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Validity in Interpretation
By demonstrating the uniformity and universality of the principles of valid interpretation of verbal texts of any sort, this closely reasoned examination provides a theoretical foundation for a discipline that is fundamental to virtually all humanistic studies. It defines the grounds on which textual interpretation can claim to establish objective knowledge, defends that c ...more
Paperback, 302 pages
Published September 10th 1973 by Yale University Press
(first published September 10th 1967)
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I began this work thinking that I had found a foil for my views, and thus I expected to disagree with most of Hirsch's conclusions, with the task being to evaluate his arguments. Instead, I found that I agreed with most of what he said, and his arguments are usually decently constructed and explicated. I particularly enjoyed his discussions of genre and of principles of interpretation (as opposed to methods). Despite his scathing attacks of new criticism and philosophical hermeneutics (a la Gada ...more
Had a tendency to be overly-technical for my tastes, but overall had a lot of valuable things to say. I don't quite agree with Hirsch's argument that the meaning of a literary text is determined by the author's intentions (I tend to side with the New Critics on the meaning being in the text itself), but Hirsch put forward a strong argument for the author's intentions nonetheless. Chapters 1 (on the author's intent) and 5 (on how to find meaning in a book) were the most interesting to me; chapter ...more
Eric Donald Hirsch, Jr. (born March 22, 1928) is an American educator and academic literary critic. Now retired, he was until recently the University Professor of Education and Humanities and the Linden Kent Memorial Professor Emeritus of English at the University of Virginia. He is best known for his writings about cultural literacy.More about E.D. Hirsch Jr....