• Wimsatt & Beardsley

    The Intentional Fallacy

            William k. Wimsatt (1907-75): English professor at Yale.

            Monroe Beardsley (1915-85): philosophy professor at Temple University.

            Their essay has become one of the central documents of formalist “new criticism”.

            The intentional fallacy: criticism that takes account of authorial intention in a work is committing a fallacy.

            The author is the cause of the poem but wee do not need to know the author’s intention to judge the poem.

            If the poet succeeds in realizing her intentions, then the evidence of those intentions will be seen directly in the poem.

             The three evidences used in making interpretations of literary texts:

    1.      Internal evidence: this evidence is presented as the facts of a given work. This information is internal to the type of art that is being examined.

    2.      External evidence: it’s about what is not actually contained in the work itself. Any source of information about the text other than the text itself.

    3.      Contextual evidence: it concern any meanings derived from the specific works relationship to other art made by this particular artist.

    Noura Al. Hasawi

    Aisha Al. Mahboob

    Mashael Al. Mutawa’a