The œuvre is the set of all texts attributed to a single author. Along with smaller unities like the book and broader ones like the idea of historical development, the œuvre is one of the received ideas that Foucault’s work intends to challenge (see section two). The œuvre is an artificial notion that does not bear up under scrutiny. The idea that a set of texts is unified by virtue of being the expression of a single subject misses the diversity of ways in which those texts relate to their ‘author.’ The attribution of a text to an author has a different function in documents published posthumously than in documents approved for publication during the author’s lifetime; a survey filled out by the author differs in this manner from a novel or a contract. Foucault will eventually replace the idea of the unifying author with a range of actual and possible subject positions from which statements can be made (see section five). These subject positions are defined within the enunciative field, and are independent of any actual person; anyone can write from these positions, and any one author can write from multiple positions (see section eight).