Distinctness and Indiscernibility in the Allographic Arts

Peter Lamarque

in Work and Object

Published in print June 2010 | ISBN: 9780199577460
Published online September 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191722998 | DOI:
Distinctness and Indiscernibility in the Allographic Arts

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Nelson Goodman defines allographic arts, such as music and literature, as arts that are not forgeable by producing a notationally identical copy (so-called ‘referential forgery’). Autographic arts, in contrast, are such that a copy indiscernible from an original might count as a forgery because it has the wrong history of production. Jerrold Levinson has challenged the distinction, arguing that even for allographic arts ‘referential’ forgery is possible and facts about origin are relevant to a work's identity. This chapter argues that although Levinson is right to suppose that two notationally identical types might be distinct works, he has not shown that referential forgery is possible in all cases. Purported examples of forgery are discussed, as is Jorge Luis Borges's famous case of Pierre Menard.

Keywords: Goodman; forgery; allographic; autographic; referential forgery; Levinson; Borges; Pierre Menard

Chapter.  6695 words. 

Subjects: Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art

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