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"[I]t does not operate in a uniform manner in all discourses, at all times, and in any given culture" (What is an author? 145).
Far from being universal in functions, the author-function is said to vary among disciplines and even within the discipline, it changes over time. First, Foucault differentiates the role of author-function between the Physical Sciences and the Humanities: How texts belonging to the "literary" of the arts do not often require authors whereas that in the "scientific" texts hinges on the authors for validity. Subsequently, authorship in "scientific" texts became merely a representation of "a specific theorem, a proposition....or a pathological syndrome" (143). Likewise, the situation of authorship of "literary' texts in the arts took a similar turn; but from that of non-importance into a necessity.