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It is often thought that creating or making a literary or some other kind of work is both necessary and sufficient to being that work's author. Authorship, then, amounts to performing certain kinds of actions, such as composing a song, writing the text of a poem or novel, and deciding when the work has been completed. Various philosophers and literary theorists have, however, contended that this notion of authorship is inadequate. Many literary theorists and scholarshave relied on Marxist assumptions in framing their claims about the historical emergence of the author-function. Economic factors are in the driver's seat, followed up by legal constructions and the other rationalizations and devices of bourgeois ideology. A hard-core attributionist can bite the bullet and insist that there are no cases of ghost or gift authorship. Performing an intentional action entails exercising sufficient control over one's behavior: an involuntary sneeze is not an action.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Literature
EditorsNoël CARROLL, John GIBSON
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9781315708935
ISBN (Print)9780415889728
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameRoutledge Philosophy Companions

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Taylor & Francis. All rights reserved.


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