By Jorge J. E. Gracia

This can be the 1st accomplished and systematic conception of textuality that takes under consideration the appropriate perspectives of either analytic and Continental thinkers and in addition of significant old figures. the writer exhibits that almost all of the confusion surrounding textuality is the results of 3 components: a too-narrow knowing of the class; a scarcity of a formal contrast between logical, epistemological, and metaphysical matters; and an absence of right grounding of epistemological and metaphysical questions about logical analyses. the writer starts with a logical research of the inspiration of textual content leading to a definition that serves because the foundation for the differences he for that reason attracts among texts at the one hand and language, artifacts, and paintings items at the different; and for the class of texts in response to their modality and serve as. the second one a part of the publication makes use of the conclusions of the 1st half to resolve a few of the epistemological concerns which were raised approximately texts by way of philosophers of language, semioticians, hermeneuticists, literary critics, semanticists, aestheticians, and historiographers.

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2 This chapter concentrates on the remaining six elements. The discussion of all these takes place in Section I. Section II of the chapter deals with the conventional nature of texts and their epistemic character. The chapter concludes with a summary. I. Elements in the Definition of Texts As noted, apart from the author and the audience, the elements present in the definition of texts are the entities that constitute the signs of which a text is composed, the signs themselves, the specific meanings texts are intended to convey, the intention, the selection and arrangement of the signs, and the context.

This implies that, although the primary and intended function of my utterance may be the performance of the illocutionary act of ordering, or even the perlocutionary act of having the door opened, the production of understanding is also involved; indeed, it is a requirement of the illocutionary act effectively causing the action it is intended to cause. For in order for the perlocutionary act to take place as a result of the locutionary and illocutionary acts, the person who responds to the illocutionary act has to be aware of the locutionary act, of the illocutionary force of that act, or put differently, of the illocutionary act, grasping the meaning of the text.

I should also add that the position presented here concerning the distinction between texts and signs is not essential to many of the views I defend in the rest of this book. For many of them, it is quite immaterial, first, whether the meanings of texts are in part traceable to the meanings of the signs of which they are composed and to the arrangement of those signs, and second, how texts differ from signs. Nevertheless, the position described has several important implications for some of my views, as will become evident later.

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