According to intentionalism, the meaning of an utterance or a text is whatever the author intended to communicate by it. This means that the correct way to interpret texts is to figure out what the author was trying to communicate. |Neil the Ethical Werewolf|
Follow the link for his discussion and argument. Here's what seems odd to me about the claim that meaning is determined entirely by speaker's intent. A speaker uses already existing words to mean things, and those already existing words come to the speaker with meanings already attached.
Now, I suppose that the reply has got to be that there are separable questions, one having to do with the antecedent meanings of words and the other having to do with the meaning of utterances. And as far as it goes this distinction isn't implausible, since it's far from obvious that the meaning of any given concatenation of words is reducible to the meanings of the words themselves.
But this seems to leave us short of the intentionalist absolutism asserted by our lycanthropic interlocutor, since it limits the power that a speaker's intentions can have to determine the meaning of an utterance. It is no longer possible to maintain that "the meaning of an utterance or a text is whatever the author intended to communicate by it." Instead, the strongest possible claim that can be made is that speaker's intention contributes to the meaning of an utterance.