People who talk about interpretation often suggest that what is interpreted must offer some kind of resistance, in quasiphysical terms. The physics entailed by such suggestions is never fully specified, and for a good reason: it is purely nonexistent. This essay presents arguments against physical fantasies in interpretation, very current in the humanities and the social sciences, and offers a different picture of interpretation. The picture has two parts: interpretation is described as a way of dealing with intentions, motives, purposes, linguistic noises, actions, meanings, and so forth, relative to all sorts of stuff; and interpretation is a default condition, rather than an optional acquired talent.

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