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The sentence is from Harold Bloom's book Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human.

This chronology, necessarily tentative, partly follows what is generally taken to be scholarly authority.

I find this sentence strange as it stands, because among the noun authority's multiple meanings, the sense "the power to make decisions or tell people what to do" is uncountable, while the usage "expert" is countable--as corroborated by Cambridge and Macmillan dictionaries. So shouldn't the sentence be either:

This chronology, necessarily tentative, partly follows what is generally taken to be of scholarly authority.

or

This chronology, necessarily tentative, partly follows what is generally taken to be a scholarly authority.

  • My advice: prior to questioning a writer such as this, you might want to pause. Anything can be taken to be [any noun]. Scholarly authority is an adjective plus a noun. – Lambie Jan 26 at 19:09
  • @Lambie Duly noted. – Eddie Kal Jan 27 at 4:48
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Moneta!

I think that the sentence used in the book is fully correct. This stems from the fact that authority is an uncountable noun just like water or salt. Therefore it doesn't require any articles in the general case. We can construct a similar sentence as follows: "This liquid is thought of as healthy water." Here you can see that the uncountability of the water makes this sentence correct.

  • I would have been worried had it been partially correct....[joke] – Lambie Jan 26 at 19:09

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