icon Intentional fallacy, term used in 20th-century literary criticism to describe the.

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Refresh and try again. This essay is no great matter, but it is simple and makes a fine point. Wimsatt is often associated with the concept of the intentional fallacywhich he developed with Monroe Beardsley in order to discuss the importance of an author’s intentions for the creation of a work of art.

It refers to the error of placing too much emphasis on the effect that a poem has on its audience when analyzing it. Wimsatt does allow for a certain degree of variation in the analysis of poetry and does not necessarily contend that there is only afllacy possible reading for any given poem. Learn More in these related Britannica articles: Although this material may have appeared before “Kubla Khan,” say Wimsatt and Beardsley, this origin “can never be and need not be known in the verbal and hence intellectual ijtentional which is the poem” Let me preface by saying that while I am a stubborn anti-intentionalist, this essay actually challenged my viewpoint somewhat.

William K. Wimsatt

Paradoxically, an important attribute of internal evidence is that it is also public evidence. A summary of Catch Me Written with Cleanth Brooks inLiterary Criticism: Eliot’s “The Waste Land”. Such biographical information doesn’t necessarily entail intentionalism; instead it may clarify the meanings of the words, the nuances of imagery, within the literary text.


For all the objects of our manifold experience, especially for the intellectual objects, for every unity, there is an action of the mind which cuts off roots, melts away context—or indeed we should never have objects or ideas or anything to talk about. Jade rated it really liked it Dec 16, A critical reader may be tempted to use this reflection to argue that the poem is in a sense “about” Donne’s interest in the new science of the Renaissance, or about the changing worldview of the Renaissance.

Postmodernism, in Western philosophy, a late 20th-century movement characterized by broad skepticism,…. This page was last edited on 14 Octoberat Alana rated it liked it Aug 23, It draws the fine line of distinction between the internal, private and historical meanings of a text. This is the kind of essay one should be familiar with in the very beginning of literature course. All we can judge is the latter.

Intentional fallacy | literary criticism |

Wimsatt also drew on the intentiojal of both ancient critics, such as Longinus and Aristotleand some of his own contemporaries, such as T. Wimsatt and Monroe Beardsley consider fallacies when reading literature. It is for this reason that Wimsatt and Beardsley argue that if such notes or allusions generally are acknowledged by the critical reader they “ought to be judged like any other parts of composition” The first most reliable and most accessible type of evidence for the meaning of a piece of literature is “internal” evidence that is “discovered through the semantics and syntax” of the work Keep Exploring Britannica Epistemology.

This view is extremely useful in a postmodern relativistic framework as it successfully makes wimssatt reader or the consumer of the story the only authority on its meaning as opposed to the author or creator of the work.

A perennial debate i There is a gross body of life, of sensory and mental experience, which lies behind and in some cases iwmsatt every poem, but can intejtional be and need not be known in the verbal and hence intellectual composition which is the poem. The unfortunate side effect is that this view strips the artist themselves of all value; it implies that only the product of their creation is of any importance.


If judgment is to be aesthetic, it must concern itself with…. Yarilie Morales Santiago rated it liked it Mar intentionnal, Be the first to ask a question about The Intentional Fallacy.

Instead, the critical reader must look to a text as a self-defining work that is unified by a variety of literary elements. Being aware of how the word s work for an author may give the reader a better understanding of how the word s work in the text.

Because a literary work’s language, semantics, grammar, and imagery are public knowledge and available to the common reader, this internal evidence is of particular value in discovering the meaning determined by the text.

William Kurtz Wimsatt Jr. This essay shows what we should seek when we seek the meaning of a literary work. Professor Wimsatt had received an honorary doctorate from Saint Louis University in If it achieved its goal? Which is slightly weird.

Like internal evidence, this material can also be available for observation. Return to Book Page. The Intentional Fallacy by William K. Retrieved intentioal ” https: A third type of literary evidence also derives from the “private” experience of the writer but since it can aid an understanding of the linguistic facts of literature, Wimsatt and Beardsley term it “intermediate” evidence.