Questions concerning authorial intention fall into two closely related categories: one for those about the nature and recoverability of intention and the other for those about the ontological status of works of art that embody authorial intention. The latter category involves the definition of work of art and the nature of the materials containing the evidence of authorial intentions. […] It seems to me useful to distinguish two fundamentally different concepts of intention: the intention to mean and the intention to do. […] From this point on, then, when I use the word intention, I mean the author‘s intention to do–to record a specific sequence of words and punctuation that he thinks verbalize his meaning (whether premeditated or newly discovered). It is this concept of authorial intention that drives editors and critics to continue to use the word intention when dealing with the authority inherent in the initiator of utterance or discource. The corollary is that from here on I will not use intention to indicate the author’s intended meaning–which, if not irrelevant to critical and editorial concerns, is in any case irrecoverable with certainty.

(Shillingsburg 1996, 30-31,34,35-36)

Contributed by Jesse. View changelog.