This book is just what it says it is: A theory of textuality divided into two parts, logical and epistemological.
This is the first comprehensive and systematic theory of textuality that takes into account the relevant views of both analytic and Continental thinkers and also of major historical figures. The author shows that most of the confusion surrounding textuality is the result of three factors: a too-narrow understanding of the category; a lack of a proper distinction among logical, epistemological, and metaphysical issues; and a lack of proper grounding of epistemological and metaphysical questions on logic analyses.
The author begins with a logical analysis of the notion of text resulting in a definition that serves as the basis for the distinctions he subsequently draws between texts on the one hand and language, artifacts, and art objects on the other; and for the classification of texts according to their modality and function. The second part of the book uses the conclusions of the first part to solve the various epistemological issues which have been raised about texts by philosophers of language, semioticians, hermeneuticists, literary critics, semanticists, aestheticians, and historiographers.
Jorge J. E. Gracia is Professor in the Department of Philosophy at State University of New York at Buffalo. His other works include Philosophy and Literature in Latin America: A Critical Assessment of the Current Situation (with Mireye Camurati); Individuality: An essay on the Foundations of Metaphysics; Philosophy and Its History: Issues in Philosophical Historiography; Individuation in Scholasticism: The Later Middle Ages and the Counter-Reformation, 1150–1650; and Individuation and Identity in Early Modern Philosophy: Descartes to Kant (with Kenneth F. Barber), all published by SUNY Press.
"Gracia shows in a very detailed manner, that it is now time for questions related to the status of texts (ontological status, metaphysical status, logical status, and epistemological status) to be taken as equally important to classic strands of analytic philosophy as these questions have been to more recent strands of Continental philosophy and literary criticism." — Gayle L. Ormiston, Kent State University
"I don't know any other book like it. Gracia introduces a philosophical topology for a whole range of problems centered on language and textuality. He is careful in making very useful distinctions that help to cut through a lot of current confusion about interpretation." — Rudolf A. Makkreel, Emory University