Friday, November 15, 2019

Intentional Fallacy and Affective Fallacy

The Intentional and Affective Fallacy by Whimsatt and Beardsley

Wimsatt and Breadsley have made best-known accusations of fallacy found in literary criticism based on writer’s intention and reader's response. International fallacy is a kind of mistake of deriving meaning of the text in terms of author’s intention, feeling, emotion, attitude, biography and situation. It is the error of interpreting a literary work by reference to evidence according to the intention of the author.

International fallacy means the confusion between the poem and its origin. It is the fallacy because an author is not the part of the text; instead, text is public but not private. If a critic interprets text in terms of author’s biography, this interpretation is called subjective interpretation or criticism. But for Wimsatt and Beardsley criticism should be objective and textual, critic should not go beyond the text.

Author can't control the text as soon as he writes. It becomes public. The critic should not interpret the allusion in terms of author’s intention. They claim that author's intended meaning is irrelevant to the literary critic. The meaning, structure, value of text is inherent with in the work of art itself; it is an object with certain autonomy.

Affective fallacy means the confusion between the poem and its result. It is a way of deriving meaning of the text interims of affect of product up on the reader.

Affective fallacy is the error of evaluating a text by its effect. As a result of this fallacy, criticism ends in impressionism and relativism and objective criticism becomes almost impossible. Theories of catharsis, therapy, didacticism etc, fall under the affective fallacy because they judge the poem in terms of its effect on the reader.

Wimsatt and Breadsley view that text constitutes language. The meaning of test is public, not personal. The effect of the text varies from person to person and from reading to reading. Thus if the critic depends on the meaning produced by a single reader it will be a kind of mistake. As a text is an autonomous entity, the best way of deriving meaning is to analyze linguistics elements such as syntax, semantics etc, since the work of art has its own anthological status, and it should not be judged through the parameter outside the text.

Wimsatt and Brendsley criticize the tradition of expressive criticism as intentional fallacy and pragmatic criticism as affective fallacy. They believe that a work of literature or text has ontology of its own. It is not only an autonomous object but also complete in itself. So it has no need to take support of writer's intention and reader's affective response to assert its being. It can have its meaning with in itself, by its own structure. So its own being should be the subject of critical study.

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Today's Question

Arrange the following words of Chomsky in chronological order in which they appeared: (i) Current issues in Linguistic Theory (ii) Syntactic...