In his essay, "Form and Intent in the American New Criticism," Paul de Man argues that the New Critics` rejection of "the principle of intentionality" has led their criticism to "a state of paralysis." They reject the authorial intention because it obstructs the critical objectivity, which they believe can be pursued only by the analysis of the language of a given text. De Man, however, argues that "the discrepancy between sign and meaning" makes it impossible for critics to attain such critical objectivity. For this reason, according to de Man, critics should get over the illusion of objectivity, admitting that "the exalted status [1iterature] claim [s] for its language [is] a myth." What de Man has in mind here is the strategy of deconstruction. That is, what the genuine critic should do is to locate the moment when a text violates the meaning it appears to set up objectively. The problem with de Man, however, is that it is he who rejects the very principle of intentionality. Note that, by attracting our attention to the meaning unintended by the author, but revealed through "the discrepancy between sign and meaning," he is indeed making the deconstruction a "new new criticism." We can detect the blind spot here, in spite of de Man`s insight into the nature of language. The problem of de Man`s argument is highlighted in Steven Knapp and Walter Benn Michaels`s essay, "Against Theory." In this essay, Knapp and Michaels show that de Man, as well as other theorists, "rest[s] on a single mistake, a mistake that is central to the notion of theory per se." In particular, Knapp and Michaels problematize the notion of intention and argue that intention cannot be separated from meaning "because meanings are always intentional." According to them, however, de Man subtracts intention while other theorists such as E. D. Hirsch, Jr. or P. D. Juhl adds it. Thus, they argue, "the whole enterprise of critical theory is misguided and should be abandoned." A close examination of Knapp and Michaels`s argument against de Man, however, reveals that their argument is also "misguided" and that intention can be still separated from meaning. For this reason, we might argue that theory itself, including de Man`s, cannot be abandoned. Curiously enough, the central thesis of "Against Theory" is itself theoretical. Knapp and Michaels`s argument, however, deserves attention, in that they have introduced a new strategy by which we can overcome not only the limits of essentialism evident in the New Criticism and other critical arguments but also those of de Man`s deconstructive critical thinking. Note, in this regard, that a kind of regressus in infinitum is inevitable for both, since essentialist argument always fosters another essentialist argument, and deconstruction always begets deconstruction. By adopting the strategy called against theory, they effectively enable critics to go beyond the regressus in infinitum. No doubt, Knapp and Michaels`s argument has its own limits, as mentioned above. But, just as the New Criticism and de Man`s deconstruction have exerted tremendous influence on the American critical scene with all their limitations, so their argument will exert influence on the future American criticism. Of course, it will not help set up a new critical school or sect that values a certain kind of theory. Rather, a tendency that centers on practice itself will be one of the main currents visible in the future American critical scene. As a matter of fact, we have already witnessed such a tendency. In addition to Knapp and Michaels, we may mention here Stanley Fish and Richard Rorty, to whom the term "New Pragmatism" is loosely applied. Led by these New Pragmatists, the American criticism will take the new road in which practice is valued against theory.